Living Like Mark Weir in Marin…

Words Jon Harris
Photos Abner Kingham
Video Allen Bissell and Brian Raphael
Date May 28, 2015

A lot of bike companies, especially smaller ones, feel like a family or a group of really good friends. Often this is literally true with family members on staff or people who’ve known each other since childhood. WTB meets that standard and for a week every year they invite outsiders from the mountain bike world into their family to show them the inner workings. They call it the WTB Throwdown. Riding is the focus but it also involves a heady dose of RC cars, pump track shredding, eating and drinking. All the right ingredients for a good time.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California

WTB headquarters are in Marin County, California, the birthplace of mountain biking.

WTB is based in Mill Valley, Marin County – the birth place of modern mountain biking – and the sport still has strong roots in the area. Just a short drive away in Novato is the home of Mark Weir; he who eats big rides for breakfast. Mark is an important part of the WTB crew and he’s been a big part of the push for retooling the WTB tire range. He’s also been the guinea pig for the various prototypes. He is an aggressive rider who pushes his equipment hard.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California

Some fast arses have graced these saddles.

Speaking of teammates, people tend to wonder why certain geographic areas produce a core of shredders on bikes. While the minerals in the water supply may have something to do with it, having riders around to push you to the wall is undoubtedly a factor. Case in point is Mark Wier and his crew of riders in the Novato area. This hard charging group has produced certified rippers like Ben Cruz and Marco Osbourne.

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The grin on Ben Cruz’s face says it all. A day of shuttles and ripping on bikes lays ahead.

Progression is key for these guys and they are lucky enough to know someone with land that allows them to build trails they can push themselves on. Trails that recreate elements of the riding they see at races around the world. High speed alpine style fall line rips flow into tight and twisty tree-lined off camber lines with switchbacks thrown in. Exactly the kind of riding you need to do when preparing for a season of racing the Enduro World Series.

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Mark dropping into one of the private trails on “The Ranch”. With views of San Francisco on a clear day, this unreal location is where Mark and his riding crew practice their craft.

I will let the photos and video do the rest of the talking,  but suffice to say that this little glimpse into the world of WTB had me thinking about how I could have a back yard like Weir’s.

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Cannondale was on hand with their Jekyl and Trigger bikes to ride.

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Marco Osbourne is a newer addition to the local riding crew and one to watch. He rides the front of his bike hard in the turns but here shows us an alternative cornering technique.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California, Ben Cruz

Another of Weir’s proteges, Ben Cruz. Ben is a strong contender in the EWS series and is super aggressive on the bike.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California, Jerome Clementz, Nathan Riddle

One of the private trails on “The Ranch” near Novato features a flat out alpine style top section where riders like Jerome were getting close to 50mph!

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WTB’s new tire is called the Riddler, named after team rider and all-around great guy Nate Riddle.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California, Jerome Clementz

Jerome Clementz shows us some of his cross training skills.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California

Mark Weir’s back garden is nicknamed the Peacock Pit for good reason.

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Weir’s back yard pump track is insane. Long and really well built with multiple line options. Hours of fun if you have the energy.

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Marco Osbourne showing the style of Weir’s back yard pump track.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California

A gaggle of brand new RC cars were placed in the hands of the hacks for a demolition derby.

2015 WTB Thowdown, Novato, California

Things got serious on the RC track with the hotshots showing the pretenders how it is done.

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Comments

tuskalooa
0
tuskalooa  - May 30, 2015, 12:38 a.m.

Legend(ary)

Reply

jasonz
0
JasonZ  - May 29, 2015, 5:55 a.m.

Partying and throwin down with Weir and family looks amazOrs! Love me some WTB! Sick compound MW! Question. What WTB saddle does Weir ride?

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