While I’m saving up the pennies and trying to source more parts for the Raleigh build, I thought I would reminisce a little.
One of the best memories from the many I have while working at Denton Cycles was building the Salsa bikes for Jason Mcroy. Jason was an unknown at the start of the 1990’s until he rode his bog standard Halfords Carrera Comp against the best in Britain and beat them. He quickly became the biggest name in Downhill in Britain and challenged the very top riders in the world.
I remember Jason walking into the shop with a Salsa frame and a pair of original Rockshox forks and Cooks Bros cranks together with a bag containing a few trick bits, but not much else. We rifled through the drawers to come up with the final groupset. The bike was quickly built and Jason loved it and showed it by thrashing it in his own inevitable style.
(picture from MBUK magazine, taken by Jim Mcroy)
I soon learnt that everything for Jason, including items such as cables and wheels had to be well bedded in and pre stretched before he rode it. Jason was very demanding of his bikes. It’s just as well that I had learnt my job and knew how to make things perfect. My boss at the shop and ex international pro was Colin Davison; he was thorough, he knew his bikes to the exact millimetre. He was the type of perfectionist that wouldn’t let me place a spirit level on his saddle to ensure it was level until I had first placed the spirit level on the ground that the bike was stood on to ensure it was level too.
Jason soon became a regular visitor to my workshop, always bringing with him a different selection of goodies on every visit, together of course with a bag full of broken bits! The pictures above aren’t great, they were taken with a very poor camera over 20 years ago, and stored in a box until I scanned them.
Jason rode my bikes in several world championships before starting as a pro for Specialized USA in 1994. Sadly Jason died in a motorcycle accident in 1995. Jason was an excellent rider and would definitely have gone on to beat the best of the best.
I’m just glad I have some pictures and memories of an exceptional rider.