Otis Guy: An Interview with the 70s Repack Racer, Frame Builder, and MTB Coach

Otis Guy started racing mountain bikes at Repack in the late 1970s and competed at the first mountain bike World Championships in 1990. He’s also been a frame builder since the 1980s and currently works as a youth cycling coach in Northern California.

In this interview we ask Otis:

  • How did you get introduced to mountain bikes and mountain biking?
  • What appealed to you about riding off road?
  • How do the early trails on Mt. Tam compare to the purpose-built mountain bike trails being created today?
  • Are you still building bike frames today? 
    • What do you think about the current trend toward slacker MTB head tube angles?
  • What were the mountain bike race courses like in the 1990s? Did your pro team, racing full suspension bikes, have a big advantage over other teams at the time?
  • Did you and Joe Breeze ever complete the tandem bike ride from San Francisco to New York?
  • How did you learn mountain bike skills? Did you have a coach? 
    • What is the focus of your youth MTB camps? What do you hope kids will get out of mountain biking?
  • What’s one thing you want today’s mountain bikers to know about the history of our sport?

To learn more about his frame building business and coaching visit otisguycycles.com.

A full, automatically-generated transcript of this podcast conversation is available to Singletracks supporters.

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Transcript

Jeff 0:00
Hey everybody, welcome to the single trucks podcast. My name is Jeff and today my guest is Otis guy. Botha started racing mountain bikes at repack in the late 1970s and competed at the first mountain bike world championships in 1990. He’s also been a frame builders since the 1980s, and currently works as a youth cycling coach in Northern California.

Otis 0:34
Cycling was always a passport to freedom. So I got my first bicycle when I was five years old, and I had my parents take the training wheels off it right away. My uncle had a grocery store in downtown center fell, my father used to come home from Hamilton Air Force Base, and he would follow me to the elementary school over this little hill on my 20 inch. I’m surprised he still had a clutch in the car. And once he they were confident that can ride to school and back, I was allowed to ride everywhere I wanted to so I would ride down just downtown center fell right up in the hills and everything else. So for me cycling was always a passport to freedom. And then later on I started racing in 1971 and was part owner of a bicycle shop in Sausalito called lone sample bikes and I met a man named Joe breeze. And we hit it off right away and we’re racing together. And later on in October of 1973. So we’re racing on the road all over Northern California. And we’re very much into old bikes, which meant real old bikes like I worked a whole summer for free at a bicycle shop and Sander fell in the mid 70s To earn an ordinary and 1881 bike that I still have that’s at the Marine Museum of bicycling. Sona, October of 73, a man named Mark Vendetti, who was a little bit with the larkspur Canyon gang and knew about the old clunkers there people were riding on Mount tam introduced us to mountain bikes. And that’s when we started riding these single speed yo pre World War Two Schwinns because that high bottom brackets, and also setting pin dropouts, so allowed you to adjust the chain very well and keep it in a good spot. And that was our ticket to mount Tam. So I’ve lived in my entire life with a place with a view of Mount tam so it’s a very special place for me. Yeah. And that was the beginning for us of mountain biking.

Jeff 2:36
Yeah. Wow. Well, I mean what was your interest in old bikes at the time?

Otis 2:42
Just because of the beauty and the ingenuity and real all all the advances in cars and everything else these people were bicycle frame builders or designers the first ball bearings was made by a bicycle manufacturer so just you know the beauty of old bikes the you know the 28 inch, yo yo single tube, tire bikes, wood rims, the high wheelers. You know, Joe and I went to the Stanford Historical Society and found old pictures of the sander fell Willman in 1898 Of course we couldn’t get the photos you know copied because we’re both going in there with long hair so for my mom asked me what I wanted for a birthday gift I said I’d like these three pictures get copies of and my mom went there and the other older women there then didn’t allow her to make copies of these photos and I still have those photos. So they weren’t they weren’t being cooperative with us they didn’t let us look into books and look through stuff to find old cycling stuff they’ll just always into bicycles like I say you know passport to freedom road to high school road all dead got a merit badge for us cycling I remember calling my mom from Point Reyes you know when I was like a 12 years old on like a 50 mile bike ride just to check in the you know, make sure I was still alive. Yo on my I think that was probably a Schwinn Varsity then so this is breeze Vendetti all of us were into bikes forever. We weren’t going to start just driving a car and abandoned bison.

Jeff 4:12
Yeah, sounds like you were obsessed. I mean, like, was it the historical nature of those bikes? Or I mean, how did they ride like were they fun to ride?

Otis 4:20
You don’t realize how low the trees are on a small roads. Because you know, I’m I was six, six, I’m probably shrunk down to six, five. Yo, so you’re, you’re pretty high up on those bikes. It’s just fun. Just the the craftsmanship, the workmanship of with what the tools they had to use. It’s just bicycle history is very fascinating. So it was long. Good.

Jeff 4:47
Interesting. So what was it about riding off road that appealed to you? I mean, it sounds like it’s kind of in the same vein, you like different things, different bikes and exploring places. I mean, is that what it was? Was this like a new world for you riding off road?

Otis 5:01
Well, it was it was more to do with because we rode off road but the you know, you’re just on your own without whatever your 20 inch bike or even just a three speed and we used to ride our, our road bikes with silk tires up, you know the railroad grade mount tam regularly and that different area. But remember, the roads were much smoother because they were not bicycles. And there was not suspension, you know, the suspension begets more bumps. So, as time went on, we started riding the mountain bikes from braking and everything else that would cause more bumps, but just a way to enjoy the mountain. Those were also the drought years and we’re in County when we had a beard drought. So for us these bicycles were you’re not riding silk tires, you’re not riding a five speed bike that you have to maintain. You just can ride these old Schwinns with a Morrow, rear brake, yo, hub, pedal hub, and some simplicity not worrying about flats, and riding on all these great trails all over Mount Tam. So what’s your what’s not to like? Yo was like, you know, the best way to get out there. And then I started working at the fire department in late 1974 and 75. I was hired there for San Cisco Fire Department. And Joe and I were always into bicycles as transportation also. And that was why we tried to break the transcontinental record twice in 76 and 79. So if you can get across the country in 11 days, why can’t you go to the supermarket and get a quart of milk. So that was also part of the but drought years. Also there was a man that was killing people in the bay area called the trailside killer. So nobody was on Mount Tam. So we had it all to ourselves. So it was it was pretty nice.

Jeff 6:44
Yeah, you weren’t worried about running into the the trailside killer?

Otis 6:47
He killed people at Trailhead. So when we get to like trail heads, we just hit it hard on the bikes and then just keep going. He was usually killing people that were you know, was a couple. Even in the old days, we used to go out to Point Reyes National Seashore and ride those trails out there. And I keep saying seeing the same car in the parking lot and be like this car’s been here for like three or four months. Well, that turned out to be a car of a couple that was murdered, was like okay, well, I’m not a ranger, and I’m noticing the car there. How are you guys not noticing this? Anyways, they finally did figure that out and did find the poor couple.

Jeff 7:19
Oh, wow. Wow. Well, so, you know, we’ve heard a lot about the early mountain bikes and how those compared to today’s bikes. I’m curious too, about the early trails, like what were the trails like that you were riding on Mount Tam, back then compared to some of the purpose built mountain bike trails that that people are building today?

Otis 7:39
Well, the trails were yo if you saw us wearing, you know, we did not wear flannel shirts, Levi’s, and hiking boots when we wrote our road bikes, you know, so the reason we were you know, in garden clubs, the reason we were doing that was because the trails were really not much more than handlebar with. This is the time of Chin Chin fix, who put out the running book to really get people to do stuff more outside and running on trails. So people did not exercise or embrace the outdoors to such a wide extent. So the trails were not well maintained. And that’s, you know, if you build you went into the Manzanita and I’ve seen many times like Joe’s over the handlebars with his head, you’re stuck in the Manzanita and I’m yanking him out by his ankles, you have to get back on the bike. So it was very different. You’re not on suspension, we really learned our foot position really well because you could not freewill, you could not move your your foot back because that’s what made the brakes, the bicycle stops. So we had a fixed foot position that really allowed you to learn how to move your feet and control the bike that way, but keep the same place so it was really high school level and we’re young so we’re going down all these you know, pretty good little rock drops and stair drops. And we were making them all the time. In fact, the first American journalist Elon Mohan, the cover the Tour de France, wrote an article in VeloNews and he compared us to you’re asking for forgiveness from the Lord because if we like we did a dab we like said Yo, yo, yo, dab here DAB they’re like our confession because the whole goal was never to put your foot down.

Jeff 9:23
Yeah, yeah, I bet that was tough on those trails. I mean, it sounds like they weren’t they weren’t built to be easy. I mean, was was the challenge. Was that part of the fun as well?

Otis 9:33
Yeah, that was part of the fun and also just to say, you know, we did know the trails from hiking there as kids and for me and the Boy Scouts, but you know, we still brought trail maps and that a lot of trails were not well marked. And when we first found Kent trail shoes, we did that like eight days in a row, you know, because there’s this absolutely cold trail with these big stairs and we both Joe and I cleaned the stairs the very first time we went down down it, so we’re just it had more to do With what you’d have to do to do an all day hike, we could do it on these bicycles in two and a half hours. And 10 Joy mount tam to enjoy the views, Offseason training from racing road bikes, all, you know, spring through the fall. This is our wintertime, our wintertime fun. And then also, we realize these bikes, most people don’t want to be on drop bars with skinny tires. Why not be with an upright bicycle and a comfortable saddle and an easier bike to ride. So that was were working at the fire department, these old guys, if you care less about cycling, you’ll thought these bikes were fun. It’s like okay, we have kind of normal people that don’t care about bikes, that kind of thought, hey, this would be a fun bike to ride that really piqued our interest, not just for mountain biking for just regular riding.

Jeff 10:56
Yeah. Well tell us how you got into building bike frames.

Otis 11:01
I was with Joe the the Oh, Joe took a frame building class from the premier American frame builder by the name of Albert eyes and trout. Yo foo for us was, you know, in a sense that he Merricks of framebuilding. He built Joe in my first term that we use in the 76 trip and that we won the Davis double century for four years. And in the fifth year, we use the Tom Ritchie bike. So Joe took his class to the second class with a frame builder named Mark noble. So Joe built his first bike there, chose history. His father was the first man he raced in the first sports car race in America, and used to bring in old MGT C’s, and he had a complete machine shop, it used to be at a place called sportscar center. And when that went away, he brought the machine shop to his house. So Joe has a beautiful Italian lathe, and was always into that and took a machine shop classic calls from rings. So his first bike he built at Albert’s class and the second bike he built, which for me, is the road bike and the third bike was for Mark Vendetti. And later on, I was helping Joe. You’ll do frames, clean tubes and that type of stuff. And I got tired of working in bike shops while the fire department. I had my own ideas of of frame building sloping top tubes do steeper angles. And I want to express myself artistically. And I started building frames in 1982. So I’ve been building frames for 40 years now.

Jeff 12:34
Wow. And so I imagine a lot of these were mountain bikes too, like did you kind of evolve your designs over time. And then like far

Otis 12:42
more rode bikes in the beginning. More, you’re more mountain bikes. You’ll later on actually raced I’m the only person who raced and repack and actually went to repack and racing the first national mountain bike championships in 1983. into a race in the first UCI World Championships. And even in the I had already built myself a mountain bike in 83. But I use the one I got one of the 10 Breezers that Joe made after he made his original one that’s at the Smithsonian. And I use that Breezer in that race and I actually used a prototype height right, the very first one made, there was like a very, you know, ugly looking piece of square aluminum with a respring. And you know, on the seat post and so I used I want to have the first you’ll modern mountain bike, you’ll be in the first national championships.

Jeff 13:34
Yeah, that’s very cool. Yeah, I have one of those high rates that somebody somebody tracked down and yeah, that’s such a cool thing that the prototype dropper post, basically for those who don’t know it. So what do you think as a frame builder about sort of this current trend towards slacker mountain bike head to bangles? Is that Is that a good development? Or do you think we’re getting to slack?

Otis 13:57
If I’m the wrong person to ask feel since I only write my own frames, it certainly is working people are winning World Championships. You’ll for me, I like a bike that that moves more but you know, now with the advent of very large suspension, you do need something that goes slower. It was more like what you’re you’ve kind of gone back to the bikes we rode, you know, the first yo modern bike built by Joe was off my 41 Schwinn because that was the best handling bike you know with it’s like a 67 You know, head angle you know, so they’re more down to those ranges now so it’s kind of entertaining that they’ve gone back to these like yo dead Schwinns head angles but it certainly does work but I like I like it like this more aggressive but again, remember I’m writing my own bikes. They’re not you know, I don’t have license technology for rear suspension. So I’m writing you know, a tie bike I built with like, you know, a one yo 20 fork or no one for it, which is be a 140 fork, and you’ll access dropper seat post and Al X Just use a one by 12. So with 2.4 tires, so I’m the wrong person to.

Jeff 15:05
That sounds like a really modern bike though.

Otis 15:10
I mean, yeah. It didn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with that, or it is, but it’s probably still got a 71 and a half head angle though.

Jeff 15:14
Wow, interesting. That does sound different.

Otis 15:17
I like things to react when I move.

Jeff 15:20
Yeah, that’s cool. So let’s talk more about some other mountain bike innovations. The Pro mountain bike team you managed was reportedly the first to race full suspension cross country bikes. What were the race courses like in those days? And how did full suspension help?

Otis 15:38
I think the full suspension help it was still it was still early you’ll with Rockshox. And I first saw the soft ride bikes at the First World Championships. And I tried what yo a couple of them out there with other guys from Washington. And then soft, right heard that. So they sent me a beam in a top tube. And I didn’t even commit to building a frame, I cut the top tube out of my regular mountain bike and threw it in there to check it out. And I liked how it went. My night you’ll use this you will I actually did that with a Rock Chalk on the front that Turner gave me to use in the worlds. And I really liked the way it worked. But that still was a transition. I liked that it really had. You didn’t have to worry about pivots. You were suspending the writer. You’re not you know, the bicycle in so I’d say was more of a very early bridge. I mean, I would think most people now kind of look at the soft ride beam and think it would be laughable. But it it did work very well and was definitely smooth out the bumps and made a big difference on cross country races. And we I actually gave Bob roll his last pro contract. And he raised for me in soft right for his last couple years as a professional as a professional racer in anything. He raced to the American the US National Road Championships on a beam road bike, I made him and then he did he raced for two years from me I think probably like 9697 You know, on a on a mountain bike that I built with a beam and then with the suspension stem like dirtiness one, two world championships and unveil and I think Bromont

Jeff 17:21
Yeah, yeah. Fascinating. Well, so you you talked about riding a tandem with Joe Brees. And there’s a mention of two and I’m putting this in quotes two attempts at riding a tandem from San Francisco to New York City, in your mountain bike Hall of Fame induction bio. So tell us about that ride. Did you guys ever make it to New Yorker was it just attempts?

Otis 17:44
We never know, we never did make it. We got to the first time we made it to Lincoln, Nebraska and five and a half days. Okay, cool. So our in our theory proved to be wrong. Our theory was more that you went really hard for 18 hours. And then you’ll slept three to four hours then went again. And that’s proven not to be the case. It’s better just to keep writing forever, even if you’re writing slower and really kind of go for the sleep deprivation. But we were more going for being racers in thinking that was the way to go. Joe Joe is far more talented of a cyclist than I am. But in some senses, he he did not necessarily prepare as well as I did. And each day he was having more troubles with his knees. And he had, you know two episodes of gout. And that so he had to quit both in 76 and 79. But it was really fun to do it. It got a lot of attention. You’re recycling. And it would have been great to make it across the country in like 10 days, but we did not make it.

Jeff 18:51
They’re kind of fascinating to me, because I don’t understand like, is there efficiency to be gained by having two people on one bike? Or would you be stronger like if you guys each had your own bike?

Otis 19:05
You’re much better on the downhills on the flats because you just have more power, okay, where would be run into stuff is more going up hills. So Joe, there used to be somebody that will still exist the Davis double century or 200 and in the early days that was run as a race also. So it was a mass start and they kept times and they had a winner. So Joe and I heard about that when we’re preparing to do the cross country trip and and so in 75 we went up there and what we decided to do was hit the early hills, like you’ll pretty much like 90% and we’re all the other your top yo George Mal was in the race you’ll Pringle a bunch of great racers they’ll mount you know 70 in 1976 with got six in the Olympics, and we hit it hard enough to make the single bikes uncomfortable. And then we had one of the tops of one of the early Hills attacked over the top and took off And we’re able to hold them off but when we had some are going down St. Mount St. Alena, we’re using soaps and that year and it was in the rain was still it’s alone to sit in the tire moved for a tire moved halfway around the rim. So we have to reposition it and we got caught by them right before the bid that was days they had you stopped for an hour for lunch. And then in the second half we dropped them go into by 65 miles miles an hour down to descent, you’ll fashion they wanted to go and were able to solo and so we won that race. You’ll five years straight and I think our best time was like eight hours and 59 minutes.

Jeff 20:37
Wow. Wow. Did you ever ride tandem bikes off road?

Otis 20:42
Yes. My second wife and I Laurel dream this one the the tandem mount Mike national championships in 1993. At Big Bear was actually a male male national championships. And they one person was not letting her come up to the podium because she was a woman was like, Well, we actually won the race. So like that’s, that’s how it goes. But yeah, they’re it’s really fun. I did. You’ll Lorelai did a lot of riots with Dave Wiens and Susan hematite on Mount tam on troop 80 trails and you can view the tandems you can get those things going pretty darn well on the downhill. And on trails.

Jeff 21:20
Yeah, that sounds like a blast. Well, these days, you were on a series of youth mountain bike camps in Northern California. And I’m curious, though, how did you learn mountain bike skills yourself? I mean, as being one of the first, you know, real mountain bikers, how did you figure it all out?

Otis 21:37
Just by doing those trails, and we were, we were all good bike handlers. You know, very good. Yo, very fast road riders, and very good, yo, but you know, breeze Vendetti and I were extremely quick to senators, you know, so you know, you’ll we weren’t any slouches. So I mean, if you’re good at your job, and on the road, you’re going to be good at doing it at mountain biking. And just and we’re just having fun. So, again, not being able to your free will your your foot back and stuff really learned us foot position that really I think really helped. You know, for me, a lot of it’s really steering with the pedals in a sense, that’s why your clipless pedals are so nice. And we transition with toe clips first. But that’s, you know, really being able to move the bike over that way. Really helps. So it’s just a natural if you’re good road descender you should be able to become a you know, a good mic descender like they’ll suddenly Oh, Peter Saigon. What’s your world championship Jr. on the mountain bike? And he became an extremely good road descender. So it still go the opposite way also.

Jeff 22:38
Yeah. Well, so tell us a bit about the camps. What’s sort of the focus of these youth mountain bike camps?

Otis 22:46
Well, I was a firefighter for 33 years, I retired back in 2007. And I started teaching local fire departments, emergency medical services. So I’m still an active paramedic. And I kind of realized that I could make a more more of an impact by teaching the Nissley just by doing. And with my boys, if you take your kids out, you’re by themselves for a bike ride. All they do is complain the entire time. And we had a couple of local families on like your Christmas Eve, we would take the three families and take the kids out for a bike ride. And we’d be doing this well. The kids didn’t complain. They’re all talking, not thinking about riding up the hill not complaining, this is too hard. I have to get off my bike. This is the worst thing ever. Why are you making me do this, like, Oh, you’re killing me here. So from that, that thought I’m like, you know, I’d like to see what I can do to do something fun. And also, it was, for me a lot of the mountain bike camps, you know, they load them in a van and take them different places. Like I don’t want a 12 passenger vans, we’re going to right out of Fairfax. And we’re going to do different trails. And we’re just going to have fun. So I’ve been doing the camp since was I think 2009 or 2010 and have about you know, 180 to 200 kids a year come through the six weeks. And it’s very funny because the parents in the early years, they’d roll up with the kids bike and with their lunch and I’m like, Oh, are you doing the camp? Well, you’re welcome to the camp, you’re gonna have to sign up and everything. Oh, you’re not? Well, they’re doing the kid. They can bring their own bicycle in. They can carry their own lunch and their own helmet. And then the kids would be like, you know, what time is it? Are you launching an IPO today? Do you have a conference call your Why do you care? And it was just more just learning. The kids just stress themselves out. It’s like, we get there when we get there. It’s the summertime just have fun. And I’d give them also part of the history of the area or just look where we are. Yo in Marin County, the views the beauty, everything else and I incorporated one of the things I did when I was a kid. We have these things called the inkwells, that shatters Bridge, which is water from Paper Mill Creek and also from Kent lake. And there’s a couple little inkwell pools. Our last day would be the queen stage. It was like a 25 mile day. We do have dirt out there in everybody get a go swim in the in the inkwells, and then you know, no tools needed just that just air dry and ride back. So it just have them have the Tom Sawyer experience, have them just have fun. So it’s been really fun. My both my boys have helped me like since they were small. And now what one has dropped out Sterling, my older one who’s turned 25 Soon is still helping me out in the summertime doing it. So it’s it’s been kind of a family affair with the two boys and myself and we just have fun.

Jeff 25:51
Yeah, that’s, that’s really interesting. I mean, is it just fun? Are you like trying to trick these kids into like, getting a little bit of fitness and like maybe learning some skills or Oh, no,

Otis 26:01
we write a lot. The parents are all amazed that they we probably averaged about 18 miles a day. Wow. And you’ll sterling is really good to get your we, I learned a lot from the pandemic, you know, we split it, we now split up and we have two distinct groups. So we have different ways before sometimes we mix the groups together. Sometimes we might come back early to Fairfax. Now we just stay out. And we don’t come back till just before we go to a local ice cream shop called the scoop. Yo for this really good ice cream, and then we’re done. So Sterling has had the kids to probably like in these are like 10 year olds do like yo 3500 feet of climbing. And like a 26 mile ride that was like a high school ride is able to coach them through through the day. So we build the kids up little by little. So and we also read the room. If the whole group looks tired, we just adjust the ride. But it’s amazing. The kids member they’re low to the ground. And they’re pretty tough. They do very well.

Jeff 27:08
Yeah. Wow. I mean, it sounds like you’re kind of recreating your own experience with bikes as a kid. And, you know, when you were describing that at the beginning, I was thinking and kids these days, I mean, most parents these days wouldn’t let their child go out and you know, ride their bike to school at five, six years old. Or, you know, just kind of explore around. I mean, do you think is that the issue is that like parents aren’t going to do that on their own. And so this camp kind of allows them to feel comfortable with that.

Otis 27:39
I think that that does help. It also does help us very good. Because the kids, they’ll learn the routes. And I remember one of my first or second year, I think we did one week and then we’re at the park and we see this parent come by. And they’re like her nine year old son took her for like a two and a half hour mountain bike ride. And she said I could hear your voice yo in us like you’ll watch out for this ditch here or whatever in the kid like you’ll hear. So this like nine year old kid, took her all around Mount tam on a ride and knew where to go. She was like, I couldn’t believe it. He was like, yeah, they know where to go. Yeah, it’s things are different. Now. You know, I lived in think a much simpler time when you had you know, you left the house. You didn’t didn’t come back till it was dinnertime, you know, so it’s definitely different. Now, I think those days were much better and let the kids go out and do stuff and explore.

Jeff 28:35
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, speaking of things being different, how do you feel about sort of the current state of trail access in the mountain area for bikes?

Otis 28:45
Oh, it’s very painful. Because here like you’ll mount Tam. And since the birthplace of modern mountain bike, I remember the first mountain bike it’s, you know, was the first bicycle because it was dirt back then it’s always funny to say, you know, who invented mountain biking? It’s like, oh, well, the first bicycle wouldn’t have been getting nowhere. Right? Yeah. So there were no paved roads. Anyways, that’s, that’s a whole nother subject. But we in those years, you just had the old hiking groups that were on Mount Tam, at the Alpine Club at you know, if a TCC in that had their little groups that did it. Then the running boom happened. And the hikers hated the runners running on Mount Tam. And then when we started riding the bicycles, we supplanted the runners and we became the bad people. In those years, though, people rode horses all over mountain, and actually helped maintain the trails. That generation died away a long time ago. I rarely see horses anymore. Just those groups really were very anti bike, you know, so in some senses, we’re kind of one of the worst places and I’m not sure if you’re aware, we open a museum and Fairfax call them red Museum of bike Cycling a few years ago, in a sense, that’s not only to show the culture, the history and everything cycling, but hopefully another brick in the wall to remove this to give us better trail access and Marin County bike coalition access for bikes in the in the past, they’re doing a lot of work to try and get trail access. So we do have trails right behind my house, the Boy Scout camp, this like an eight and a half mile loop. The Tim Rancho trails has been around for a long time there. Marin County, open space or parks made a very cool trail Ponte off a Chicken Shack off of Queenstown. That’s an incredible two way, you know, single track trail. So it’s happening little by little. But you have Sequa and environmental impact reports that sometimes make things very difficult to make happen. So as modern times come through, everything’s a lot more difficult. And one person can say you can’t do this. And they can stop everything from happening. So hopefully someday that’ll change just because someone complains on next door, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something, you know. So yeah, it’s very tough. And we’ve been I’ve been going to water shake meeting since like the mid 70s, or probably early 70s. So there has been progress. I’d say High School, mountain biking has really made a huge difference in that progress. Getting more people out there getting the parents that do the writing, to be more involved in really having these people see these high school writers or middle school writers out in groups, to really see how important this sport is in the access for everybody is, I think that’s something that’s really helping break down those barriers. And also as introducing a lot of people to the passion and love of the sport. And it’s you can’t be playing football when you’re 40 years old, but you still can be cycling. So Nika is really made a huge difference. And I’m the director of the mountain bike Hall of Fame for the last few years. And when I talk to people internationally, they’ve heard of Nikah, and they’ve heard what they’ve done, and are extremely impressed. You’re with that organization?

Jeff 32:15
Yeah. Yeah. It’s great to have that younger generation getting involved. And then I would think to it helps that, you know, you and Joe and a lot of other folks there. You all aren’t the long haired hippies anymore. I mean, you’re the you’re the establishment, right?

Otis 32:31
Well, I don’t have any hair. So I’m certainly not long ago. Right? Well, I’m not sure how establishment we are. But

Unknown Speaker 32:38
I’d say it’s just yeah. You’re older now.

Otis 32:41
We’re, yeah, I’m way older. But yeah, we’re that again. We weren’t ever giving this up. This this is this is our deal. Cycling is very important to our life, get being outdoors important. Bicycles is transportation is important, is the most efficient form of transportation in the world. Yo, so keep it up. We’re Yeah, we’re not we’re not going away.

Jeff 33:02
Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, what’s the one thing that you want today’s mountain bikers to know about the history of mountain biking in our sport,

Otis 33:11
it came from the passion in the fun to ride a bicycle. And to always keep that in your mind and also, what you learned in kindergarten, treat other people like you’d like to be treated, you know? NorCal, you know, early mountain biking, excuse me, the high school mountain biking in the school, I coached that started something called the spirit of howdy. And that is when you see somebody say howdy to them. And I would train my athletes when I coached high school mountain biking, you know is to you see somebody going while you’re going on fire with this hiking, you should be going to speed that you can say hello, and they have enough time to say hello back. So just keep with the passion, share the trails. It’d be nice to people and all works out. Well. Yeah,

Jeff 34:00
that’s great advice. Well, Otis, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us and filling us in on the history of mountain biking. Really appreciate it. Well, you can learn more and see some of Otis his creations at Otis guy cycles.com And we’ll have that link in the show notes. So we’ve got this week, again next week.

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