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A few years back, my heart was broken when my beloved bicycle was stolen out of our back yard. For those of you who have experienced this, you know the feeling. I called the police. I found myself searching Craigslist for my bike, certain that someone was already trying to fence it. I looked suspiciously at my neighbors. I did all the irrational things that people do when they’ve had their trust violated. I loved that bike. I thought that I would never love again.

It is said that mountain biking started in the 70s in Marin County, California. The sport started off slowly with most people modifying road bikes with whatever resources they could find. Eventually, people like Gary Fisher started making a business of it. By 1981, the Specialized Stumpjumper was introduced as the first mass production mountain bike.

If you’d like to see a good documentary about this period, let me recommend Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bike History. Here’s the trailer to the right.

Yeti Cycles was started in 1985 in Augora Hills, California. This was a time when you found mountain bikes in the mountains. Back in the cul-de-sacs of America, we were all still riding BMXs (evidently, I was a member of Team Murray). As time went on, mountain bikes began to grab the attention of outdoor enthusiasts, and by 1990 a world championship match was scheduled in Durango, Colorado. By this time, Yeti was well established in the industry and was determined to make their presence known to the world. Juli Furtado took home the first title of World Champion for Yeti. If you want to read a long and unsubstantiated history of the company, you can find it at this Yeti fan site, here.

The folks at Yeti were so enamored with the natural beauty of Colorado and the mountain biking scene developing there that they left California and moved their company to Durango, where it remains today. The amount of scrutiny that these folks put into their work is… well… I’m going to just come right out and say it: It’s nuts. It’s just a little crazy. It’s a bicycle. But in the hands of the people at Yeti, it’s as finely engineered as an aircraft. That attention to detail is impressive to say the least. Though not the crown jewel, their most popular bike is currently the 575 Enduro. It was recently made National Geographic’s Gear of the Year list. I would agree that if you want the best off-road bicycle that this country has to offer, this is what you are looking at.

Yeti Cycles

If you want to see some truly beautiful pictures of these bikes doing what they were designed to do, check out Yeti’s slick website.