It's not a unique story. One I've told countless times before and similar to others out there with the same interest in vintage mtb that I have. Perhaps it's because I've been "collecting" for nearly 20 years, I have a few stories to tell as a result. At any rate, here it goes.
As a young teen in the 80s, I was present for the boom of the mtb industry. Not old enough to be part of it's earliest years, but when things kicked into high gear, there wasn't enough time in the day to ride mountain bikes or visit local shops or pine over the pages of every mtb magazine that hit the shelves each month. My first mountain bike in 1988. My first decent mountain bike in the spring of 1991. I rode that bike for a decade.
Fast forward to a college grad with a job and no responsibilities, I decided to find the mountain bike I'd wanted most as a kid. A Slingshot. To my surprise (back in 2001/2 mind you), to most people these were just old outdated bikes. And they could be had for cheap. By happenstance on a local group ride, I met a guy who was riding an old Bontrager. We talked old bikes and as we became friends, I learned that he had more than just one old mountain bike. He had lots. I realized at that moment...why stop at one. Find the other bikes I wanted most as a kid.
From there it snowballed I suppose. Find all the interesting cool bikes I could. Every magazine bike, every race bike, every delightfully wild bike from the late 80s/early 90s in all their delightful paint, adorned in top shelf aftermarket parts.
Find it, rebuild it to period correct specs, ride it, repeat.
While the bikes I was finding were cheap, my discretionary income and space was not unlimited. I had to self-regulate. So began the process of keeping the bikes I enjoyed riding the most while selling off the ones that didn't. Nearly every time I sold a bike, it was more than I paid. Which in turn funded the next project. Bike swaps, Craigslist, eBay, MTBR Classifieds, connections made along the way, I grinded my way to the collection I have now.
The landscape has changed a bit since I started. The 'scores' don't come so easy now and there are quite a few more people out there looking for vintage mountain bikes. I consider myself fortunate to own (or have owned) some significant and rare vintage mountain bikes. What I value even more, are the life long friends I've made and truly special experiences that have come with this hobby.
This site is here to chronicle the bikes and events that I've enjoyed so much.
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