I started riding mountain bikes when I was 11 years old. It took 2 years to save enough paper route money to buy my first real mountain bike, slowly adding useless anodized parts and little bits of titanium. I had a Girvin flex stem, bar ends, and a bit of fear when descending steep terrain.
My neighborhood friends were equally engrossed in riding and we would head off on adventures connecting various town parks and little patches of trail. I think the freedom to explore and find new places that seemed remote in Metro Boston had a lasting effect on all of us, and it certainly created powerful, lifelong friendships.
Fixing flats at Back Bay Bicycles in Boston, I entered a more sophisticated bike scene where I was introduced to cyclists with advanced technical skills and diverse terrain. Through high school and college I continued to ride at every opportunity; the bike continued to have a dramatic influence, starting friendships and pushing limits. Riding bikes and working on bikes would help drive my understanding of how the world worked.
Eventually I was riding full suspension bikes. The summer following freshman year at Lehigh University was spent riding in Colorado and Utah, getting my first tastes of Loma and Moab in the heights of summer, and experiencing alpine riding in the Rocky Mountains for the first time. Then came downhill bikes and racing downhill bikes throughout the northeast at places like Platteskill and Mt. Snow, with travel including Whistler and New Zealand.
A few years passed and I found myself back in Colorado, for the third time, still committed to riding but also with new priorities (my wife). I have had the opportunity to through ride the Colorado Trail from Durango to Littleton in 8 epic days, and man is there some great trail on the way. I have toured around in a 1980 VW Westy throughout the Northwest, with the simple mission of riding bikes and exploring new trail. I have competed in a pile of 24 hour races with great old friends. I continue to hunt around for new patches of trail and to find new lines, and I can’t wait to show my daughter how much fun a bike can be.
There have been a lot of factors that have shaped who I am today, and the mountain bike constant has and continues to be a big one. Mountain biking is my physical and mental outlet, a place where I can express myself, an honest and clear moment in my day, and a happy place that allows me to gain a different perspective on the other pieces of my puzzle.
I hope that I can express the riding experience I have had to other riders through the bikes I fabricate, encouraging exploration and adventure. I view the fabrication aspect of building a bike frame as art, where the small details matter, but the result is a machine that should be dirty and get heavy use.