I lived and raced in California for most of the 90's and met a few pro's, builders and industry folks:
- Tom Ritchey (I used to ride past his house twice a week)
- Thomas Frischknecht used to visit a bit and I once saw him speak, and talked to him at a bike shop in Palo Alto
- Shari Kain used to ride the mid-week 'Valley Ride' a few times... she and I both got shelled off the back once. I pulled her all the way back into the peloton with her encouragement. If you don't know or haven't seen Shari Kain - Wow! You should
- Bart Brentjens raced several times in the Surf City Cyclocross series at the time he was World Champion. And dragged all our asses all around after him. That was fun!
- Daryl Price was a local
- Don Myrah was a local (and I bought a pair of XTR M900 cranks off him once)
And of course at my 'local' International race - the Sea Otter - well, you'd just be bumping into everybody all the time. Especially in the early days it was a bit of a party atmosphere and you could just say 'Hi' to big-name stars... I was at the very first Sea Otter and subsequent ones, but by the 4th year it had (in my opinion) outgrown itself and become snotty/elitist.
How about the industry guys?
Keith Bontrager occasionally hung out at Surf City CX races and you'd of course say 'Hi' - especially as I was riding one of his bikes at the time!
- I was sponsored by Rock Lobster the following 3 years, so Paul Sadoff is/was well known
- And what about an all-round excellent guy Bob Seals? Inventor of the 'Cool Tool'? I still have mine, the only one I've ever owned, almost 15 years on... and it is the single best thought out, durable, best engineered piece of on-ride bike tool weaponry on the Planet.
And I almost forgot...
I met and rode with George Mount (big road/track star from the time when I was about 5 years old apparently) at the San Jose Hellyer Veldorome once.