Ingrid Doerr: A Tribute



The woman who changed MTB apparel forever

Words by Mike Levy, Sterling Lorence, Geoff Gulevich, Kerri Holmes, & Johnny Smoke.
Photos by Sterling Lorence, Kerri Holmes, Ian Hylands, & Derek Frankowski.

The early days of freeriding were a heady time, and that's probably understating it when talking of North Vancouver's pioneering days. Before the internet made everything feel as if it were right outside our door, the North Shore was in its own rooty, steep, misty bubble, where normal gear didn't cut it and riders were resorting to protection borrowed from other sports. In the 90s, while the cycling world at large was wrapped in lycra and chasing podiums, the Vancouver scene didn't really have its own identity yet. But that changed with Ingrid—if you rode on the 'Shore back then, you knew of her and her company, Roach Clothing.

Ingrid sadly passed away last month. Below are stories a few of her many friends have shared with us. From all of us at Pinkbike, Ingrid you'll be missed and your impacts on the sport won't be forgotten.—ML
Sterling Lorence - Photographer Those early days of the North Shore scene and the progression of freeriding out of B.C. was full of Roach. Ingrid loved the riding scene, and she truly came across as one that loved all the riders, her team riders, and all the expression and creativity that was happening. She showed that by always supporting the riders that were making films and shooting photos. She was super creative and was able to convey mountain biking into her clothing/protection designs, color-ways, and style. And most importantly, she would listen to the riders and the scene and take that input into how things were made and performed. I can remember going to visit her early in my career to show her photos and we discussed optional color-ways of her designs that would help pop more in the dark north shore forest light. A week later we'd have custom color kits for Wade Simmons and the boys that looked cool and worked better on film. It was nice to be able to wear B.C. ride clothing that didn't make us look like Supercross moto bros.

Geoff Gulevich - Pro Rider

I first met Ingrid when I was 12 years old, at the Indoor North Shore Bike Show at BC Place. I knew her brand, Roach, as all of my idols wore it. Beyond that, we were strangers. I had cased a drop and ripped the seam of my cargo shorts and underwear. My ass was exposed and I was only looking for the quickest way to escape my embarrassment. Ingrid waved me over to her booth, went through her 50%-off inventory and found a pair of shorts to give me. To her, it may have only been a piece of clothing that she couldn't sell fast enough. To me, it was an escape from the most embarrassing moment of my life so far.

Johnny Smoke - OG Rider & Bike Guide I've been rocking the Roach for over 25 years. I don't even remember the first time I saw it, but I probably thought that a stem and top tube pad were stupid the first time I saw one. Bike stuff was always expensive. Then again... nuts. I think I found a way to afford the pads pretty quickly and graduated to body armour with no delay. I seem to remember that there were a lot of alternatives popping up to the Roach stuff, but it always seemed to have issues with fit and durability.

Johnny Smoke wearing Roach Clothing. Photos by Derek Frankowski.
Johnny Smoke. Photos by Derek Frankowski.
It's always a shame when someone passes away at a young age. But Ingrid has left a rich and lasting legacy. All the adventures we've had wearing her gear were so amazing, and there's more to come. And all the stuff being made by companies like RaceFace, Chromag, Chrome, Sombrio, and many others all owe a huge debt to this woman who dared to innovate. Thanks for everything Ingrid.