Tom Ritchey celebrated his 40th year in the cycling industry Sept. 19th with a keg of beer, a crowd of admirers and a movie—created by his filmmaker son Jay—that examines the creative processes that led him to build some of the first true mountain bikes in the early 1970s in Marin County, California.
Ritchey, now 55, stands as tall and athletic as he did in the days of klunker bikes and psychedelic music—and his dark hair has barely been touched by silver. In his company’s Interbike compound in Las Vegas, he proudly displayed his new red-white-and-blue 650b steel hardtail mountain bike next
Contributor to the Sport is a broad moniker…. But in Tom Ritchey’s case, it needs to be. It’s impossible to tell the story of Ritchey the designer & builder without also looking at Ritchey the rider, racer, and team sponsor. That’s because Tom’s success on and off the bike are tightly interwoven. His design innovations arose out of personal experience and a passion for racing. Throughout his 40 year career, everything Tom did was proven under race conditions, often by Tom himself.
Tom and Martha recently got back from a beautiful road trip up to BC, Canada. They visited Naked Cycles, Fairfield Bicycle Shop, toured around with great friends and, of course, went on some excellent rides on their tandem bike.
Tom and Martha recently celebrated the first day of spring with a backcountry ride-adventure on their Tandem. Tom knows this area well as it was the first race in the NORBA circuit back in 1983. This later NORBA flyer features a photo of Tom from the first epic race where Steve Tilford won the 1st NORBA National Championship.
For many years, since the beginning of mountain biking many people see me on my road bike and they are surprised that I go the same places that they do. Even more people are surprised when they see us on a road tandem going places like this and they don’t understand how we do it. But riding a bike is riding a bike in any kind of conditions and there is no reason why if you have the right equipment, if you have the skill that you can’t ride a bike just about anywhere.