misty memory and potential myth confirmed

the wiki page has a little information on Keith Bontrager

Keith is in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

seeing the Bontrager sticker on a handle bar or a stem gave a kid shopping for some solid components the same security as seeing Tom Ritchey's name
both Ritchey and Bontrager also made frames
the frames were well respected and saught after

and of course
the Wiki page delivers on Tom Ritchey as well

I want one of these Ritchey Wool Jerseys!

I recall in the mid-80's-early 90's friends of mine were buying the custom wheels that Keith Bontrager was building
taking sturdy tandem road wheels
snipping them down and making mountain bike rims
the garage build added to the attraction!

I bet my buddy tom (not Ritchey) has some of these wheels in his parent's garage on his long since retired Bianchi Grizzly!

I met Keith Bontrager a few years back at a Granny Gear 24 Hour Event in Northern California
Keith was a regular guy... only cooler

the interaction with keith was like any interaction with another racer
we simply shared in the moment of a great race
talking about the course and things that happened during the race

over the years I have seen him again and again at various races
a few words in the tent waiting for the baton exchange
or a wave across the parking lot
I am sure I am like many of Keith's fans... only slightly larger

I recall a man coming into Big Wheel Bikes at Eastern Market on Capital Hill
I was working there with Shawn Brown
Shawn and I were old friend from around town
some know of Shawn from singing for Dag Nasty, Swiz, and other bands

we were doing that bicycle shop clubhouse thing when an older gentleman came in with his bike
the bike was in pristine shape except for the rear wheel

to make a long story short it was an old Ritchey frame
I offered up a trade
my working bike for his bike with the broken rear wheel
I tried to explain the attraction to the bike
this elderly gentleman did not want to make the trade

we replaced he rear wheel with the dented rear rim and he went on his way

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