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New Feature – RetroBike.co.uk – Member profiles

May 15th, 2007
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In the first of a new feature RetroBikes’s social secretary and resident crash merchant James ‘Hilts’ Freeborough caught up with Mike ‘Ameybrook’ Wilk to find out a little bit of background on one of the Retro brotherhood from the U.S.

Personal profile
Name – Mike Wilk
RetroBike Alter Ego – Ameybrook
Age – 27

Mike and his retro lavadome take on durango

JF – Hi Mike and thanks for being the Guinea Pig in the first of our ‘RetroBike.co.uk’ member profiles.

MW – No problem.

click

JF – First off, why ‘Ameybrook’??, you realise that you got some of our brood thinking we’d actually attracted a female member to the site, Jez was about to propose!

MW – haha, ‘Ameybrook’ is the name of one of my favorite riding places back east [Ameybrook State Park, Henniker, NH]. When I first started using the Internet back in 1995, I had no ideas for a username and one of the AOL suggestions was ‘a favorite place of yours,’ so Ameybrook has stuck with me ever since.

JF – So tell us how you first got in to Mountain biking?

MW – I started mountain biking in 1992 when I was 12 years old, my father bought me a Huffy Revolution for Christmas and I rode to and from school. Eventually I took it offroad, and when the local golf course held a race, I decided to enter. Afterwards, I was hooked. Mostly because I didn’t know you could build trails to ride on rather than just bomb through the woods J I raced my Huffy bike all through 1992-93, and that winter I upgraded to a 94 Kona Lava Dome, which began my love affair with bikes and bike parts.

JF – I believe you did quite well in the races?

MW – Well yeah it turns out I was a pretty good racer. I Won the New England Junior Championship multiple times, was sponsored enough to get free bikes, parts, etc when mtb racing was in its heyday. After high school I moved out west to Durango, Colorado, and I won a slew of collegiate titles with Fort Lewis College. I turned pro in 2000, and I guess my ‘career’ highlighted when I went to Worlds as an Espoir in 2001. I won a lot of races, but never really ‘broke through’ so to speak. I still race quite often, and although my license still says pro, I rarely race like one…
JF – Wow, that’s great. Excuse my ignorance but what’s an Espoir ?

MW – Espoir is a designation they give to young riders between junior and senior. They also call it ‘U-23,â€? which is under 23 years of age.

JF – I see, so are you just a Mountain Biker or a general cycling enthusiast?

MW – I’m into all cycling, I currently do most of my racing on the road. I’m on a team with Ned Overend, when he decides to race local anyways. Rubbing elbows with pros and former pros is normality here in Durango though.

JF – Wow, you ride with my hero, anything you can tell us about ‘The Lung’?

MW – No gossip on Ned I’m afraid, ‘the Captain’ stays pretty clean.

JF – So what are trails like where you regularly ride, I’m guessing pretty good?

MW – I’ll send you some ‘Durango’ trail pictures (below), but anyone could find them by googling the town name! We have some pretty epic stuff here.

Durango - sweeeeet

Durango = Niiiiice

JF – Tell us a bit about your bike history:

MW – Well as I mentioned I started out racing on a 1992-93 – Huffy Revolution, I then moved on to a 1994 Kona Lava Dome which was what led me to RetroBike all those months ago, then the list reads as follows ,
1997 – 1995 Kona Hei Hei
1997 – Voodoo Djab
1998 – K2/Proflex Team
1999 – 2000 – Schwinn Homegrown
2001 – Yeti ARC
2002 – K2 Zed Team Hardtail
2003 – Present – 3d Custom

JF – and what does your current Retro fleet look like?

MW – I have My 1994 Lava Dome which has been featured in BOTM, and also a 1986 Fat Chance and a 1989 Wicked Fat Chance which are in various stages of building..

JF – Ok, honestly now are your RetroBikes garage queens or regular rides?

MW – I don’t necessarily ‘ride’ retro, I ride too fast J However, they are certainly not garage queens. I’ve got enough appreciation from where the technology came from to take them out and ride them easy, and remember how things were BITD. Basically, I only take on a project if it has some sentimental meaning. Biking has taught me more lessons than all the schools I’ve gone through, and its nice to invoke memories of flipping through MBAs and savoring over the Ringle parts I couldn’t afford. I like seeing a forgotten, abused frame that would have been lusted over by someone get some TLC so it could live again.

JF – I think that’s the drive for a lot of RetroBikers and a noble cause it is too. So what’s next on the Retro front ??

MW – I really don’t have any future projects…if the price was right and a Breezer popped up, I might take it on, but I need to finish the Wicked first! Having two projects going at the same time is tough. I put a lot of time, effort, and money into them!

JF – That sounds a familiar story, I think you share that with everyone else on the site. Thanks for your time Mike and I hope we see you on the UK trails some time in the future!

MW – No problem, and maybe one day the RetroBike.co.uk meet will take place at Durango…

JF – Now there’s an Idea !!!

If you want to ask Mike a question about any of the above you can post it on the thread below.

Note 1 – Mike now works for NASA in their aero-dynamics division, in 2020 he hopes to be the first man to pull a wheelie on the Moon !!

Note 2: If any of the regulars would like to volunteer to be our next highlighted member please PM me (racing prowess is not a requirement.)
Thanks for reading !!!!

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