“I am a hearty and seasoned cyclist with nearly two decades of experience. I will not play the elitist card but I will give you frank yet down to earth advice on what sort of bike work you need. If you need a quick cheap fix for your bike, I can help you out. If you need custom work for a continental voyage, I can take care of you as well. One way or another, distances both short and long, I want you to Ride Yr Bike!”
For the time being, Ride Yr Bike is one person in a garage with a serious passion for bicycles. That person is me! My name is Nathan Jones and I grew up outside of a small farm town in Missouri. I got into mountain bike racing when I was 13 and was absolutely eaten up with every aspect of the culture. Every weekend we’d load up in a van and go ride trails, afterwards the local shop would buy us all pizza. They were was some of the best years of my life and it turns out it was due to two things, bikes and good people! Okay, make that three things when you add the food in!
I worked in bike shops in Missouri and Texas until I was 19, after 6 years in the industry I had lost a lot of the passion for what I was doing. I was living in Houston, TX at the time, not exactly the most inspiring place in the world. I worked the following years waiting on tables and warehousing, less than exciting. When I was 23 I abandoned Texas and moved to Portland, mostly on a whim. I was astonished to see all the cyclists in town, it was bad, I was overcome with severe bike envy for YEARS. After four years of fair weather commuting I realized I needed to seriously embrace the bicycle again.
While I bike commuted in Portland, I hardly embraced the bicycle. My bike was generally cobbled together and I would always keep it running just good enough to get me there and back as I could always just walk or bus the couple miles of commuting. All of that changed in a matter of a few months and my passion for the bicycle was rekindled like no other! In 2008 I had yet another warehouse job in a fridge with a 12 mile commute. It was really tough to find the inspiration to ride to work year round through the Portland weather AND work in a refrigerator moving boxes of produce for 10-12 hours a night. Day in and day out, a 25 mile round trip commute in PDX is not something to sneeze at, though I’ve heard of folks who do 50 and 100 mile commutes (ouch!). I wanted to find a big ride that would force me to use the 25 mile commute plus the long shifts moving tons of cold produce every night to some sort of benefit.
Enter the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDBMR) and Tour Divide. The GDMBR is a big long route that traverses the continental divide from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The nearly 3000 mile route is raced yearly in a race known as Tour Divide. Racers travel self supported with minimal gear over vast distances with few to no services. It’s an off the books race, there’s no prize money. The first year I was able to finish, the second year I put in an even faster time, but had to quit half way through for a number of personal reasons. Mostly I pushed it too far to fast with not quite the right gear. All in all in the past 5 years I’ve ridden thousands of miles of completely self supported training and endurance racing. Most recently I did a self supported solo race, or ITT, of Oregon section of the Adventure Cycling Assocation’s Transamerica Trail. This was a self supported 740 mile ride I knocked out in four days back in August.
So seriously, enough of my credentials, in October of 2013 I decided to fully rededicate myself to the bicycle and get back into the industry. I have my hopes and dreams of where I’d like it to take myself and others, but for the time being here’s the deal. I am a hearty and seasoned cyclist with nearly two decades of experience. I will not play the elitist card but I will give you frank yet down to earth advice on what sort of bike work you need. If you need a quick cheap fix for your bike, I can help you out. If you need custom work for a continental voyage, I can take care of you as well. One way or another, distances both short and long, I want you to Ride Yr Bike!