It happens: that blissful epiphany following the mandatory journey to get there - bike on rack, rumble of van, banter of the bike-obsessed and gravity-enthused, sway of ascending turns with dude-ness intermittently plaguing the air (that can't be myyyyy helmet) - pass all that and euphoria seems to uncontrollably boil over after a few arcs into dirt perfection. You get it. Life isn't really all that bad. In fact, it's good. Quite good. Ok, it's cheating.
Bill and Sue Roussel bring that enlightenment to you and it couldn't be easier, all you have to do is show up to the door of Ashland Mountain Adventures in Ashland Oregon. If you know what I'm talking about, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, you haven't lived life. You really haven't.
But there's more to it even than the sensation of it can't get better, but it DOES get better as you smoothly sail down the slopes of Mount Ashland tying loam to duff to clay to granular in twists that don't tire and strangely don't tire you - there's a future. Bill and Sue are part of that future.
Having pulled up their Salinas roots and gained year-round permanence several years ago, Bill and Sue have wholeheartedly, unquestioningly, and relentlessly poured their very being into Ashland. Need proof? Last weekend over 30 volunteers showed up to work high mountain trails into perfection before being put to bed for winter beneath a blanket of snow. Bill is an active board member of the Ashland Woodlands & Trails Association, helping mobilize the work force while both he and Sue shovel alongside those who also care. They run the Ashland Mountain Challenge, juggling shuttles, entries, organization, timing, all last minute needs with a smile. Go out for a beer and you might just find the pair sharing a laugh and good times with friends and clients (it becomes impossible to discern - who doesn't want to be part of this?) downtown after a full day of shuttles. It's more than a job, it's life. It's what they live for.
Fast doesn't even begin to describe Bill. It seems like it isn't a Sea Otter Classic if I haven't seen him and if I have, he's already both tamed and shamed the treacherous slalom course - it's his home turf after all. Mention his name and you'll witness a solemn air nod of reverence to a shred of yore. Sue couldn't be a kinder nor more positive person - catch a warm smile and shuttle ride up from her and you know the world is a good place. And that's just it, life's good. So clamber aboard, grab another shuttle and muse over what type of detergent you're going to employ on those odious pads and thank Bill and Sue for making life better - one shuttle, event, and trail day at a time.
Name: Bill & Sue Roussel
Home Shop and City: Ashland Mountain Adventures, Ashland Or.
Favorite WTB or Freedom product:
Or, favorite WTB or Freedom related memory (please elaborate):
Sue: Tires - any Bill puts on my Bike! A smiling Mark Weir sitting on my shuttle while I'm driving. Worse WTB moment: WTB Christmas party 2007, Bill got hammered on Tequila and got in the Pixie Bike Race and wrecked everyone!
Bill: 2002 Mutano Raptor, It's tattooed on my right calf. After riding up Mt. Tam with Weir and crew, I was walking by Fred's office when he asked me...”Hey, what would you like in a tread design, I gave him my ideas and there was the Mutano Raptor.
Favorite memory: Riding my WTB Phoenix in Mill Valley, finishing at WTB and hanging with the crew there still stands out. I really dig all the memories though.
Bill Roussel, barrels good.
Sue: Time Warp, Catwalk, Toothpick, Caterpillar, BTI
Bill: Hell Ride 2005, Weir went the wrong way and I almost caught up!
Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?
Sue: 1992, boyfriend bought me a bike, Loved the sport, dumped the boyfriend, and kept the MTB friends!
Bill: 1995, Broken Knee cap, leg started to get real weak and doc said I needed a low impact sport, I don't think he meant Downhill MTB racing :) Good folks in my area that loved MTB riding, it was contagious!
No more boyfriend yet still the mountain bike - Sue's got things figured out.
Tube or Tubeless, why?
Sue: Tubeless, because thats what Bill wants.
Bill: I have been setting my wheels up tubeless sense 2002 and it was not easy back then! Weir insisted it was the way to go. The gas station I was at when I first tried told me to leave after using their air compressor for an hour and spilling Stans all over there floor multiple times! I flat tubes every time I ride with one.
3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
Sue: Cell Phone for pics, Best friend, if they'll ride.... matching sunglasses to bike, trail running dog.
Bill: GPS (for Strava reasons,) Shoes, Helmet
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
Sue: Bills dog Pete' (Jack Russel) took on 3 Coyotes at one time, and won!
Bill: Flatting on 3rd Divide in Downieville, losing the nut to the Quick Release, then using a Toe strap on a flat pedal that you get with a new bike to hold it to the fork leg and riding the rest of the way to town!
Good Trail Stewardship. Over 30 volunteers showed up to make it happen for Ashland's trails. Thanks to Jimmy James at KONA for the pizza, Dave Fish Paterson for his tools and trailer, and Ray from Caldera Brewing Co for the beer. Photo: Sue Roussel
Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Sue: Good Trail Stewardship
Bill: Carry all the things you need on a ride, tubes, pumps, tools... so I don't have to keep saving your asses!
From shuttles to races to trail days, Bill and Sue make it happen for Ashland, all with a smile.
Left my wallet in… (fill it in):
Sue: Dakine pack and could not find it for a week:)
Bill: Yuba river at the Downieville Classic while doing the river jump.
Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?
Come to Ashland, come in our store, (Ashland Mountain Adventures) get a map and jump on our shuttle, rent a bike and Ride! Ride! Ride!
If your seat, grips or tires need replacing, we have all of the WTB stuff you will need to make every ride a Great one!
A momentary still frame in an otherwise non-stop blur of speed. Bill lives to ride. FAST.