Dec 09

ROMP Founders

I read with interest about the history of ROMP, specifically the part which reads “ROMP can trace its start back to the early 80’s when a group of riders would meet in Los Gatos every Sunday morning for a ride. They would go ‘romping’ on their bikes up in to what is now Sierra Azul Open Space; from that saying would come our name.”

That group of riders was myself, Frank Deto (who then went by the name of Frank Olsen), Chuck Wien, Michael Moody and Gary Grass. I was managing a tiny Bike Shop in Los Gatos called Velomeister where I introduced Mountain Bikes to the community.

Soon after, this character Frank frequented the shop and would bellow upon entry “Anybody want to go for a romp?”. One day I decided to have a group Sunday ride and made a flyer which I posted in the shop window which read “Join us for weekly Sunday morning Mountain Bike ROMPs”.

The first ride consisted of the five of us mentioned above, and yes, we rode Sierra Azul Open Space. Soon we were joined by many of ROMPs early activists, including Jim Hunter, Ken Dietrich, Bern Smith and Gibson Anderson (whom I believe I sold his first Mountain Bike).

In my opinion the name ROMP can be credited to Frank, but our first definition of the acronym wasn’t Responible Organized Mountain Pedalers. If anyone is interested in learnig more about the first ROMPers, I’d be glad to share what I remember (it has been 26 years).

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Barrett