"A Place Where We Could Get Together & Show What We Were Doing Out There"

Dec 2, 2019 at 12:27
by Richard Cunningham  
"Hi, I'm Radek Burkat from Pinkbike. I don't believe we've officially met." The man was a giant (six-foot, six inches tall and 300 pounds, I would later discover), and judging by the dust on his kit, he'd already got a few laps in at the bike park. Radek was finishing breakfast at a window table in a Whistler Village restaurant. I had just ordered, so I happily accepted his invitation to join him.

"Tell me something," said Radek. "Why aren't you guys online? Print magazines are dead."
photographer unknown
Pinkbike founder Radek Burkat.

Turns out, Pinkbike's founder is not one for small talk. I was attending a product launch, working for Mountain Bike Action Magazine at the time and I'll admit that I was miffed by his blunt opener. I gave him a half smile. In Whistler, Pinkbike members outnumber MBA readers by a thousand to one - so, not a good place to start a war. Besides, he had a good point.

We were on different orbits when our paths crossed. Radek, an IT wizard, was in his early thirties and Pinkbike had just turned seven. I was fifty something, a mountain bike pioneer and a veteran magazine editor. Pinkbike was on an upward trajectory, but profitability was still on the far horizon. MBA was making bank, but we were well past our apogee and on a declining arc. Our magazine's readership was educated, greying, and sprang forth from the era of cross-country hardtails and purple parts. By contrast, the average Pinkbike member at that time was unemployed, 22 years old, came from downhill or freeriding and, by my observation, could not assemble more than five words without using "rad" and an exclamation point.

Our conversation bounced between internet servers, gearboxes, trails, pitfalls of advertising, better bikes, how Pinkbike was named, motos, North Vancouver skinnies and everything in between - but I only remember two sentences. I asked Radek what motivated him to start Pinkbike? He replied:

bigquotesI realized that somewhere, all these people were riding trails, building features, and doing crazy things to their bikes. I wanted to create a place where we could get together and show each other what we were doing out there.

I knew what that meant. What it felt like to be part of a closely knit band of like-minded riders who were stoked on everything about mountain biking. That's how the sport was - until it wasn't.

Radek's virtual community grew from a photo-sharing service and soon connected thousands of riders together who were the vanguard of the sport, but marginalized and scattered throughout the world's forests. It could not have been timed better. The iPhone was right round the corner and Pinkbike was poised to blow up the mountain bike internet. When it did, millions of images posted by members bore witness that we have more in common than we have differences.

Fast forward to 2011. I was surprised to read an announcement that Pinkbike had hired on some of the sport's leading photographers. I called immediately. How could Pinkbike possibly afford that luxury? What were you thinking? The answer was, "We decided it was time to formalize our editorial content and take on the magazines." And, "Is this something you'd be interested in?" My corporate interview was a day of shuttling trails in North Vancouver with Brett Tippie and company. It's hard for me to believe that I've been a technical editor at Pinkbike for almost nine years.

Last November, I told Pinkbike that this would be my final year as an editor. I've been extremely fortunate to be healthy enough to keep this dream job for so long, but now it's time to make the call.

I consider it an honor to have been able to finish a 25 year career as a journalist with the Pinkbike crew. The learning experience, riding and writing, has been almost as great as the strides the mountain bike has taken over the same decade.
My job interview began with this guy. There may have been snow, but at least the roots were wet.
My job interview began with this guy. There may have been snow, but at least the roots were wet.
Pinkbike evolved considerably as well. When I joined Tyler Maine and Mike Levy, you could count the staff on one hand. We now number over 50 people spread across five countries. What does that feel like?

While filming the Affordable Trail Bike segment for this season's Field Tests, videographer Chris Ricci asked me, "Would you choose to be young now and start riding on the good bikes we have today, or would you choose to learn on crappy bikes and be there when the sport began?"

I said I'd go back and do it again. It was a rare opportunity to participate in the inception of something this big. It was like being on a pirate ship. We were full speed ahead, making up the rules as we went along. Everything was important. Everyone who had a mountain bike was included. Nobody knew where the boundaries were. Pinkbike gave me a chance to experience that twice in one lifetime. I doubt I'll realize the magnitude of that gift until I settle into a more quiet role in the sport.

These goofballs: Pinkbike editors 2018.

For now, thanks to Julian for inviting me on board, Tippie for thumbs up on the interview, and Karl for his unwavering support. Thanks to Levy and Kaz for keeping me honest on both the computer and the bike, and to my Pinkbike family for sharing the load. I'm sorry for the photographers who had to follow me around events, and grateful to magicians like Colin, Margus, Eric, Trevor, Ian, Greg, Aaron and Chris for making me look good on the bike.

There are many more to thank - a few hundred thousand more - the riders who invited me into their fold (reluctance noted). It means a lot be counted among the Pinkbike community. It's a tough crowd. I bear the scars to prove it, but it's my crowd now, so I'll wear them as a reminder that the largest room in my house is the one for improvement.

Twenty five years of writing about mountain bikes and now, all I see in the rear view mirror are are familiar faces. Thanks Radek.
Office





185 Comments

  • 383 0
 What a ride! Congrats on an amazing career RC, thanks for all the stories over the years.
  • 154 1
 I’m gonna miss the RC content. Always well written and super professional. Enjoy your ride!
  • 27 2
 I was starting to loose interest in MBA or mountain bike fiction as it's sometimes called, and while I'm not an RC fanboy, I was done with that mag about the same time you were. There was a noticable decline in quality when you left. You have my respect and admiration. Carry on young man, and congrats!
  • 181 0
 By coming on board early on you are responsible for propelling PB and TF into the mainstream. Not only you shaped MTB in print, but also made your mark on MTB internet. Cheers RC!
  • 47 1
 But RC, you can’t go... you’re the last standard this industry has... what’s next, DoubleBoost Cunningham? Metrichard?
Maybe Rockshox will release the Pike RC4...
  • 9 0
 @mwysel: I thought I read something about him being a bush pilot in Alaska. I hope he starts building frames again.......
  • 2 0
 I’m going to miss you, Richard!!
  • 1 0
 RC is clearly a skilled and thoughtful writer -- a rare combination anywhere, but especially among MTB people. I enjoyed his pieces even when I did not necessarily share his point of view. Good writing is a skill just like MTB riding - those who are best at it benefit from a combination of natural talent/intelligence and a ton of hard work.
  • 120 0
 Thanks for everything, RC! Expect a call the next time I need to hotwire a car or fly a plane.
  • 117 0
 Been an absolute pleasure Father Time. Thanks for having us along for the ride!
  • 5 0
 Exactly my thoughts. Very appreciative of mine time behind the walls and on this side.
  • 18 0
 I did a double take when I came to “50 something” in the article. I’m 36 and dude looks and rides better than I ever will. I guess hucking your meat down mountains is somewhat of a fountain of youth. Nothing but respect for RC and his countless contributions. Arguably the best writer PB has had, and there have been some great ones.
  • 6 0
 I grew up scouring MBA and dreaming of a univega aplina sport and going over every word every month for years and years - of course i loved RC's style. Good luck on your future RC - thank you for getting on PB for what felt like a year and adding to the great content!
  • 8 0
 RC was editing MBA when I started riding in elementary school , it is pretty wild to think he has been a mtb journalist as long as I’ve been riding ! The first MBA I had , had a review of a barracuda ht with lots of purple ano and an xc600 fork , thanks for all the memories RC!
  • 5 0
 @carbonbootprint: Riding your bike uphill is to fill your cup from the fountain of youth fountain, riding it down is to drink the water.
  • 67 4
 Happy trails RC!
  • 140 0
 RC as a parting gift we give you Waki. You get to (must) take him with you.
  • 21 0
 @rrolly: rc is waki, waki is rc. he's quitting so he can spend more time trolling the comments.
  • 5 0
 @savagelake: That's called lose-lose.
  • 15 2
 This is going to be cycledelic...
  • 58 0
 It's been a great nine years, @RichardCunningham ! Still surreal to me that we're working together at Pinkbike after I grew up reading your words in print, and you've taught me a hell of a lot in that time. You know the meetings won't be the same without you - less animal and barn door noises! Thanks so much for everything, RC.
  • 1 0
 RC: Thank you and shine on.
Levy: You have big shoes to fill, If you feel up to it.
  • 1 0
 @warhorse: No chance. RC's kicks are way too big to fill.
  • 42 0
 What the hell RC, which editor are we supposed to heckle now? Oh, Kazimer? Right on then
  • 9 0
 Levy is much more heckle-able, with his downcountry bikes and donuts stuffed in his mouth.
  • 19 0
 @tgent: I'm here for you guys.
  • 39 0
 Congrats RC, it’s been an honor to work with you. If there’s ever a time when my well-being depends on answering a bizarre question or figuring out a solution to something really strange, I hope you’re nearby.
  • 22 1
 What a career. We should all be so lucky as to experience a life half as full as what you have created for yourself. I am an old timer as well and remember lusting after the frames you created, the anticipation of waiting for the next issue of MBA to show up in the shop and you innumerable contributions on PB. Can't wait to see what the next act brings.
  • 6 1
 I started on MBA as well. Thanks for all your work. You influenced many of my purchases throughout the years.
  • 20 1
 You’ll be missed RC, your opinion pieces were always some of my favourite articles on PB
  • 86 1
 I'm happy to say RC will still have an ongoing column, so you'll see his work here on occasion. But now he'll be spending more time building planes rather than boarding them for press camps. Smile
  • 7 0
 More “riding” less typing. All the best to RC @brianpark:
  • 14 0
 Good luck boss, in whatever you do next. I've always enjoyed your content. No offense to the other writers and testers on Pinkbike but I've always felt your bike/product reviews carried a bit more weight to them. Whenever I saw your name attached to a review it for some reason made me feel very comfortable using it to help me make a decision.
  • 15 0
 Rad! errr.... Also, well done RC.
  • 13 0
 I don’t blame you RC. I wouldn’t want to work for monsters who would draw me into creepy Santa/Levy pictures either.
  • 9 0
 If there is an article by RC I always read it, his knowledge and wisdom are unmeasurable. I am sure he is a secret agent, there is nothing this guy can't do. I remember fondly Eurobike several years ago. You shouted to stop the car, as there was a table lamp dumped at the side of the road. Back to the rental house and in sub 2 mins you'd made a mains adapter for your laptop charger.
  • 9 0
 At the risk of quoting both Tina Turner and the Karate Kid theme song... RC, you are, quite simply, the best. Hands down one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Wait, a bunch of people have already said that?!? Shit. Okay, let's try this:

This crazy mofo builds airplanes in his kitchen. Or maybe his family room. I can't remember which, but it's true. He builds his own damn airplanes and flies them. That right there makes him a superhero in my book.

But wait, there's more....

Nobody, I mean nobody, knows how to wrangle wildlife--be it tigers or blue jays---like RC. And, again, I'm not making this shit up. Tigers, donkeys, birds of prey....I can't tell you how many Skype meetings were interrupted by the braying/screetching/howling coming from some wild animal that was occupying RC's "home office". He's like a conservative hippy Dr. Doolittle. Which is to say, yet again, that RC is his own freakily unique animal.

And, sure, RC has written a ton of great stories. And, yes, he was one of the few people who inspired me to think that I could get a job that didn't involve wearing a shitty suit and selling crappy health insurance to people who didn't want it, so on a personal level, I owe him a lot.

But mainly, RC is the smartest, kindest, and raddest person you could ever hope to meet.

I miss working with you, buddy, but look forward to seeing you again, talking shit about rocket ships (of which I know nothing, but of which you are an expert) and chimpanzee sexuality (of which we are both disturbingly well-acquainted with). We'll probably talk about bikes too, but it was always the weird and unexpected corners of your conversations that I loved best.

RC, you're a friggin' legend. I'm glad your words will continue to grace PB's digital pages and I look forward to staying up late into the night, talking shit and avoiding deadlines with you again.

The beers are on me.
  • 8 0
 Thanks RC. Been reading your stuff for decades through MBA and PB. I remember getting so excited reading the glossy pages over and over on the newest Girvin flex-stems, and pictures of Moab rock rolls. We are so spoiled these days with more content than time. Thanks for keeping us all connected!
  • 9 0
 Nine years? If you would have asked me, I would have said 3-5 years ago. Damn it flies. Congrats and good luck!
  • 5 0
 RC, Congrats in all that you have been a part of and helped your community accomplish! Your insights will be missed, thank you for all of your innovations and contributions throughout your career. Proud to call you a friend.
  • 12 2
 Legend!
  • 7 0
 Congratulations, RC. Thanks for the recap and your contributions to the sport we all love.
  • 8 1
 RC's historical perspective will be missed. Thanks for the insightful articles.
  • 4 0
 RC I remember our first meeting on a trail in SoCal some 20-25 years ago. I was like kid meeting a rockstar. You were so gracious and humble.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought some 10-15 years later we would collaborate and work together.

I have a deep respect for all you have done to educate riders and expose others to this awesome sport. You have always been receptive to the "new guy in town" and listened to their ideas with an open mind. I will always be grateful to the fairshake you gave Niner when we first started.

RC you will be missed by all and it has been my honor to call you a friend.

I wish you the best on your next singletrack journey!

Peace,
Chris Sugai
Niner Bikes
  • 5 1
 I can remember reading you in MBA in the early 90s with Zap. Wow!!! Good luck in everything you do, although luck probably isn’t needed. When you’re passionate about something, it shows.
  • 6 0
 One of my fondest memories of high school was getting hooked on mountain biking. Mountain Bike Action was a big part of this fascination. We had a guy at our local races on a Mantis ProFloater. Blew my mind...
  • 3 0
 Great job RC. I remember when we were chatting to a tire company and you said, 'Why has shown what happens to tire when it's in contact with the ground? No one has filmed from the bottom up. Figure that out and I'm sure that would be great.' And you were completely right! My mind was blown on that occasion and that's just one example of how you were able to put forward different ideas in the industry. Enjoy the ranch!
  • 3 0
 More than happy to read these pieces. They give us a unique and fresh perspective of this awesome community!

Now, @RichardCunningham, talking about the ethos of PB, you said "and, by my observation, could not assemble more than five words without using "rad" and an exclamation point": Could you guys please stop adding "schralp" "shred" and such other meaningless terms to your entries? They add no value at all, and certainly only work towards perpetuating that very annoying stereotype and consolidating it into the newer generations.
  • 3 0
 I have always had the impression that RC was just one of us. He always seemed to be the one testing the budget bikes that all us mere mortals could afford, there with details on the best value bit of kit that you should be saving up for and adding to your shopping list. You will be missed RC.
  • 4 0
 Yikes! That is the end of what had been a constant in my life. Thanks RC for all the well considered opinions. I enjoyed reading all your stuff
  • 2 0
 I'm trying to recall a favourite article of yours over the years but that is tough choice. Let me do some research! It's never easy to leave a job you love but I wish you all the best. There are so many niches and offshoots to this sport but the beauty is we can all find common ground in our love of bicycles. Cheers
  • 2 0
 That was a great resignation letter RC. Pretty amped after reading that. Best of luck with what comes next. I hope you can pass the affordable bike baton to someone else - those were among my favorites. I really liked one of your quotes in the field test video. I think it was Levy off camera asking how old you were before heading down some crazy rock roll. And you said you'd be 63 or something, and that 'you gotta run the clock out'. Those are words to live by.
  • 2 0
 Damn - reading this is the first time I feel old. I got into this sport it it’s infancy and have built a life around mountain biking. Seems like this is the closing of a chapter. I truly hope you continue to contribute content to Pinkbike. If you do, I won’t take it for granted...
  • 2 0
 Thank you RC. Aside from my Dad, you are the one person who has always been around during my cycling journey. I’ve been riding almost as long as your career and I’ve read countless number of your articles. Congrats on an amazing career and legacy.
  • 2 0
 RC , if you could go back in a time machine and do it all again, with THE KNOWLEDGE, which technological development would you push the most? Droppers, discs, angles? Thanks for helping us choose bikes and gear for all these years.
  • 1 0
 There was a PB article where he answer such questions. I remember one thing was larger diameter for pedal/crank arm insertion. Seeking article now...
  • 2 0
 Thanks for being an innovator when our sport was young, a journalist as we were growing, and an inspiration as we matured. But trust me the "other side of work" is the best. Ride what you want when you want and as much as you want. You deserve this reward.
  • 2 0
 I started mountain biking in 91' and read MBA regularly. In 95' as a16 year old grom at a shop I built my first dream bike, a 95 Mantis pro floater. Thanks Richard for your contributions to my life and many others, I hope your next adventure in life is as generous as you've been to the mtb community.
  • 2 0
 I’ve been reading RC’s content since 2004, when I was new to the sport and MBA was boss. Now that I’m firmly in the PB fold, I gotta say I’m going to miss RC and the sometimes opposing viewpoints he brings. I think most of all, I’ll miss his technical analysis and decades of experience that aren’t easy reproduced. I’m a better rider because of RC and his articles throughout the years. Would love to trail ride with this guy and shamelessly nerd out for a while.
  • 2 0
 I remember reading mid-90s on MBA how to ride a full suspension properly (things like let your outside foot hang low to take full advantage of the suspension in a turn). Thank you RC, for providing content in MBA, which to me across the pond seemed very progressive at the time. MBA were the only ones to take full sus seriously early on.

It was so cool to see you make the transition over to PB, and do so in a meaningful way. I guess not many people have the capacity of reshaping their ways like you did. To date I enjoy reading your content, which oozes deep understanding of the subject everywhere in-between the lines. And when sth is new to you, you're not ashamed to admit it. I tip my hat to you, sir.
  • 2 0
 Really going to miss the reviews and commentaries. I am a similar vintage to RC ???? but with nowhere near the ability and have always found his material very objective and technically focused. Rare qualities these days. The article History and Deception - Opinion (regarding E-bikes) a few years back was especially poignant. All the best for the future RC!!
  • 2 0
 Congrats RC. I enjoyed you at MBA and PB and will miss your insights and depth of knowledge about this silly sport we all love. Still hope to bump into you on a SoCal trail sometime.
  • 1 0
 Well done Mr. Cunningham! I still remember looking in the window of that bike shop at the end of Haight Street in SF and seeing a fat-tubed, raw aluminum bike -with my last name as well- on the (no idea it was called the) downtube back in about 1986. Filthy, drunk, and holding my skateboard, I realized that bikes were starting to look cool again to me......thank you for all you've done, RC.

Hold on - maybe that was Charlie Cunningham. Well, still...I read enough MBA mags.
  • 3 1
 Congrats RC, been reading (and disagreeing) with you for that whole time. Lotta faces came and went. It takes a certain something special to make
a whole career out of silly bikes. Good on you dude.
  • 1 0
 It's funny, a lot of people would say "and now the fun begins" when someone retires. Mountain biking and action sports are the opposite. Everything stays the same...you just don't get pain for the fun anymore haha.

Congrats on a great career RC.
  • 1 0
 Didn't always agree, but have respect...esp. since long ago, from multiple sources heard RC could ride. I always wonder which of the journos could actually ride a bike with skill, vs. hacks. Those in the former camp had a lot more behind their words, IMHO. Enjoy whatever is next.
  • 2 0
 Congrats RC! The mountain bike would not be what it is today without your innovations and contributions. I'm lucky to have known you all these years and honored to be your friend.
  • 1 0
 Mr. C i always remember seeing one of your Cunningham hardtails a local lady had in the mid to late 89s in Marin. I was riding a Ross at that point. I asked her if she wanted to trade she just laughed....good luck in your next adventure and keep those those beads clean and stacked.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the great times, articles, words, wisdom and reality checks. Followed your work from MBA and was so glad to see when Pinkbike snatched you up to be part of the PB Team! All the best and hope to still see you do some work for PB now and then, maybe?? Hint-hint, @mikekazimer and Mike Levy? Take care and keep the rubber side down!
  • 1 0
 Wow, always sad to say good bye to a legend. Like many others I remember reading MBA in the late 80's and lusting after a Mantis Pro Floater! I'm going to miss your writing and your perspective as someone who's been involved in every phase of mountain biking from the beginning. Congrats RC
  • 3 0
 You sir are a scholar and a gentleman, but under that also - a pirate - thanks for all of your contributions, we were there for the ride and you told the story!!
  • 1 0
 Happy Trails into (semi?) retirement, RC. As another one who grew up reading MBA and lusting after a Mantis XCR that my then-teenaged bank account would never be able to afford, thank you for everything you have done for the sport. I remember being shocked when I heard you were working for Pinkbike - for me that was when I realized it had really become legit, and it has only gotten better since then. Keep those wheels turning and hopefully we'll see you out on the trails!
  • 1 0
 Enjoy your next riding style man! Been reading your stuff since I started mt biking in the early 90’s. . I dreamed of the bike you tested back then. I am now too aging and sometimes injuries slow me down. Man recovery takes a while now. Happy trails RC! Keep the rubber side down!
  • 1 0
 Enjoyed the ride RC..been riding from the early 90's following you on MTB Action, then Pinkbike, I started on a Schwinn Paramount with cantilevers, got a Mag 20 because you said it was cool, got a Trek, the a few Titus's, then a Knolly all because the were well reviewed by you and yours. Now I am pondering retirement from cycling myself in my mid 50's only because my body is failing me from all the en devours my body and cycling have led me on. Enjoy your retirement, you will be missed.
  • 1 0
 RC best of luck moving to the next adventure. Been reading MBA since when you started there. My first real Mt Bike was the Cromoly Nishiki Alien that you designed with the elevated chainstays!! You have been such an amazing influence in the MTB world. You will be missed!!
  • 1 0
 My first mountain bike was a Fisher CR-7: aluminum triangle with steel stays and fork, stunning matte black with red lettering. Bought it from a mail order house that advertised in MBA. It was the bible back in 1989. CR = Richard Cunningham from what I'm told. Legend.
  • 2 0
 What a great little piece of writing - “together who were the vanguard of the sport, but marginalized and scattered throughout the world's forests”
Thanks and wish you all the best!
  • 1 0
 Congratulations RC. I’ve been reading your articles for 25 years now and have always admired you and loved your writing. Thanks for all the good times, good laughs, awful puns, and ridiculous metaphors.
Thank you. Enjoy your next adventure.
  • 1 0
 Having been part of the sport for a long time now and sometimes finding myself being jealous of the youngsters with their affordable awesome bikes...this quote made me realize something the crappy bikes era was something rather special:
"I said I'd go back and do it again. It was a rare opportunity to participate in the inception of something this big. It was like being on a pirate ship. We were full speed ahead, making up the rules as we went along. Everything was important. Everyone who had a mountain bike was included. Nobody knew where the boundaries were. Pinkbike gave me a chance to experience that twice in one lifetime. I doubt I'll realize the magnitude of that gift until I settle into a more quiet role in the sport."
Thanks RC!
  • 1 0
 Go well Mr Cunningham! We will miss your trustworthy insightful window into all the corners of mountainbiking we have not yet been able to go. Thank you for being our eyes, hands and feet. Ride easy with the satisfaction of a job well done.
  • 1 0
 Coming into the sport at the age of 35, seeing RC nonchalantly state on a video clip being 64 years old before dropping into a rock chute way beyond my current abilities was nothing short of a revelation. I will be ever thankful for that piece of inspiration.
  • 1 0
 A good cup of coffee, a proper trail ride and a cold beer. Maybe bacon depending on preference. Then of course an RC written article. Well thought out, well structured, purposeful story telling and captivating. As I’ve aged the appreciation for pioneers of industry, ( RC, Jody W.) their collective experience and hands on account shows in how they live and what they do. Thks RC , please let us know where the trail leads you, I will check it out. Cheers...
  • 1 0
 @RichardCunningham - most of the time i consider myself the luckiest kid in the world. i'm 57 years old, semi-retired and still stoked on riding a bike (my quiver has 5 bikes in it). buy you sir, you are the winner. congrats.
  • 1 0
 Happy Trails RC! I have been reading your tech pieces and your personal stories for years and really enjoyed it so much. As I got into the sport more ( and spent more money ) I looked to you for alot of advice on choices. You gave alot to the sport and the community and I hope to see submissions from you once in a while. Ride on Brah!
  • 1 0
 I'm old enough to remember when RC took over at MBA, haha. That was basically lpre-internet when I would scour the back pages of MBA for cool purple stuff for my crappy old steel rigid bike. There was nothing like reading an old bike mag front to back. That said, there's nothing like having cutting edge info every single day, for free. Surprised it's already been 9 years here - it still feels like I'm new to PB. Anyway, here's to RC and what seems to be a magical career.
  • 1 0
 A great Friday night for me when I was 14 ( in 1988 ) was poring over the newest issue of MBA with a soda and some potato chips from the local corner store, figuring out how I was going to afford the new Rocky Mountain Stratos and kit it out with an IRD stem, Hite Rite and Night Sun lights. That was 5 years before RC was at MBA!!!! Man....old balls....
  • 1 0
 RC...well done my friend from and old Skool follower who used to have a subscription to MBA. For you kids, that's when a paper magazine was delivered to your door by the mailman, then you scoured every page in a day, because it was a month ago when you got the last news. You chronicled the cutting edge of progress when we were trying to figure it out and I was with you every step of the way! Thank you for your massive contribution to our sport!
  • 1 0
 Thanks RC! It was one of my bike industry highlights meeting you when Marzocchi was a neighbor to Hi-Torque.. And the Dollar DH is still one of my favorite "races"... Best wishes to wherever the future takes you..

If @pinkbike needs a token old guy on staff I'm available...
  • 1 0
 good read RC.


I too have been around bikes forever.. started MTB's in 1987ish... been in the bike biz since 1991.. been an avid rider since around the age of 5 or 6 (got my first bike in 1972). A faded memory was struck reading this article; several years ago, maybe 15, 16, 17 years or more. This guy, sorry, I don't remember his name, asked me to build a bike for him so he could write review on it with some bicycle magazine he worked for. I want to say it was Bicycling Magazine. He claimed he had a $100 budget for the build so, that was a bit under the shop charge but, I took the bait and rolled with it, The bike was a carbon Scott frame, hard tail, 26"... ehhh, Vbrake or disc, don't remember. All I can remember, it was an all XTR kit with some nice bits, blingy fork and wheels. He said it was worth about $5k. I went along with it, thinking I'd get props in the write up. Just to confirm, I looked up his name in some older issues and sure enough, he was a writer for the mag. He wrote pretty well too (unlike me).

I built the bike and we agreed to ride a local trail I groomed since he wasn't from this area and didn't know the good places to ride. Here's where it gets good --- as a writer, yeah, he was good but, as a rider.. he sucked. He couldn't keep up with my 10 years older than him pace, he biffed a few times crossing very shallow streams and simple rocky sections and damn, he couldn't climb a hill to save his life. WAIT!!! And this guy reviews bikes? WTF? not to mention, he was an arrogant SOB complained about the conditions and weather. He suckered me for a $100 build and didn't give me a print date on the article so, I have no idea if he even mentioned my shop in the article. He came by the shop for a few light repairs before getting relocated to AZ with the full time job he had, each time, he acted as if he was getting a freebee for the repairs. He came by the shop needing to ship that Scott back to the factory and had the nerve to expect I'd do it for free. He took a real "why do you need to charge" attitude when I told him the cost.

That was my only up front and personal encounter with someone who wrote reviews --- I just wish I could remember his name.
  • 1 0
 @RichardCunningham

Old Balls! Congrats on a storybook ending to an amazing career. You were my first official hire and I'm proud to have been there with you as you helped evolve PB into the powerhouse it is today. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 RC has always come across to me, as that guy in the bike shop that is the "go to guy". Always up to date on everything, and usually right on the money. Thus, making his writing all the more useful. The good old days of Mountain Bike Action, RC was pretty much the only reading I did, well Zap was pretty goo too. Thank you for all your dedication, congratulations, and all the best of luck. Always nice to see someone livin' the dream.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike is my home page for so many reasons, and your content has made it one for sure. I met Radek years ago in an Italian restaurant in Calgary (and invited me to join them), and many years later at the Loose Screw in Kamloops. He has an eye for talent apparently, thus I was never offered a job!
  • 1 0
 When I was a 14, I wanted to be featured in MBA. I wanted to win XC races... 11 years later, Richard Cunningham made it happen. I never won a race, but I just launched Dobermann Bikes and showed him how bikes were welded. Thanks Richard, you made my dream come true. Mathieu Albert
  • 1 0
 @RichardCunningham it was a pleasure to meet you last year! I continue to read your articles and look forward to going over the backlog of your content. Have a great time away from the keyboard and keep shredding, your presence will be missed.
  • 1 0
 Richard, Big thanks for all you've brought to our sport, and the many words of wisdom you've shared. Do you remember riding the first Raven, in the woods of Newtown, and taking a dive into a vast mud puddle? We've been on a long epic ride, my friend. Huge appreciation, and I am hoping our trails converge again soon.
  • 1 0
 RC I feel so honored to have met you at Interbike 2013 while walking the aisles with a couple of my first Derby rims in hand, and you took some pictures that appeared in a Pinkbike article called "Also seen at Interbike". And again earlier this year when you stopped by my Derby Rims booth at NAHBS. I have been a fan of your storytelling of mountain bike adventures since you told a new story each month on the Chief Editor's page in MBA for many years. I especially liked your ride stories such as exploring an old road in the Mojave desert running low on water looking for and successfully finding an old abandoned mine, and another story with turn-by-turn perspective of a nearly all dirt trail loop through the back alleys and vacant lots of business and residential areas in the San Fernando Valley. I hope you want to continue to telling your vivid stories of unusual riding adventures somehow. I don't know you well, but you impress me as a very nice and careful person!
  • 1 0
 RC! I hope this means we will see more of you over here in the desert! Thanks for all the words you've written! I will always remember the story you shared with me about picking up that hitchhiker...
  • 1 0
 Much respect, have been enjoying your writing since the late 90's with MBA subscription from then til now even. You, Zapata Espinoza, and Jimmy Mac have a part of my riding life, thank you!
  • 2 0
 Mr. Cunningham, thank you for all the contributions you've made to this sport. May your next endeavor be just as successful.
  • 2 0
 I haven’t been around long but I am going to miss you RC. Honestly the reasonably priced bicycle features were some of my favorite articles. Keep on riding you legend!
  • 2 0
 We're going to miss you RC! You're always a blast work with and one of the funniest and most knowledgeable folks out there. See ya on the trails!
  • 2 0
 "The largest room in my house is the one for improvement." thank you for teaching us so much about MTB and life all these years in your articles.
  • 1 0
 THANK YOU RC!!!!!!! Its been a pleasure and I am with you, I would happily go back and ride the same bikes again if I could go back all those years (31 of them now, eeeekkkkk).
  • 1 0
 @RichardCunningham, "Our magazine's readership was educated, greying, and sprang forth from the era of cross-country hardtails and purple parts." Yup. That's me. Glad to have been reading you at both venues.
  • 1 0
 Thanks RC...been following you from the beginning..always looked forward to your words of wisdom at MBA and then elated to see your shift to PB...from one "Old Shredder " to another "Happy Trails Bro"..Smile
  • 1 0
 Congrats RC, reading your features and viewing your images is always like seeing a good friend at events and out on the trail (which happens IRL between us too)! Hope to you at the Otter again this Spring!
  • 1 0
 As a teenager in the 90's, I spent a lot of time reading and being positively influenced by RC's writing. I say the same for his time spent with PinkBike. Thank you for the stoke over the years!
  • 1 0
 All the best, RC. Always enjoyed your reviews, always felt fair and well thought out. I bought a Giant Trance after your review a couple of years ago, and it was spot on. Happy trails ????????
  • 1 0
 @richardcunningham My mom doesn’t read pinkbike but I’ll tell her about your impact at Pinkbike. Chay’s “lightest mtb team” Mantis is still here in Silverado! Cheers!
  • 4 1
 I loved reading your great work.
  • 4 1
 Hope to see you continue to contribute to the MTB community, RC! Congrats!
  • 1 0
 Always been a good read and perspective! Sorry to see you leave especially as you are my age and this has become my preferred online hangout!! Good luck in the future RC!
  • 2 0
 I hope we can still get a few more editions of "Now That Was a Bike" down the road. Always enjoyed those articles.
  • 1 0
 Having read your articles since the age of 13 you will be missed in my world of cycling. Thanks for all your insights and opinions over the years RC
  • 1 0
 Congrats on a great career! I have been reading your stuff since you started at MBA. Now get in the shop and build us an updated Pro-Floater lol
  • 1 0
 Godspeed RC. Been reading your pieces in Mountain Bike Action and here in Pinkbike as well. You are an inspiration as a professional and as a mountain biker. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 Happy Trails as you enter another phase of your biking career RC.! Thanks for all the great stories over the decades - I've really enjoyed growing up reading your stuff.
  • 1 0
 I've always enjoyed your thoughts, ideas, opinions and articles @RichardCunningham. Much respect and best wishes on wherever the trail takes you next.
  • 1 0
 I always enjoyed reading your stuff, RC. It was a pleasure meeting you with Julian @ Crankworx this year & I hope our paths cross again.
  • 1 0
 Thanks RC for all the great articles advise and the great rides we shared. good luck with the retired life keep the rubber side down. hope to see you out on a trail soon.
  • 1 0
 Best wishes and good luck in your next chapter of life RC. Thanks for all you've contributed to this fantastic thing we do on two wheels. Cheers.
  • 1 0
 Hey RC i was reading " the" mtb mag before you took over from Zap, what a ride hey . Keep spinning those pedals on the dirt. Cheers from sunny Oz.
  • 1 0
 How bout a Flying V / pro Floater did you keep that old Intense jig? Come on Rc shake it up show em how bike frames should be done.
  • 1 0
 ????????????????

Bought my first issue of MBA in the late 80s.. was such an eye opener into the world where our sport was bursting at the seams from..

Thanks RC????
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the years of content RC! Small aside, you convinced me to go ahead with my purchase of a Norco Fluid fs1 via your review of the bike on here. Happy trails!
  • 1 0
 RC, it's been a great honor sharing some great media launches and great riding moments together all these years! Take care and best regards!
  • 3 0
 RC made this place legit.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for being a part of our great sport RC. I've been reading your stuff for years and years. Best of luck with your next steps.
  • 1 0
 Holy Crap!! You know you did something right when you have thousands of peeps singing praise, and no one talking shit!! Good on you RC!!!
  • 1 0
 Wow, good job, would love to be you at your age, was always like, "who is this guy? He's like double my age, and having double the gay old time on his bike!".
  • 1 0
 Thank you for the incredible contributions you've made throughout the years! Congratulations on taking the next steps in life! Hoppy Trails RC!
  • 4 1
 We will miss you, RC.
  • 3 0
 All the best!
  • 1 0
 Nice work, may you get to ride tons and enjoy the piece you added to the tapestry of the sport.
  • 1 0
 Been reading RC for 20+ years and will miss his perspective. Great job and thank you RC.
  • 1 0
 You're a part of making this great sport of ours what it is today! Thank you!
  • 1 0
 R.C--thanks for the memories! Elevated Chainstays--FTW! Enjoyed your handiwork for the past 30+ years--god I'm old too.
  • 1 0
 Your articles are the ones I look out for! Depth and perspective - cheers for the great reads
  • 2 0
 Nice work through all these years, and you are way to young to retire!
  • 1 0
 Yeah RC!! Hugs!! Hope that doesn't mean, you won't be stopping by the Five Ten tent at CWX to drive the rock crawlers. Wink
  • 2 0
 Congrats RC, appreciate the good writing and insights.
  • 1 0
 Been reading you for two and a half decades. Thanks for all the words and enjoy 2020!
  • 2 0
 Thanks for your time RC !! be well and Ride On !
  • 2 0
 Thanks for everything RC, it's been RAD! Smile
  • 1 0
 Aw man! I’ve been reading your stuff for decades. Thank you RC! Best of luck with the next part of your journey!
  • 2 0
 Thanks for all the years of great content!
  • 2 0
 RC whatever happened to Pineapple Bob?
  • 1 0
 Congrats on the career. Enjoy the retirment. I hope you can still contribute some little peices here and there.
  • 1 0
 From my Mantis Pro Floater, to your articles, you've given a lot. Enjoy your change of pace!
  • 1 0
 You're legend RC. Thanks for being there from the day I started taking riding seriously way back in 1995 through to today.
  • 1 0
 Does this mean you're hiring and editor!? Just kidding thanks for all the great content RC!
  • 2 0
 I totally understand RC but it's still a sad day ;(
  • 1 0
 Hey RC - 25years reading MBA and Pinkbike, I am older than you and now you are retiring?
Thanks for everything Smile !
  • 1 0
 RC: it was great to read you through the years, and to meet you once long time ago.

Happy Trails!
  • 1 0
 enjoyed your welding and your writing! thank you!!!!
May be back to welding?;-)
all the best & happy trails
  • 1 0
 Thank you RC for all the good times- what a send off letter/story!!
Thank you for all the great reads!
  • 1 0
 Thank You RC, I grew up reading your column in MBA and wish you all the best in the future
  • 1 0
 Mantis bikes to Mountain Bike Action then on to the top dog E zine. Time to build some air planesSmile
  • 1 0
 I snorted when I heard Pinkbike had hired the Mountain Bike Action guy. Guffawed. My god was I wrong.
  • 1 0
 Brilliant story, RC and all the best for the future! Thanks for the encouragement in my earlier days Smile
  • 3 1
 RESPECT!
  • 1 0
 Thanks RC! Keep em rolling...
  • 1 0
 Happy trails, RC! Thanks for keeping the stoke alive all of these years.
  • 1 0
 Congrats on being a voice for the sport for so long. Enjoy the next bit
  • 1 0
 RC , thanks for being so RAD !!! shit, five words IS a lot. 22 for life!
  • 1 0
 What would mountain biking be without pinkbike, i really don't know...
  • 1 0
 Thank you so much for the Ride. I will always be a fan!!
  • 1 0
 Huge void without RC. This industry will miss his presence! Good luck Sir.
  • 1 0
 Always enjoyed your writing RC, all the best in your next adventure
  • 1 0
 So, why DO they call it PinkBike?
  • 1 0
 You will be missed sir. Enjoy your "retirement".
  • 1 0
 Thanks for everything - enjoy your next adventure!
  • 1 0
 Richard Cunningham for Mountain Bike Hall of Fame!
  • 1 0
 And Pinkbike loses another legend!
  • 1 0
 The man, the legend. Cheers RC!
  • 1 0
 Thank You!
  • 1 0
 Thanks RC
  • 1 0
 Thank you RC, have fun!
  • 1 0
 Congrats!
  • 1 0
 Well said RC. Shred on!
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