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Posted on March 17 at 12:23 p.m.
P.S. ...forgotten by the sport they helped create was the most rewarding THING I've ever done. ;-)
On From Klunkers to Mountain Bikes
Posted on March 17 at 8:59 a.m.
"The early history of mountain biking is a mix of faded newspaper clippings, memorabilia, old newsletters, sketches, and people’s memories of long ago events". Well, if your readers have any interest in the history of off road cycling, they might want to watch my documentary film, Klunkerz. I blended together all of the elements above, plus some footage and photographs that have never been published before. Klunkerz played at the Santa Barbara Film Festival a few years ago and it was actually cast member James McLean that did the introduction. The Independent was present and gave it a very nice little review. “Classic footage and even more classic denim-armored characters-some of whom have gone on to mountain biking royalty like Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze-makes this an enjoyable, educational, and entertaining movie.” I guess memories do fade quickly. I wrote, produced, and directed the film as well as doing all the publicity. I was grateful to The Independent for covering the screening. I eventually took the film to a hundred more festivals around the world and won a few along the way. In my interviews I tried to include everyone who had anything to do with the sport in it's infancy, from 1953-1983. Of course, that's impossible to do in a 90 minute film, so I chose to focus on the Bay Area riders. The bottom line was that they were the most responsible for the popularization of the sport. Period. That is not to say there weren't other who made major contributions, but the folks from Marin created awareness of the sport. After all, they had created the first downhill race series (Repack), the first truly commercial mountain bike company (MountainBikes), the first magazine dedicated to off-road cycling (The Fat Tire Flyer) and they took their bikes to other states to show what could be done with an off-road bicycle. I also interviewed Craig Mitchell's surviving family members. I interviewed U.C. Davis Professor J.F. Scott (RIP) who built a 'mountain bike' in 1953. In a tragic turn of events he was murdered shortly after my interview with him. I interviewed The Morrow Dirt Club who showed up from out of town to the West Coast Cyclocross Championships in Marin in 1974 with their multi-gear Klunkerz and caught the attention of Joe, Gary, Charlie Kelly, Otis Guy, etc. I interviewed the Larkspur Canyon Gang, who started riding Mt. Tam on their single-speed Klunkers in the late 1960s. Since the film's release, 17 members of the cast have been inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The "Pioneers" category had moved on to the late 80s and early 90s, so it was nice to turn back the clock a little. I may never pay off the film, but shining a light on those forgotten by the sport they helped create was the most rewarding I've ever done. The film is only available from me via Amazon.