In December, 2010 there was some discussion on the Classic Rendezvous (CR) email group about Tom Ritchey, the frame-builder and component and tire designer who was a co-founder of the first mountain bike company and built the first large run of mountain bikes ever sold.
The main question on the CR forum was "How does one tell which Ritchey frames were made by Tom himself?"
I've been a fan and friend of Tom's for a long time, so I contacted him directly with the questions, so that hearsay would be replaced with the true facts and history. Tom and I had an extensive back-and- forth, much of it via voicemail as he was traveling in Asia. I've typed up our correspondence, both written and verbal, which explains why it sounds a bit breezy and conversational, and present it here as "Tom Ritchey in his Own Words":
Tom provided lots of historical photos, too, plus some current shots of him brazing a frame, so I hope you enjoy the post!
Yours in sport,
La Jolla, CA