6: Apple Orchard Days

a gravenstein

After a couple years up in the hippie/hinter lands of Mendocino, Ibis headed down to Sebastopol to be closer to people, supplies and the bay area. Scot bought an apple orchard (delicious Gravensteins), and then built a shop. He and his wife lived in a 26’ travel trailer, and lots of people camped out. That was the home of Ibis until 1988 when we picked up and moved into a much bigger shop closer to the town of Sebastopol.

Good times were had though, here are a few period pieces to give you a visual.

We made the front cover of the NORBA News, and we even have have an outtake.

You can see that we started making road bikes, and had really bad taste in clothing. Some of the facial hair and the head mop had been tidied up a bit too. I guess we were moving from the Dead to Depeche Mode.

In August, we always had an apple harvest and juice making party. There is nothing like fresh gravenstein juice. The toilet was well used during these parties.

shop in orchard

We had lots of good parties, here’s the legendary Bruce Gordon visiting with his sidecar.


1984 rockhopper

We did lots of racing back in those days, there was a lot fun grass roots events to attend. In our back yard was the Rockhopper, here’s the ’84 shirt done by our pal Art Read.

We’d been building not only road bikes but cross bikes too. Here’s Chuck (Scot’s nickname) in a cross race we think in Tilden Park.



Here are a couple great photos from the Fat Tire Flyer, about the Punk Bike Enduro race that was held every winter in Santa Rosa’s Annadel State Park. To the left we have the pursed lips of Scot Nicol, making sure Tom Read is scoring the racer properly. To read Tom's article about the race, click on the image for a nice downloadable PDF.

Check out the race format, 8 stages and a whopping 12 miles covered. We should do more like this! This is absolutely one of our favorite pictures from this era. Maury "the man with the story" Cohen took these pictures during the PBE.

The picture below shows, left to right, Wes Williams, Gordon Burns, Joe Breeze and Scoboni (Ross Shafer of Salsa). LOVE IT!

Click the image above for a PDF.

Those beautiful race machines

Mountain Bike magazine (RIP as of late last year), before it was owned by Rodale was based out of Crested Butte Colorado, and run by Hank Barlow and Kim Schappert (Kim is a current Mojo rider-yeah Kim!). We have a nice little article titled "Those Beautiful Race Machines", below.


The Rockhopper was one of the bigger races anywhere in the early days. Up to 600 people participated, like the Punk Bike Enduro, it too was held in Annadel, close to Sebastopol. If you’ve been around bikes since the early days, check out the attached PDF of the results from the 1995 Rockhopper, held on May 19th, 1985. It’s a totally who’s who of off road cycling, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Joe Murray, Fary Fisher (SIC) down in 62nd. And a whole bunch more. Click on this image to download the whole PDF. It's pretty interesitng!

Here are a couple of pictures of the ’85 race from Erik Gordon Bainbridge’s mountain bike roots site. That's Roy Rivers leading Joe Murray, but you can see from the results above that they switched places by the end of the race ( Joe Murray loves his Mojo by the way-Yeah Joe!). Mitch and Rob Nilson are on the right, love those bikes!

rockhopper race


One of the other huge races each year was the Whiskeytown Downhill. The race took the winner just shy of three hours, and it was definitely not all downhill. It was one of the more epic races on the calendar. Although there was more descending than climbing, there was plenty of climbing to be had. We couldn't find any pictures from this race. If you have any, send them to askchuck at ibis and we'll put them up.

whiskeytown downhill


The precursor to the Mammoth Kamikaze, one of the most legendary mountain bike race series we’ve ever seen, was the Plumline Outback Ultimate Kamikaze. If memory serves us it was a three stage event, including a downhill that ended in Bishop, an observed trials stage and a cross country race. Scot won the overall that year. The next year the whole race moved to Mammoth, and was called the Plumline 7500, a 50 mile race that got above 11,000 feet. The most memorable part of that event was Cindy Whitehead breaking her seatpost 1 mile into the race and doing the next 49 standing up… then won the race.

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