Thursday, April 22, 2010


I think it was back in February I said I was going to try and get some actual content posted up at this site. Let's face it me rambling on about my rides, what I think about the world of cycling, and getting pissed off every now and again isn't a recipe for greatness. With that in mind I figured I'd start to interview some folks who I think more people should either 1.) know them, or 2.) if the know them, learn more about them. With that in mind I bring to you an interview with none other than JedZilla, a man who is a fixture in the Missoula riding scene. Here's the backstory in my opinion, Jed is the man, and if you don't agree with me, feel free to get off this planet. Enjoy the interview, and for the record, Jed chose to respond to my interview questions in green.

Jed getting his swerve on

You have 50 words to describe yourself to the world, go.

Sensitive, new age redneck who digs chili dogs and sunsets and whose favorite color is magenta. In reality, I am happily married to a wonderful mountain biker (member of Biker Bitches group ride) with two sons 4 and almost 2 years old. I own/operate ZillaState, a realty company.

How did you get into the wonderful world of bikes?

I am a recovering Texan and being from Texas I played high school football. I had knee surgery my junior year and biking was part of the re-hab process. After my first year of college ('81 -'82) I bought a Raleigh touring bike and rode it into the ground. I started road racing in '84. I eventually was a bike sub-rep in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi the early '90s. I went to the Fat Tire Festival in Crested Butte, CO in 1993 and moved to Colorado that fall to mountain bike and umm, work.

You have done a lot in the past as far as putting on XC and DH races in the Missoula area, how did you get into that?

I noticed that there were no mountain bike races being held in Missoula and I wanted to get the ball rolling since Missoula is home to some of the best trail riders in the world.

Do you see yourself putting on anymore MTB races in the future?

Yes, I am working with a few folks on a project right now. The venue will be a different place than races held in the past. I will also be more of a "facilitator" than a promoter if this happens.

Just how long have you been enjoying the bike riding up here in Missoula?

I have been riding in Missoula since I moved here in 1997. I had one phone number when I rolled into town. I called the number and I was riding up Sawmill within an hour of parking my car in Missoula.

Are there any aspects of the “old days” that you still feel are present today?

I still see the "old school" camaraderie in the enduro/24 hour mountain bike racing. Where you are part of a community that camps and races. I remember my first 24 hour race at Moab; Kieth Bontranger and his family camped next to us. By the way, he really liked the Kettlehouse beer we had.

Word on the street is that you are a big time sponsor of UM Cycling, how did that happen?

Cycling and mountain biking in particular, have given a lot to me and presented opportunities I would have never dreamed of. My goal is to give back and help out when I can to Montana cycling and especially Missoula teams when I can. My main focus of sponsorship will be: Juniors, Collegiate, Mountain bike/ Cyclo-cross.

Do you have any hopes for the team and it’s riders over the course of the season?

I would say Bryce and Lindsy. I also have a challenge for UM Cycling "Podium (nationals)= Party"

Do you have a favorite MTB ride in Missoula, and how would you describe riding those trails?

There are a few: 1)Margie (my lovely wife) and I have a ride we call the "hour of power" which goes up the MOZ trail through Cox and then straight up the single track in Pattee to the saddle road and back. That is the limited time GRD ride, which has it all. 2) The Sidewinder to Sheep via Blue Point down the east fork to the Corridor is a good one. That was a date ride while Margie and I were "courting". I like the views and the epic-ness of it. 3). Stateline trail to Heart Lake in the Great Burn. I mention this trail as it is in danger of being shut down due to legislation. Please contact Senator Tester and let him know that we would like this loop kept open.

Describe to me your ideal bike and place to ride (time, money, wife, kids, and jobs aren’t issues you have to worry about in this dream scenario). Hmmmm, there are two rides in Colorado. 1) The Monarch Crest trail connecting to a series of trails getting you back to Salida, Co. 2) I can't remember the name of the trail but about a 6 hour ride out of Crested Butte. I have only done it twice and it was awesome! As far as a bike; I have been looking at carbon 29er hardtails. So, that would be my dream bike...

So there ya have it, big thanks to Jed for going along with my interview idea without hesitation.

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