I'm sooooo glad I found this site. I keep up with the cycling world on the road side, but I left the mountainbike side over 10 years ago and a lot has changed since then......
I raced MTB throughout the 90's. At the peak, I raced about 30 events a year. I was a mechanic in a shop and did every project in business school on cycling stuff. Mtnbiking was my life.
My best buddy was a Ritchey P-21 that I bought as a used frame from the manager of another bikeshop in town. It was 'Barney' friggin purple, so I had it professionally media blasted and painted green metalflake. Tom Ritchey provided a new sticker kit for it after a call to his biz. I built the bike with a lot of 'attention to detail' and used good parts. The Gripshift system was literally one of the first 'high end' carbon SRAM systems - I won a preproduction setup at the CABDA bike show in Chicago and installed it on this bike.
A few years ago, during an aborted attempt to get back on the mtb, I dissassembled my old friend and put a lot of my gear on a modern S-Works frame. I hate that frame and just don't like the bike nearly as much as I liked my old green friend.
Though I raced a lot of races on it and countless training miles, I managed to keep the paint in really good shape. I also rust protected the frame, so it should continue to last.
I recently got an invitation from my sister's fiance to ride in a place called Devil's Den when my wife and I go up to see my family on summer vacation. That invitation was just the thing to convince me to get my sweet old ride back together.... May take a couple weeks, but I'll get it done!