Sometimes I go to my office and sit in silence. I think about the direction I want to go with FOLLY, who I want to connect with, what ride I want to go on, where I want to travel next, and the list goes on. During one of these sessions I paused from pausing, checked IG and saw Ty had posted this shot. It was a no brainer. Looked up the phone number to Golden Saddle Cyclery and thought “This is gonna be weird, whatever”, dialed, and waited to embarrass myself.
The phone call went like this:
Ty: Golden Saddle Cyclery
Me: Hey how’s it going? Is Ty available?
Ty: This is him
Me: Oh rad. This is Matt Pittman from FOLLY. Do you have a minute?
Ty: Not really. I’m the only one here right now and we’re slammed.
Me: Ok. Do you have an email address I could send some info your way?
Me: Oh ok. Cool thanks!
Gulp… that was neat.
So I proceed to email Ty letting him know that I’ve really been digging his shots lately and wanted to put something like this together to share with you fine folks. Come to find out, Ty has a very long history in adventure (yes I used adventure because it honestly pertains to what he’s done/is doing) on two wheeled machines. I knew he’s done some rad stuff but didn’t know his history in BMX and moto desert racing.
Ty responded swiftly and was pumped! Which meant I was pumped! So hopefully now you’ll get pumped reading this. Enjoy!
F: I’d venture to say most folks that push limits and the ride x create vibe either have this vibe at the origin of their life of riding exploration (bike or board) OR they have a history that has brought them to this point. For example, Kyle and I started our lives very young thrashing via skateboard and as time passed we ventured into cycling (Note: our boards are still not hung up) but never neglected creating or pushing our limits in whatever we pursue. With that being said, what’s your story? How did you come to be where you are today in your cycling radness?
Ty: Well I grew up riding moto trials, bicycle trials, bmx, and most anything you could think of with two wheels. I got heavy into Bicycle trials and even got rep the USA in a world round that took place in Tahoe in the 90’s. I did the BMX thing for a long time too and had a lot of fun with that, got to travel a lot, meet some amazing people. All the while still riding mountain bikes and trials. I got into bigger bikes (road,track bikes) as training for moto desert racing which I did for a few years, till I had my retirement party (big crash) on the side of a road somewhere in Baja. Once I came back from that I just kept on riding road bikes because I had to do something now that I wasn’t racing motorcycles. That is basically the short version of how I got to where I am now with cycling.
F: How did you nab the nickname Tytanium?
Ty: The name Tytanium actually first came from an old friend of mine Brian Terada. He made a sticker that said Tytanium and put it on my BMX bike when we used to ride. I always kind of thought it was a cool play on my name and was a fan of Titanium parts. It did not really stick until 2007 when I had a pretty good motorcycle crash in the Baja 1000 that ended with me having a lot of Titanium holding my face together. I think it was just meant to be at that point…
Ty: I was born here and I have always called LA my home. I have been lucky enough to travel to a lot of amazing places starting from the day I was born but LA has always been my base. I just have not yet found enough reason or the right place to try living anywhere else. LA really does have it all within arms reach though, it is pretty perfect for almost everything l like doing. I can ride Motorcycles in the desert, mountain bike in the forest, hang out at the beach, and ski all in one day if I really wanted to. LA has a lot of amazing off road riding, I think most people overlook it because they might generally think of big city or hollywood when they think of LA. Just like most places you go there is way more to it then that and if you know where to go then you will find some amazing stuff that even most locals don’t take advantage of.
(Editors Note: I really love this photo!)
F: Once John (The Radavist) Watson got a hold of Golden Saddle Cyclery, (a year and a half ago?) GSC’s popularity seemed to take off. Would you say that he had a hand in pushing GSC shop recognition to the next level? Or is it the other way around ;)?
Ty: John has been Kyle’s friend for yeeeaaaars and mine for a long time now too, he was around from the very beginning of the shop. His site and just general support for us has been huge, like really huge but at the same time I think has just been one part of what has made the shop “take off”. Not to downplay his support in any way or the reach of his site which we all know is huge. We have just been very lucky from the day we decided to start the shop, we have some amazing friends that without them we would not have made all this happen.
F: Speaking of Golden Saddle Cyclery… what is your history with the shop? What would you say you do there?
Ty: Kyle, Woody, and I are the founders/owners of GSC. I have sort of found my spot as the behind the scenes guy that sits in his office and pays bills, does inventory, all that fun stuff. I do work out front when I am needed or when Kyle is gone but I am mostly in back when I am here. It is not glamorous or the most fun sometimes but someone has to do it hahaha
F: Kelli Samuelson huh? So rad! How did you guys meet? If it’s anything less than at a Catalina Wine Mixer and holding hands riding off into the hilled sunset I’m going to lie and tell people this story instead.
Ty: Kelli and I actually met on the street one day, she was walking her dog to the coffee shop and I think I just signed the lease for GSC. She later became a regular customer, then a friend, then a best friend, and finally one day when the stars were all right everything kind of clicked for us. Obviously there is more to it all then that but that is the short of it without going on forever about the subject.
F: It looks like you have two Stinner Frameworks bicicletas. One fer Mudfoot cyclocross murder sessions, and the other for Continental Divide’esk thrashery. How did you run across Aaron and what do you like about his builds over other bicycles you’ve ridden?
Ty: I first met Aaron and found out about Stinner Frameworks at NAHBS in Sacramento, I think it was three years ago maybe? I loved the bike he built for the show and that he was pretty local to us in LA. I don’t actually remember how or when we decided to build the bike for the Divide but either way it happened. He was so so easy to work with and him being close made things pretty simple as well. The bike turned out just how we wanted and after some “testing” we made some changes to the frame and it was ready for the trip it was built for. His builds tend to be simple and just great bikes. Not really any bling or insane paint jobs, nothing you don’t need that a lot of builders depend on in order to stand out or be different. He just builds amazing bikes the way they should be.
F: Out of the places you’ve ridden, what has been your favorite? What is your dream ride location?
Ty: The Canada-Colorado section of the Divide route was amazing and I think my favorite right now. I rode in Costa Rica a few years ago and that was super awesome as well, I would love to go back with a mountain bike though so I could really get into some good stuff. I don’t even know what to say about my dream location….
(Editors Note: Second favorite photo of the bunch)
F: Tell me more about Tytanium Life. What do you shoot with? Why that camera vs. others?
Ty: I shoot all that stuff with a Yashica T5 that Kyle gave me. I am not a photographer so I don’t really know what I am doing nor do I get too into all the crazy terms, color things, weird stuff that I hear John and Kyle talking about all the time. I honestly just don’t really care, I mean I get excited when I like a photo or if someone else like one but beyond that its just fun. I started the tumblr thing simply because I had all these photos I have been taking but did not know what to do with them. Someone suggested a tumblr so I could post them so I did that. It seems pretty cool and I can at least share those photos with other people now. I use the Yashica because it is what Kyle gave me and it is easy to use, nothing to adjust or mess with, just shoot and that is it. If I had to do more then just point and shoot I most likely would not bother.
F: People ride for endless amount of reasons. Why do you ride?
Ty: I don’t think there is any one reason I ride, I just always have, it has been something I have done longer then I can remember. I’m sure you wanted some in depth like “it makes me one with nature” or “clears my head” kind of thing but that all changes from day to day to me so there is no easy answer to this one.
F: Do you believe people that ride tend to be more creative than those that don’t?
Ty: Most people I know that ride bikes are pretty creative in some way so it could be safe to say that I suppose.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into Ty’s world. One of the things I enjoy the most with FOLLY is connecting with like minded folks across the globe. Positively spreading the ride x create vibe and sharing other peoples stories. Go to Ty Hathaway’s Tumblr page TytaniumLife to catch other really rad shots he has taken (All taken with a Yashica T5). I visit it several times a week. Cheers!
RIDE x CREATE