Bruce Gordon is the Original Gangster of what now folks affectionately call 'gravel grinder' bikes or 'monster cross' bikes. Back then, the bikes didn't have such descriptive names. Back then folks either rode a mountain bike, road bike, or cross bike. Hybrids were coming out, but a hybrid was really a bike that didn't do anything well except cruise on bike paths while allowing the rider to sit bolt upright.
In 1988, Bruce built the first Rock 'n Road bikes and had the first Rock 'n Road tires produced from a design by Joe Murray. The industry wasn't paying attention since everyone at the time was focused on producing 'mountain bikes,' which were in their full boom. In about 1989 or 1990, I built my first (and only) cross bike. I wanted a Bontrager, but they were a bit more money than I could afford and even the biggest production model was a bit too small for me so I built my own lugged cross frame. Still have it. At the time, a cross bike fit 28mm or 32mm tires max. Mine was no exception. I do recall wanting bigger tires because I loved how the larger diameter tires rolled on the dirt roads and trails of San Diego and Orange County.
Fast forward a quarter century and the availability of cross bikes that can fit big tires is somewhat common place. And in commemoration of Bruce Gordon's first Rock 'n Road, he is offering a limited run of ten 25th anniversary Rock 'n Road bikes, signed and numbered, for $1988 including a set of Rock 'n Road tires. Pretty sweet deal. All the details are here.
A brief history of the Rock 'n Road.
Here's the Rock 'n Road that resides at the shop that is on loan from Bruce's collection. This one was ridden for a period of time by local hardman, George Hope. It was restored by Bruce a while back. A fresh powder coat finish and some NOS original parts that represent exactly how the bike was built in 1992. The RockShox Mag 20/21 has a modified crown and bridge to work with the big 700 x 43 tire.
(What's playing: The Hacienda Brothers Leavin' On My Mind)