Team WTB rider Roy Rivers, tearing up the Annadel course with a smile.
The Rockhopper Races held at Annadel State Park in the early 80's were pretty legendary. Many mountain bike greats showed up and shredded the great trails that are still legal and easily accessible today in Santa Rosa, CA. The '83 Rockhopper was one of the events that unofficially exposed Joe Murray, who took fourth and then pretty much became unstoppable - he's the same shredder who passed Team WTB racer and Marin local Roy Rivers (pictured above) in the fateful showdown at the 1985 NORBA Nationals in Santa Barbara, featured in a previous Throwback Thursday. You can read about Joe Murray's rise to power here on his mountain bike hall of fame page. In the '85 Rockhopper, it was also Rivers licking at the heels of Murray taking second, man, not easy. Despite fierce competition, good times were had - how can you argue with that smile? Enjoy the following photos of the early Rockhopper days - in these photos, WTB was two years old.
Joe Breeze and the Casey Kunselman
Steve Cook, visiting from Colorado took fourth. Cook had stitches in his face from a bad road crash and was neck and neck with Joe Murray, who won it, for much of the race until he suffered a mechanical.
Roy Rivers and Mark Slate. Did I mention WTB has a history of direct racer feedback? Deep in a pensive discussion, they must be talking about how to make mountain biking better.