From the Top: Building Ritchey

The story of how a humble man played a major part in disrupting the cycling industry.

by Wade Wallace

Welcome to the first episode of 2022. I’m thrilled to bring to you a living legend of the sport, Tom Ritchey. Not only is Tom one of the founding fathers of mountain biking, but he’s also a master frame and component builder, innovator, and entrepreneur.

Researching this episode and trying to put a timeline together to extract the major business milestones that Tom has been through was a bit of a daunting task. There’s so much there. He’s been in business for 50 years and as modest a business as he’s intentionally kept it, it hasn’t always been a straightforward journey.

So much of Tom’s story has already been documented and I didn’t want to just do that again. In fact, I can’t do justice to telling Tom’s intertwined life and business journey in a podcast of any reasonable length. But as it turned out, what came out of Tom during our interview ended up being so much better. At this point in Tom’s life I found him incredibly reflective on his experiences, with the benefit of years of hindsight and perspective.

To find out more about Tom’s journey through Rwanda as referenced in the episode, you can read Land of Second Chances.

Thank you to Malcolm Bloedel for producing this episode and Ashley de Neef for composing the music.

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