Throwback Thursday: 1993 Big Bear Downhill Mania

May 17, 2018
by Alex Evans  
THROWBACK THURSDAY
Jake Watson getting a little sideways at the top of the Kamikaze.

In a time when suspension was reserved for only the world's best riders and 50mm of squish was considered 'long travel', mountain biking was in its relative youth. Big Bear crops up regularly when you glance through the fat tyre history books as a legendary location that's hosted more than its fair share of events. So, flick back to 1993 and watch Big Bear's bonkers 4-up Downhill Mania and dual slalom events that were dominated by the late Earthquake Jake Watson and reminisce about times gone by.




87 Comments

  • + 96
 More of this please!

Keep reminding of where we come from so we can appreciate that you can still shred with your bike from last season, with it's "old" standards, and not die as the industry would have you believe!

Up your riding standards before you worry about your wheel spacing sizes!
  • - 37
flag nvranka (May 17, 2018 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 Do people really need to be reminded of this?
  • + 4
 Here's another throwback edit I came across - the only UCI WC DH at Squaw Valley from TC Headliners / Spomer. Fun footy of some great riders. This was my 1st DH race (Ams rode a different course).

Whatever happened to Sari Jorgenson?

www.vitalmtb.com/videos/features/Transcontinental-Headliners-2-Squaw-Valley-1999-World-Cup,13429/sspomer,2
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: Oh man! Thanks for posting this. I was a spectator at that race. Carnage. Squaw tried to get a bit of a gravity park up an running off and on for a few years after this, but they never could really make it happen.
  • + 1
 bull bars oh the LOL"S
  • + 29
 Rad as! I love the old stuff! These guys are brave!

Me 10 years ago, let’s jump 10 sets with QR axles!

Me now, I wouldn’t ride down a curb with a QR axle.
  • + 4
 Hahaha, so true. Its amazing how sketchy old tech seems now. BTW I'm so glad Kirt recovered after that fall in the berm! This is great stuff.
  • + 21
 See Dick. See Jane. See Dick hit on Jane. Priceless.
  • + 4
 hahaha, also "who the heck is Tyson Mrosek and why is he here?!".
  • + 1
 I watched that over and over. Terry loves nostalgia!!!
  • + 1
 @aug7hallak lol
Tyson raced pro for a few years after this before joking the fire department... he’s a rad dude. Straight from the couch to a 2nd place.
  • + 1
 Joining*
  • + 14
 Such dichotomy. Crappy bikes and video quality but apparently they had a helicopter at their disposal and able to determine results to the 0.001 of a second.
  • + 14
 Dual slalom bikes are “Essentially the same bikes that you buy in department stores”

Also the event sponsored by GT, Smith, & Bud Dry.
  • + 5
 Why ask why?
  • + 12
 Anyone else ever think: We need more crotch shots in bike videos? Hahaha
  • + 10
 Cool seing og bikers like Kirt Voreis in their younger years
  • + 9
 dude is voreis wearing sweatpants? lol
  • + 64
 @sosburn: haha, it was cold!! They weighed a 100lbs by the time I got to the bottom!
  • + 2
 @Voreis: I was going to say, they looked absolutely soaked
  • + 7
 Those belong in the MTB Hall of Fame.
  • + 5
 @sosburn: The riding gear was hilarious back then. My buddy did it the same year when he was 15 in a catchers chest guard and shin pads.
  • + 2
 @Voreis: Looks like you needed bib sweatpants to keep 'em up!
  • + 7
 Nice that the tv format changed from 4:3 to 16:9 so that Rob and Claudio don't have to stand that awkwardly close to each other these days..
  • + 5
 Always wanted a Answer/Manitou/Marin 7005 polished aluminum full suspension frame from that era. They were/are so beautiful

3.bp.blogspot.com/-FJPuMye9LlQ/WCd4qboL8KI/AAAAAAAAKDY/obyH8rZ6o8AvbCpRJm8x_nnD7hEp1MX-wCLcB/s1600/DSC_4288.jpg
  • + 4
 Tyson Mrosek - just lying on my couch, thought I would fix my bike up and come down and race. In a white hoodie, jeans, white sports socks and leather slip on shoes. And totally shredding it. Reckon he might have won but his chain came off in the final.... AWESOME
  • + 6
 holy crap this is so 90s and i love it! i totally forgot bud dry was actually a beer! and people drank it!
  • + 3
 Me too! The Bud Dry reference opened a long lost data file in my cloud storage.
  • + 1
 Why ask why?
  • + 5
 The announcer sounds like the dude from Legends of the Hidden Temple. Love this throwback stuff
  • + 3
 540mm bars, 1.85" (fat) tires, 26" wheels, and bullhorn bar ends! Oh man does that bring back memories! I actually bought my first "mountain bike", a Huffy, at a department store!!! Ha! Good ol' days for sure. Awesome!
  • + 4
 I was at this race, frozen hands and all. Such good memories, except for snapping my Hyperlite bars at the stem in the middle of a practice run. That was not enjoyable!
  • + 5
 Rob Warner and his twin bro @ 18:49.

Dude's Benjamin Button; he's growing younger for sure.
  • + 2
 He looks hot under that mask lol
  • + 3
 This is soo awesome!! Just like the Super Bowl, where you show up to watch the sport but stay for the commercials!! We want moar!!
  • + 6
 RIP Earthquake
  • + 2
 I live where Earthquake Jake grew up. One of the best trails around here, Suicide, was built by him. He is a legend and missed.
  • + 1
 Lets go for a Sui run!
  • + 1
 @Earthquakejakewatson: I'm actually going this morning!
  • + 1
 @humanpowered: no ride today for me unfortunately but I do want to get back up there. 96 alpinestars and all. . . PM me or link up on Jakes Memorial facebook page. . www.facebook.com/earthquake.j.watson?ref=bookmarks Looking forward to it! Josh
  • + 2
 I started racing mountains bike when I was 11, I am 39 now... it was like riding a gate with wheels back then compared to what we have now.
  • + 5
 My era!
  • + 4
 uci mandated bar ends for 2019
  • + 2
 IT's amazing hearing a young Lopes talking and sounding like a young stoner form So-cal. Very reminiscent of Spicoli.
  • + 1
 how no one ever though of dropping their seat is crazy!!! the slalom guys did but ont the downhillers... the outfits are gold!! those were the days!
  • + 1
 Too good to see Jimmy Kight, Jake Watson, Tom Rogers... might have seen Eric Wicker from RC in the crowd. Good times back then when MTB was blowing up.
  • + 2
 Holy Christ someone's going OTB in every heat! Those bikes were sketchy as shit, ridiculous.
  • + 3
 This whole video is pure gold! More of this please!
  • + 2
 If I remember well... the times form the 90's are as fast as nowdays races.
  • + 1
 long stems! narrow bars! terrible tires! v-brakes! it's cool to see how far the sport has progressed
  • + 20
 This was long before V brakes. Cantilevers all the way.
  • + 4
 Don't forget the bar ends! or are they Bull horns?
  • + 2
 @Kiwijohn42: Just a few years; 3-4 maybe?
  • + 1
 @Kiwijohn42: Have to adjust sh*tty cantis after every heat!
  • + 1
 @probi: It was '97 where many new models I looked at had v-brakes, so I want to say '96? I got into MTB in early '97, and most average-Joe's [non-racers] were still on cantilevers then; but v-brakes would overwhelmingly takeover in just a year or two. It was not rare to occasionally see someone unloading an older bike with cantis at a trailhead into the early 2000's. And then you had early discs from Hayes, Coda, Formula, etc. It was a very odd (but cool) time of technology crossover.
  • + 1
 @Kiwijohn42: there's probably a few U brakes in there too. There used to be a whole alphabet available to stop your bike with.
  • + 3
 @Jamminator: Yep, sounds about right. It's near to me as I graduated HS in '96, and my 'final' bike in HS (that I took to college) didn't have them - a top of the line Cannondale F3000 (tinker's bike) I believe? There were magura hydraulics available, but not widely disseminated outside of trials. V-brakes were an AMAZING upgrade for the bikes of the time. My first races were at Mt. Snow in the early 90's on mantiou 2/3s with elastomers. Ran the DH course there on a 20" frame c-dale hardtail with what, 60mm of undamped front susp, on 1.95 tires, pumped to 40 psi, on wet off camber grass. Insane.
  • + 1
 Announcer says "Scott Sport Optics" at 28:33, wasn't it Smith that sponsored the event?
  • + 1
 Useless trivia that first photo is not big bear. That photo if from Mammoth.
  • + 2
 First time i've watched commercials in years!
  • + 2
 Someday, kids will look at me like I look at these dudes.
  • + 2
 Damn I wish I could chug on a Bud Dry while watching this
  • + 1
 I was a legal voter in 1993, but none of this looks familiar to me. Everything about it seems so weird and janky.
  • + 1
 Those helmets are classic but not sure they would have protected much. Scary!
  • + 2
 Wow we've come a long way!
  • + 1
 Wait. The turned v a p o r w a v e ads into a real thing?
  • + 1
 JIMMY KIGHT was the shit.
  • + 1
 Oh my f****g God!!! This is a nightmare. I`m gonna wake up...
  • + 1
 Man, what’s now going to look like 20 years from now?
  • + 1
 Earthquake Jake. the man.
  • + 1
 Bud Dry, "why ask why" the question is why did it ever exist?
  • + 1
 I remember.....Best times EVER!
  • + 1
 BUD DRY???!!! Like Clear Coke...haha
  • + 2
 That handlebar width!!
  • + 2
 rim brakes ftw!!!
  • + 1
 Great video. Would love to see World Cups back in Big Bear, CA again.
  • + 1
 Meggings. Modern racing needs more meggings.
  • + 1
 What a mistake to make at 7:15 Smile
  • + 0
 So many helmets not on properly! Thank goodness for ratcheting fit systems! That Hammerhead on Earthquake looks awkward.
  • + 1
 Hans Rey, " that's why I ride on lava". LOL
  • + 1
 ....I remember Bud Dry.
  • - 1
 Top picture is not from 1993,but from 95 or later,as it shows a GT LTS with Rock Shox Judy DH.
  • + 8
 Jake Watson (legend r.i.p) Kamikaze 1994, Marin frs (93 model bike frame)
  • + 1
 Looks like enduro.
  • + 1
 So rad!
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