Gianni Cycling was founded in 1991 by Tom Gonnella (a.k.a. Snap) as a bike shop in downtown Occidental. Gianni Cyclery was a full service shop and purveyor of local handbuilt bikes, including Ibis, Salsa, and Bruce Gordon.
Over time, Gianni started a mountain bike race team and then eventually started putting on races of their own. One race became a cult classic called the “Ring of Fire” — tough and grueling considering the terrain. In the winter months, Gianni put on cyclocross races known as the “West Pole” cyclocross series, another grueling favorite.
As the years went on, more and more customers became friends and riding partners, always looking for places to ride legally. It was back then that Gianni approached local landowners and got them to agree to yearly leases, with the guarantee of good stewardship and respect of the land.
The bike shop closed its doors in 1998. The group stayed together and kept riding over the years, eventually forming the Gianni Cycling Association.