In 1992 I met a Grundig World Cup champion Trials rider in NYC's Central Park by the name of Chris Boudreaux. He was finishing up medical school, trialsin' in between shifts at the hospital. I became a big fan and spent hours on end and countless rolls of film shooting his riding throughout the park's unique landscape.
The following year in 1993 he took inspiration from fellow trials riders Jay de Jesus (Eastern Woods Research) and Jeff Lenosky (Clean Technical Gear) who were making their own frames and forks respectively at the time. With that inspiration he took a chunk of aluminum, a drill, Dremel & hacksaw and with a phone book as a workbench out of his small NYC apartment, created direct side-pull cantilever brakes with remarkable one-finger stopping power. This was in the pre V-brake era. Only a small number of riders managed to get their hands on a set of the crudely produced yet exceptionally performing brakes. Interest continued to brew and riders unable to obtain a set became increasingly demanding.
Three years later, after spending nights and weekends at a machine shop in Brooklyn making more brakes in an attempt to satisfy demand, and other components to satisfy his own needs, the Grundig WC trials champ most commonly known as Doc, hung up the stethescope and co-founded his first bike company.
Doc's early designs and manufacturing techniques were considerably crude, independent and rebellious considering industry standards at the time. They were borne out of necessity and motivated by his own requirements as a rider. His engineering and fabricating processes were predominantly self-taught with early welding instruction coming from friends like Chris Beech who was starting Thick Bikes around the same time.
Having collaborated on the design of his company's first hardtails, Boudreaux's first solo efforts on frame building - from conception to completion to testing - came in 1997 with a full suspension BMX bike and a 70lbs behemoth downhill bike called the Supertrucker with a jackshaft drive and internal geared hub. With a strong BMX background, racing on the Rockville team throughout his formative years, Doc was also one of the first manufacturers to blend the simplicity and durability of BMX with mountain bike technology.
His second downhill frame, the TMX was originally created in 1999 as a gift for yours truly; a beginning downhiller and motocross fanantic who attended every east coast MX Outdoor National and traveled far and wide to get to the Supercross races. Doc started to join me on the moto weekends and we'd spend hours in the pits soaking in all the tech. Almost immediately after he completed the first TMX it was pushed into production by popular (regional) demand and ended up becoming the company's flagship bike for several years.
In late 2000 I fled NYC in search of a place to live with easier access to downhill trails, landing in Bountiful, Utah. While out there I was introduced to racing and immediately started trolling the continental United States in search of the elusive three minute run.
Because there was so little exposure beyond the Northeast (or UK) to Doc's work or his company in general, my unofficial though dedicated roll of public relations took shape. I had a strong desire to dispell the myths and preconceived notions by sharing the rather simple practicality behind the designs.
Also in late 2000 Doc's preliminary suspension exploration was taken one-step beyond with the creation of The Master Plan. It was a purely experiemental bike designed to test suspension, braking and body positioning. The experience gained was quickly utilized in the 2001 Big Link, his first bike with a linkage driven shock configuration.
While out west I was exposed to varying terrain and means other than a chairlift of getting to descending trails (ie: hike-a-biking). It was a rude awakening that while my TMX handled rock gardens and big hits extremely well, the 55lbs chromoly steed with 24" Gazzi's (LOL!) was merciless if the terrain was anything but a descent. It became evident I needed to get Doc off his beaten path to experience different riding conditions so his work could better fulfill a broader need.
As Doc's fabricating and riding requirements continued to evolve so did the side projects he challenged himself with. He returned to NYC from a pivotal May 2001 trip to Utah with the goal of making the smallest lightest bike possible utilizing the same proven linkage and jack shaft design of the Big Link, which was a burley 65lbs. Several months later he emerged from the shop with a six-inch travel all-mountain bike capable of handling the terrain at his favorite Northeast resort while also serving exceptionally well on the September follow-up trip to Utah that same year. The 36lbs FQ Mini Link was another of his self-funded side projects forced into limited production at the company by popular demand.
Throughout this time I enjoyed honing skills as a journalist. But I found my niche with the influence and encouragement of a fellow amateur racer with an elite level of enthusiasm for the sport who has since gone on to father Littermag - the illegitimate child of gravity mountain bike media. Working in various public relations and sponsorship liaison capacities I thrived on broadening the coverage and support for up-and-coming riders, boutique manufacturers and grassroots racing.
In 2002 Doc had been working on a downhill frame design that would have been years away from going into production at the old company had it not been for the early support of Avalanche Downhill Racing who was looking for a new team bike at the time. Later that year, Avalanche team rider John McCann won the Semi Pro class at the Mount Snow National aboard one of these Race Links.
It wasn't long before Doc compiled a hearty list of changes required to make the Race Link truly race-worthy for all conditions but without a concerted effort under one roof these undertakings were insurmountable. The bike ended up being the last production frame Doc would design for his old company.
He spent the next four years buried in Race Link production, frame refurbishes and side projects. BMX and dirt jumping remained on the dance card throughout the years but it wasn't until his 2004 side-project Street Sweepers did he return to building hardtails. A year later he took a brief u-turn from the more streamlined weight-conscious direction he was heading in and catered to the persistent requests of two longtime supporters in order to make a handful of burley big-hit frames called the Hitman, a vast upgrade to the Big Link.
During those years Doc found himself with a renewed interest in racing and started riding more frequently with people who raced at the pro/elite National and WC level. Or trying to keep pace with them rather. He studied and adapted quickly to the World Cup style of riding. In 2006 he saw fit to tend to his list of Race Link upgrades which included slight changes to geometry and advanced lighter tubing. The one-off WCRL weighs in at 38lbs complete.
There was an increasing awareness full company support was necessary in order for his production bikes to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology and manfuacturing requirements. It was with heavy heart in 2006 Doc bid farewell to the faithful following of Brooklyn fanatics to start up SuperCo; a bike company devoted to the support and progress of his work along with the consistent quality service our customers deserve.