THE BOSS – Mark Baumgardner
After racing, coaching and teaching skiing in the Midwest through high school and college in the early 70’s, Mark found himself working in a ski shop in Sun Valley Idaho. After his wife bought him a gift-certificate for a day of heli-skiing, Mark bought the business and has been dedicated to heli-skiing and showing friends the back-country ever since. A highlight of his long career is the avalanche search and rescue work he has done with his dog, Otto. “While it is not our primary focus, guides have to be prepared for avalanche rescue. I am very fortunate that Otto is such a clever and hard working partner and he has proven to be an asset to the community on several occasions”.
Mark also owns and runs the Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge, the only fly-in heli-ski lodge in the lower 48 states, surrounded by National Forest and some of the best heli-skiing terrain in North America. “Augmenting our daily operations with a multi-day custom package for small groups in some of the most remote terrain in the right in my backyard has always been a dream of mine. The Lodge is a very special place indeed.”
In the summer of 2010, Mark added a new element to the Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge with Bike Ranch—a bicycle riding training facility fully loaded with pump tracks, BMX course and custom singletrack trails and stunts.
HEAD HONCHO – Jennifer Biondi
Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, Jennifer embraced her youthful independence riding her bike all over town. She built her first bike stunt around the corner from her house at Westlake Pond as the boys watched. When she was satisfied with her construction, she launched off into the pond on her green Murray Wildcat. Like a true entrepreneur, she charged the boys to take flight. Her passion for being airborne had not worn-off when she left for San Jose State under a basketball scholarship to study Aeronautical Engineering. However, she did switch gears and graduated with a degree in Advertising. Down the road from Silicon Valley, she found her roots again in Santa Cruz working for Bell Helmets as a Product Marketing Manager. Now she resides in Hailey, Idaho where she teamed up with Mark Baumgardner to develop Bike Ranch and take her youthful passion for riding to a new level and build more stunts for all to enjoy!
Favorite Ride: Anywhere I can put dirt under my wheels.
Coaching Experience: Mountain Biking, Basketball, Snowboarding, and Surfing
Nickname: Flying J
TV: The Mole, Season 1
Best Move: The Moonwalk, of course.
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
Residence: Kicking it in Hailey, Idaho
Pat started his biking career in the late-70’s building Schwinn cruisers with Mafac brazed-on brakes—that was a mountain bike back then! When the Cyclo-Cross Nationals came rolling through his town in 1984, he gave it a try and was hooked. Pat continues to compete and pushes his limits by terrorizing the multi-gear riders on his Single Speed—Single Speed Schott!
Favorite Idaho Ride: 4th of July to Ants Basin out Williams Creek
After Work Spin: Greenhorn to Imperial Gulch
Favorite Local Hangout: Billy’s Powerhouse Bike Shop & Pub, Hailey, Idaho
Interests: Skate Parks, Snowboarding, Epic Rides, Painting when not Pedaling
Sponsors: Rock Lobster Cycles, Giro, and Sturtos Bike Shop
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Residence: Ketchum, Idaho
To ride with Julian is like taking a joyride back in time when you popped your first wheelie. You can’t help but have fun when you ride with Julian. His passion for riding is contagious, but most importantly this kid loves to give back to a sport that fills his soul. His dedication to the community in which he lives and to Bike Ranch is unprecedented. He keeps a pulse on what’s going on in the bike industry and is assertive in his efforts to build new trails in cooperation with land managers and develop community events, such as Ketchum’s First Annual State Pump Track event. Follow this young ripper and you will also find the best riding in town.
Favorite Idaho Ride: Bald Mountain, Ketchum Bike Park, Stanley, Bike Ranch
Music: Twangy Indie.
Something Funny: I once played Captain Von Trapp in a performance of the Sound of Music.
One thing you hate? 700c wheels
Sponsors: bumVSmountain, Bike Ranch, and whoever else believes in what I stand for.
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Residence: Ketchum, Idaho
Born and bred in the wicked awesome suburbs of Boston, MA, Brendan grew up the youngest of a wild pack of boys and was the guinea pig for most of his childhood. Not playing well with others in team sports, he found his place skating, snowboarding, and reeking havoc on bikes.
Lacking areas to ride, prompted a young Coyle to build hi first skate park at age 14 and a second park at age 15. His trail building was mostly done illegally on private property as well as an abandoned State Mental Hospital—spooky and sweet!
Snow got under his skin so he moved across the country to go to school and ski more in Colorado. After graduating with a degree in Outdoor Recreation, Brendan spent his summers working in the camp industry and winters at various ski resorts across the West.
Like most people that live in a resort town, Brendan’s work is seasonal—Sun Valley Company winter mountain groomer and then he switches gears to Bike Park Manager for the City of Ketchum as well as building trails and coaching at Bike Ranch.
Interests: Telemark Skiing, River Swimming with My Dog, Riding Bikes in Downward Direction
JONNY “FUEGO” SMITH
Hometown: 100% Idaho Local
Favorite Ride: Loon Lake Loop McCall, Idaho
Music of Choice: Led Zeppelin
Favorite Hangouts: The Lift in Boise and Sun Valley Brewery, Hailey
A self taught frame builder and alchemist, Jonny has taken biking from grass roots BMX racing to mountain bike series since 1984. Giving up racing he became a holistic rider who believes in challenging one’s self rather than others (and also because h
e consistently finished second to last) he rides to get out into the world and experience the terrain rather than screaming past it.
Jonny lives in Boise, Idaho but keeps his passion for mountain biking alive by coaching at Bike Ranch during the summer months.
Quote: ” I love cycling in all it’s forms. I live to be creative when it comes to the design and construction of bicycles and the achievements of making a perfectly great race bike better. If it wasn’t for bicycles, I’d probably be a lawyer.”
Fuego co-authored and published, Cruisers, a history of the bicycle. He also assisted in designing the pump tracks and BMX course at Bike Ranch.
I used to introduce myself as a pro rider, but that doesnt seem accurate anymore. Granted, I am very passionately dedicated to things involving 2 wheels, but its not just the bikes I love: its the lifestyle that theyve led me to lead. Bikes are one of the tools that Ive chosen as a means or a reason to travel, express myself, push myself, hurt myself, frustrate myself, be proud of myself, keep myself healthy, and make myself happy. I hate to think of where I would be if I had never started riding bikes 11 yrs ago in Santa Barbara.
Since then, during the past 11 yrs, I’ve tried my best to do a lot of really cool things. I spent 5 years traveling the US on the NORBA circuit (back when there was a NORBA) as a privateer, racing pro Downhill and Mountain Cross. I qualified to race in a few of the North American World Cup DH races, which was an absolutely amazing experience. My time with bikes started out being very dedicated to racing, and I learned so much from those experiences. You cant help but learn from the fastest pros in the world when you are out there with them, as long as you are willing to pay attention, and ask a few questions.
As my riding and racing progressed and evolved, I found myself really drawn to dirt jumping, slopestyle, and the development of freeriding in general. The creativity and freedom that I found off the racetracks became really addictive. The feeling of learning new tricks, getting through bigger and bigger lines of jumps, and finding new and scary lines in skateparks became consuming. Pulling supermans and backflips on dirt has been one of the best rewards for all the crashes, bruises, and blood. Participating in various jump jams and slopestyle comps (Slope Sistair, Womenzworx, Teva Games, etc) always serves to inspire me to learn more and keep progressing.
FILM & PRINT: Bones Over Metal for the film Awesome Land: Women of Dirt; Don Hamptons’ film Latitudes; Ads and photos in Decline and Bike; photo shoots for Dakine and Rocky Mountain.
Hometown- Bellevue, ID
A true local, Chase was born in Sun Valley, Idaho and raised in the beautiful Wood River Valley. While growing up he road anything with two wheels, played sports, and drove any heavy equipment he could get his hands on. After high school, Chase moved to Bozeman, Montana where he received a Bachelor in Horticulture and Landscape Design. It was in Montana that Chase really got involved with constructing tracks and trails and now he applies his talents on Bald Mountain during the winter and when the snow melts he earns his turns at Bike Ranch. Chase owns his own Landscape Design business and plays with Tonka trucks on the side.