But I had been dancing around it the last year. I was good friends with the Ritchey team. The same Ritchey team with Thomas Frishknecht and Hank Djernis. Yeah google search those two names if you really like cx. And yeah this american guy named Don Myrah. So even if I didn't know it at the time I was getting sucked into the cross vortex. But when I knocked on P-Bobs door in Oakland and walked into his house I was blown away. It wasn't a house as much as it was a museum. Bob is an artist. And his house housed his art. You just don't see this in Boston. I don't know why. But he welcomed me in. He made me coffee. He popped in a tape of Worlds and said sit down. He made me watch tape, after tape after tape. That is how people learned about cross. By watching old grainy videos of europeans going bananas on cx bikes. You would catch a glimpse of some poor American rider crashing into the tape while Frishy put on a clinic in descending some sketchy off camber.
Bob took me under his wing. I learned so much from him. There weren't any coaches back then. You just rode the damn bike. Lots. And you focused on doing cross right. My first cross bike was a Rock Lobster that was two sizes too big and had bar con shifters. We had clipless pedals. Frankly sti was just coming out but no one trusted it. Hence the bar cons. Bar end shifters worked great for cross. In some ways its too bad they died out.
But back to P-Bob. I owe him everything. Sure the NECX is amazing. But you can't replicate that first teacher or that first mentor who taught you to love something. It was so good to see a photo of Pineapple. And looking just like he is digging life. Thanks P-Bob for giving me the love of cx.