My influences are those people that changed the way I saw the world of bikes. Although I have had many influences in my 25 years of riding mountain bikes, I point to these people below as the ones who helped make me who I am today – as far as cycling goes. I’ll keep coming back to this, or do a new post, to add people when I think of them.
Tim Koehler: I grew up riding Mt. Tam with TK and learning the wily ways from his older brother Richard and his friends. I have so many good memories of this time, since it was all new – exploring Tam and all its trails and beautiful nooks and crannies. TK and I got into MTB’s at the same time and he is one of the funnest people to ride with. He was and is one of the fastest and most ballsy guys on a bike too. He showed me what it’s like to ride downhill with no holds barred, and laugh and get up no matter how bad the crash.
James Franzen: A true wily I met in Boulder who didn’t own a car and rode his bike everywhere, including back to his cabin in the woods several miles up 4-mile Canyon after a night at the bars. He “trained” for racing in the Colorado Off-Road Points Series (CORPS) by just riding everywhere and could climb like few people I knew. He lived simply and was one of the happiest-go-lucky people that I’ve ever met, and a real hammer on the bike. He showed me that it can be done – living without a car – and I tried it after having met James.
Kent Eriksen: My first “real” race team was Moots, circa 1995. I met Kent in the back of the Sore Saddlery Bike Shop in Steamboat Springs to pick up my frame and components and see what goes on with custom framebuilders. I have never been the same since. Kent was and is known for his perfect miters – which it turns out makes the welding that much easier to do – and stronger. Moots welds are some of the best. Kent is somewhat of an eccentric guy, a bike genius, and this is evident with his development of the YBB suspension system (which showed up first on a steel frame i might add that they still had at the shop!). Kent epitomizes the ingenuity that I hope to emulate, from riding what he creates.
Travis Brown: No one has more passion for all things bike than T. He has more creative ideas floating around in his head about how to change/convert/better/tweak bike stuff than anyone I’ve met. Sitting down and brainstorming with T at the coffee shop was one of the most inspiring times of my life, when I realized that creating something unique was something I wanted to do eventually.
Grant Petersen: I was probably one of the younger retro-grouches out on the racing circuit and definitely in Boulder County. I’d always look forward to reading the (now defunct and somewhat digital) Rivendell Readers. The words of Grant just made sense to me and I’ve always wanted a Rivendell All-Rounder but never pulled the trigger. Rivendell makes beautiful bikes that are multi-functional and last forever, which is what I hope to do too.