Pictured above: My Ringle’ Quick Release Skewer/Bottle Opener / Talisman. Here is how I got it.
Sometime around ’92 or ’93ish, me and the rest of the crew from Golden Ring Bicycle Shop headed to Interbike Bicycle Trade Show and Schwag Accumulation Event which was either in Atlantic City or Philadelphia the year we got these awesome artifacts. I’ll just go ahead and admit my memory is a little fuzzy since we always used Interbike as an excuse to get pretty wasted the night before. Anyway, whichever year this happened, here is how it went down.
We were walking around collecting a zillion tons of literature, stickers, water bottles and all the free stuff that the manufacturers give awar at bike trade shows, when we came upon the Ringle’ booth. Zillions of sweet looking parts were on display, in typical early nineties anodized glory, and some dude was giving out these “Bottle Openers”. The guy who was giving them out was kind of a big dude, and at some point we overheard him telling another attendee…”I’m Geoff Ringle” and I am the testing department as well as the company namesake. If I can’t break it then it is strong enough for us to sell.” I may not be exactly precise on the wording here, but that was the point he was getting across, and believe it when I say he def looked like he could destroy some parts. We were kind of stoked to be talking with the man himself, since Ringle’ parts were all the rage that year. We all got out samples and kept on pushing on.
Since then this little unit has been my trusty beer opening companion for over 20 years and still going strong! Actually, it has worn down quite a bit, and I have to work a little bit to get it to open a brew these days, but I will always give it a try before I opt for some cheaper, less meaningful mode of beverage enabler. This is because I am convinced that every time I use this on a beer, I get a little boost of good luck. I never go on big rides without it.
I’ve stayed in contact with the other brothers from “way back when” at the bike shop. If I remember correctly, I may be the last man standing who has one of these from our group. I hope theirs served them as well as mine has.
I got out of the bike business in 1995, and sort of lost track of what happened to most manufacturers, and I am almost sure that Ringle’ got bought out by a larger company. Here is an ad from the company when they were in their heyday:
To see a much more thorough collection of Ringle’ history, head over to the MOMBAT Bicycle History Pages (where I copped the ad image from thanks folks).