Joe Breeze and Otis Guy can't wait for the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Museum to be finished.
Fairfield locals Bob Stout, left, and Stan Rosenfeld, center, chat with Otis Guy. Stout and Rosenfeld had stopped by to get a sneak peak.
Julie Furtado's GT sled.
Jimmy Deaton's Yeti ARC.
1981 Specialized Stumpjumper #56.
An early Joe Breeze Breezer.
1941 Schwinn DX "Excelsior" that Joe Breeze saved from an Antioch junkyard.
The Mona Lisa of the mountain bike universe hangs over the sparsely filled book shelves.
Construction continues on the new office.
Joe Breeze inside the new home of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.
Their faces light up and the years seem to disappear because the conversation has touched on a subject near and dear to their hearts—descending. This pair has been ripping descents around Marin for almost their entire lives, and considering they’re both more than 60, that’s saying something.
I have driven north out of San Francisco to Fairfax to visit the future home of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, and I’m sitting with Joe Breeze and Otis Guy, two of the guys who put the pack in the repack. For those of you who’ve been under a rock, the museum is moving from Crested Butte to Marin. It was originally established in Colorado 25 years ago, but needed a new home. Marin, which sits in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais, was an easy choice. It is, after all, the birthplace of mountain biking.
While chit chatting I try to get Breeze or Guy to admit the museum should have been here all along. They aren’t biting. They sing the praises of the original husband and wife team, Don Cook and Kay Peaterson-Cook. But they are obviously happy the museum has come home to roost.
Since this pair has been interviewed by every bicycle publication on the planet about their history and the history of mountain biking, I try to ask them about anything but.
We talk about the state of the group ride.
“People don’t know how to ride bikes anymore,” Otis says. “I don’t know if there are more Type A personalities?”
How getting older changes your riding patterns.
“I just try to have fun with it,” Breeze says. “I have my places where I like to go fast. I have my fast spots. I might go a little slower between my fast spots, but at my fast spots I’m going all out.”
About their experiences coaching the Drake High School Mountain Bike Team.
“If it was up to me no high school kids would be racing carbon fiber,” says Guy, the coach. “We try not to push the need for fancy parts,” says Breeze, the mechanic. “Just ride the bike.”
I want to know what goes through their minds while they are pedaling.
“I am always thinking about the design of bike parts,” Breeze says. “And frame design ideas. I probably forgot more ideas and stuff then I put paper to pencil with.”
The stories just seem to pour out as they reminisce about working together at Mom’s Apple Bike Shop as young men and their shared love of all things Campagnolo. Guy tells the story about being young and wanting a pair of Campy cranks so bad that he signed up for a science experiment at UCSF involving a bike trainer, exertion and his blood. He recalls seeing the clear tube filling with his blood and then blacking out. He eventually got back on the bike, finished the hour long test, earned his $75 and bought those cranks.
The pair go on to discuss who was a high flange hub guy and who was a low flange guy. They rattle off the names of famous riders and framebuilders. They discuss tandems and steel vs. carbon fiber. They talk about how Joe is still designing bikes and Otis is still building them. They reminisce about records set, rides taken and bikes loved.
They are old friends and I could sit and listen to them all day. But there is work to be done. Things to be built. Plans to implement. A museum to open. So when exactly is this new museum going to open?
They’re working on it.