THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW HORST'S FACE

TODD BROWN hero


DUE TO THE RECENT FIRES IN ALISO WOODS MANY TRAILS ARE CLOSED.  So, I found myself at the bottom of Rocket and decided to head on up as the lower portion of Coyote is verboten.  Rocket is a difficult trail to ride down and nigh impossible to ride up because of a quarter of mile section of rough rock (the pictures don't do it justice).  But, 25 years ago, on our rigid MTBs, Surfergirl and I stopped in awe as a 50 year old man (FIFTY!!!!) was riding his bike UP! Rocket.

He introduced himself and his incredible machine.  Horst Leitner was a myth to me, and the bike a whisper.  Somewhere out there was said to be a full-suspension mountain bike with a disc brake on the front.  We'd only seen pictures up to this point.  And here we were with the man and the machine himself.

Here was living proof that full suspension mountain bikes were coming and they'd change the way we rode forever.  Someone I considered way beyond his riding years was riding up an impossible trail and making it look easy.

As I picked my way up the trail tonight two things bounced around me noggin:  one, I'm older than Horst was 25 years ago... so maybe 50 ain't what it used to be; two, why in the heck am I riding a hardtail!

Here's a great example of that amazing bike.  I wanted one so bad, but it was out of my range.  Something I could only dream about.   

Horst sold the patent to the rear suspension to this little company called Specialized.  It's still in use.

Here's a link to more of his amazing inventions

... I love capitalism.

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