Ty Hathaway, a tall, soft-spoken Californian who co-owns a bike shop in Los Angeles, has made a life of things on two wheels. He’s been photographed for BMX magazines
enough that he’s forgotten exactly which ones — and which issues. He’s been featured in clothing and helmet ads on road bikes. His Instagram feed is a visual catalogue of seemingly constant bike trips with like-minded friends. And in 2014, Hathaway re-discovered mountain biking and took on the rugged Trans Provence stage race in France, where he finished as the top-placing American. And his mountain bike jones was re-lit.
Ty is no stranger to mountain bike competition. As a kid, he contested the NORBA National Championship Series as a trials rider. The enduro format is not really all that foreign to him, either. Once upon a time, instead of winding through the woods on a carbon-fiber mountain bike, Ty’s bikes weighed more than 200 pounds and had a throttle. Coming from Southern California, though, he was more of a wide-open desert guy than a woods racer. He was good, too. Hathaway’s throttle twisting career was meteoric, and he finished his first season with a single-digit number plate.
Quicker than most people advance up a single racing class, he landed a spot on the Honda team for the legendary Baja 1000. Taking over the riding duties at one of the team’s planned pit stops, he took off at the kind of scary fast speed that The Thousand
demands. But mechanical issues didn’t allow him to brake when he got to the first corner. He woke up in a hospital, and decided that chasing a paycheck as a motorcycle racer wasn’t worth it. He still rides, and remembers his motorcycle racing days fondly — he does a trip with his dad every year — but bicycles are his passion.
Ty headed to New Zealand last year to experience Crankworx — he’d never seen a Dual Speed and Style or a Whip-Off Championship or a Slopestyle event before. And of course, he was there to compete in the opening round of the 2015 Enduro World Series. As natural as he is on a bike of any kind, Hathaway’s 70th place overall finish in his first Enduro World Series event sent him home with a long list of lessons — nuggets he’ll undoubtedly take with him wherever he races next.
Next time out, it’s a safe bet that Ty will end up closer to the front of the results list than the back. Not that it matters all that much, though, because this is a guy without much to prove. For Ty, it is all about the fun, the experience, and about being a participant in another adventure. Video by: Mind Spark Cinema
Photos by: Adrian Marcoux
Words by: Joe Parkin