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  1. #1
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    Gary Fisher - Charlie Kelly - Klunkerz

    Anybody around here ever meet Gary? Ride with him? I know he was all up in Mt. Tam's grille; is he still living in NorCal?

    I recently achieved the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts, and I was just thinking how totally awesome it would be to invite Gary Fisher to my Court of Honor....



    And to all the naysayers: I think that you would realize how futile a forum search for Gary Fisher would be when I'm trying to find out about the dude himself.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  2. #2
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    You are strange!! Gary lives in SF to my understanding, that's all I know.

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    He is on Facebook

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    Lives in Marin, San Anselmo last I recall, he used to be my neighbor back in the day. I rode on a pickup type ride with him back in 1996. He is still a very fast rider I believe.

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    I met Gary in 1971 on a bike ride, and fifteen minutes later we were in the Grateful Dead office in San Rafael, looking at cover art for his friend Marmaduke's album, called "New Riders of the Purple Sage."

    Gary and I were roommates for five years, first at 21 Humbolt in San Anselmo, then we moved up the street to #32. In 1979 we rented a garage and opened a little business we called "MountainBikes."

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    The OP should invite Mr. Repack Rider instead of Mr. Fisher.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I met Gary in 1971 on a bike ride, and fifteen minutes later we were in the Grateful Dead office in San Rafael, looking at cover art for his friend Marmaduke's album, called "New Riders of the Purple Sage."

    Gary and I were roommates for five years, first at 21 Humbolt in San Anselmo, then we moved up the street to #32. In 1979 we rented a garage and opened a little business we called "MountainBikes."
    Man, understated post of the year!!!!!!

    Charlie Kelly aka Repack Rider is the ruler.

    fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Man, understated post of the year!!!!!!

    Charlie Kelly aka Repack Rider is the ruler.

    fc
    X1

    Kelly's way nicer than the Fish.
    Banned for showing Boobies.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo
    X1

    Kelly's way nicer than the Fish.
    x1 is the same as the original amount. You either say x2 or +1.

    fc

  10. #10
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    So Charlie, who was the better rider, you or Fisher?

    haha be honest!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man
    So Charlie, who was the better rider, you or Fisher?
    I hammered him on the day we met, and the next time was about 35 years later when I nipped him in a computerized race at the Cow Palace. He's something like 3000-2 lifetime with me if you add up every ride we ever took.

    Gary was Cat I and a fixture in the NorCal top ten. I only raced one season on the road and never broke out of Cat IV. He started racing bikes when he was about 12, and I rode a ten-speed for the first time when I was 24 years old, about two years before we met.

  12. #12
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    Riding is riding. I don't place a hierarchy on who is whom. But I did ride with Gary down Repack back in the mid 80's. I also got an eagle scout. Tom Ritchey was in one of our patrols. That was back in the late 60's in Palo Alto Troop 16 (evolved into troop 206 in Atherton). I think he was in Cream patrol. They had milk bottles for patrol badges. That's "Cream" after the band with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton. Those were the days. I'll always remember Tom's first hand built bike. That was probably 1971. A road bike.

    I miss the early days. Brazing sprockets onto sprockets to get that 1:1 ratio. And all of the open spaces that are now closed.

    Whatever happened to John Drumm?
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    charlie, are you still in contact with the Sons of Champlin? I saw them play this past summer at my friends winery..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I met Gary in 1971 on a bike ride, and fifteen minutes later we were in the Grateful Dead office in San Rafael, looking at cover art for his friend Marmaduke's album, called "New Riders of the Purple Sage."

    Gary and I were roommates for five years, first at 21 Humbolt in San Anselmo, then we moved up the street to #32. In 1979 we rented a garage and opened a little business we called "MountainBikes."
    So why does he get all the credit for the pioneering stuffs? You always hear about Gary Fisher and the klunkerz, not Gary Fisher with Charlie Kelly and the klunkerz.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erik1245
    So why does he get all the credit for the pioneering stuffs? You always hear about Gary Fisher and the klunkerz, not Gary Fisher with Charlie Kelly and the klunkerz.
    Time to brush up on mountain biking history. Look up Tom Ritchey, Victor Vincente of America, Jacquie Phelan. Please come back tomorrow with a biographical report for the class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icantdrive65
    Time to brush up on mountain biking history. Look up Tom Ritchey, Victor Vincente of America, Jacquie Phelan. Please come back tomorrow with a biographical report for the class.
    I'll have to agree with that. I've never been one for too much background research; it tends to get me in trouble....

    I was just born in the wrong era. If all this was current events, I would be in-the-know. Time to jump in the DeLorean and go back 40 years....
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  17. #17
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    erik1245: you forgot to add Joe Breeze, at least according to this magazine cover:

    Source: Charlie Kelly's Mountain Bike Hubsite

    And an ode to Repack Rider's mention of the Grateful Dead, you can look up the "Long Strange Trip" video on GF.
    Lead actor Will of the Sun, Author Platform Pedal Shootout 820K views

  18. #18
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    lol joe breezes neighbor backed into my T2 bike rack at that multibrewery tasting + bike expo in fairfax a few months ago. Looked like he backed into it at like 40mph!

    He was very proud to talk about his rides with joe breeze when writing me a check for a new bike rack and asking me not to call insurance. Guess he owns a winery.

    Seems like everyone in fairfax/san anselmo has run ins with these mountain biker celebrities!

  19. #19
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    Oops! Add Joe Breeze to the list. There are lots more who should be in that list, I'm sure.

    We need a Mountain Bike Forefathers thread to educate everyone about the roots of this sport.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb
    charlie, are you still in contact with the Sons of Champlin? I saw them play this past summer at my friends winery..
    My "other" claim to fame is that I am the "Cal Ripken" of rock band roadies.

    In the 42 years that I was the head roadie fore the Sons I missed a total of four shows. The first was when Bill Graham threw me out of the Fillmore in 1969, and then three more when we blew up the engine on the truck in Wells, Nevada in 1974. I had the engine rebuilt at a truck stop and then drove 1100 miles in 24 hours to catch up with the tour. I was never drunk, I was never in jail, I never had a drug problem and I never let the band down.

    I turned in my resignation this year, but they leaned on me for one more show, officially my last, in Santa Cruz in March.

    I rent rehearsal space for a couple for bands I play in from the Sons' drummer. The studio is about 50 feet from where the Sons (and Huey Lewis) practice, so I see the guys whenever they get together.

    Last year at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma after Bill Champlin introduced the band at the end of the show, he had me bring my guitar onstage and play the encore with them. Bill was kind enough to introduce me as "the heart and soul of The Sons." There are only two current members of the band who were there before me.

  21. #21
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    CK site

    You should check out CK's website, an excellent history of the MTB.

    http://sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/mtbwelcome.htm



    Quote Originally Posted by icantdrive65
    Oops! Add Joe Breeze to the list. There are lots more who should be in that list, I'm sure.

    We need a Mountain Bike Forefathers thread to educate everyone about the roots of this sport.
    Get Marin MTB advocacy info @ www.btcmarin.org

  22. #22
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    Gary Fisher and I at IB 2010, yeah, we're BFF's He's always been a rockstar in my book

    Matt

    Gary Fisher - Charlie Kelly - Klunkerz-fisher.jpg
    I should be out riding....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTCMinfo
    You should check out CK's website, an excellent history of the MTB.
    http://sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/mtbwelcome.htm
    Good advise for anyone who wonders how this all got started. Pack a lunch though, you could be gone for hours.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them yours

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkyJay
    Good advise for anyone who wonders how this all got started. Pack a lunch though, you could be gone for hours.
    I got plenty of time!
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    My "other" claim to fame is that I am the "Cal Ripken" of rock band roadies.

    In the 42 years that I was the head roadie fore the Sons I missed a total of four shows. The first was when Bill Graham threw me out of the Fillmore in 1969, and then three more when we blew up the engine on the truck in Wells, Nevada in 1974. I had the engine rebuilt at a truck stop and then drove 1100 miles in 24 hours to catch up with the tour. I was never drunk, I was never in jail, I never had a drug problem and I never let the band down.

    I turned in my resignation this year, but they leaned on me for one more show, officially my last, in Santa Cruz in March.

    I rent rehearsal space for a couple for bands I play in from the Sons' drummer. The studio is about 50 feet from where the Sons (and Huey Lewis) practice, so I see the guys whenever they get together.

    Last year at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma after Bill Champlin introduced the band at the end of the show, he had me bring my guitar onstage and play the encore with them. Bill was kind enough to introduce me as "the heart and soul of The Sons." There are only two current members of the band who were there before me.
    . That is RAD man, I don't realy know them but I had fun hanging with them at my Buddys winery up in lake county. And then I helped the boys load the truck, what a fun group of guys.

  26. #26
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    Wow, cool thread. Thanks for jumping in Charlie.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    x1 is the same as the original amount. You either say x2 or +1.

    fc
    Stupid New comp-u-tar.
    Thanks dad
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    I rode with Charlie and Joe at the Biketoberfest "legends of Mountain biking" ride and had a blast. They can both still ride hard. Charlie was fun and Joe was the historian telling us about the history of the area. Doing repack with Joe was a highlight.

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    Gary is a pretty cool guy, see him all the time in marin. Drops by the shop once in a while to say hi!

  30. #30
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    Here you go. We had a beer this summer in the mountains.

    Photo by Geoff Waugh

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gary Fisher - Charlie Kelly - Klunkerz-g_waugh_trek2011_240.jpg  


  31. #31
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    Doesn't Charlie still own the original timer from Repak that has the bottle cap on the reset button? Great recent pics of Gary Fisher. I saw Gary Fisher at the Klunkerz premiere with Jackie Phelan a couple years back, they both seemed like really cool people. We're blessed to have guys like Charlie on this forum and all those other legends locally for the occasional sighting (and ride!).

  32. #32
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    If we're throwing names around, let's not leave Wende Cragg out. She doesn't go looking for publicity like the rest of us, but she was an integral part of the "Repack" crowd, and Bill Savage would have had a hard time making "Klunkerz" without her photos.

    Here we are after doing a radio show last year at KQED in San Francisco.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gary Fisher - Charlie Kelly - Klunkerz-kqed4.jpg  


  33. #33
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    I'm sure you're innocent, but we need to know why you were thrown out of The Fillmore.

  34. #34
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    Tom Ritchey is also local.
    just an idea
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    If we're throwing names around, let's not leave Wende Cragg out. She doesn't go looking for publicity like the rest of us, but she was an integral part of the "Repack" crowd, and Bill Savage would have had a hard time making "Klunkerz" without her photos.

    Here we are after doing a radio show last year at KQED in San Francisco.

    Seekay, would you say Klunkerz is an accurate depiction of how it all began?

    It really opened my eyes into the hidden beginnings of our sport.

    fc

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    +1. Fisher gets too much solo credit for MTBing. He wasn't the only one on knobby tires back in the day.
    I gotta second that. I honestly thought that GF just took a bunch of old cruisers, messed up the frames a bit, and that was a mountain bike. I know, oversimplified a bit, but that's mostly what I originally thought.

    And then I'm reading through this thread, and, "holy crap I'm talking to Charlie Kelly!" (Still not done reading through his entire website though.)

    But now I see that mtbing was something that evolved through almost a decade, and involved a bunch of kids with some engineering smarts and some faith in themselves. I know I wouldn't be willing to trust something that I made myself, flying down the side of a mountain.

    I guess GF gets a lot of solo credit because he's got a good-sized bike company, and each of his bikes has his name on it. And that's as far as most people research into it.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  37. #37
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    Doesn't bontrager also live in Santa Cruz? Not that he is as old (legendary) but still a name in the sport. Charlie, Gary and Joe really had an idea back then and without them we have no idea when MTB would have taken off. Ii think it is really cool that Charlie is on this forum and talks about it. I would love to hear him talk over beers about the good old days.
    They never made the "Slowster"

  38. #38
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    Good point, Stripes

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    +1. Fisher gets too much solo credit for MTBing. He wasn't the only one on knobby tires back in the day.

    D
    But ya gotta say Gary has made it stick!

  39. #39
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    I forgot Cunningham!

    Quote Originally Posted by pmarshall
    Doesn't bontrager also live in Santa Cruz?
    I know Keith Bontrager was in Santa Cruz. Probably still around, just staying under the radar. I really wanted one of his frames back around 1990. So simple, clean and elegant. Actually, I would still love to have one. The only vintage steel I have is a ~1985 Fisher Montare in "used" condition. I used up my 1988 Fisher CR-7 years ago and got a Trek-owned Gary Fisher Mt. Tam replacement. I kinda wish I had held onto the old CR-7.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by J
    I'm sure you're innocent, but we need to know why you were thrown out of The Fillmore.
    The roadie for the third billed band did not get to tell Bill Graham where to get off in his own place.

    I saw Mr. Graham many times afterward because that was hardly the last Fillmore show I worked on. He always made a point of coming over and shaking my hand, even though I'll bet he didn't know my name.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Seekay, would you say Klunkerz is an accurate depiction of how it all began?

    It really opened my eyes into the hidden beginnings of our sport.

    fc
    I would have told the story a little differently but Billy did pretty well. Some of the people included were there because they became prominent later, but were not really influential on the earliest developments.

    Charlie Cunningham did not participate in any of our activities in the '70s, did not race at Repack, and rode skinny tires on trails until light rims and tires became available around 1981. He ridiculed our use of incredibly heavy wheels and tires, but he wasn't testing his bikes on Repack either. Jacquie arrived in Marin in the fall of 1981, by which time things were well down the road.

    I felt that some of the interviews were a little "revisionist" and that there was some after the fact polishing, but that is to be expected.

    In the film Mike Sinyard took great pains to point out the SINGLE difference between the gruppo of the Stumpjumper and the gruppo on the four bikes he bought from us, which was Tomaselli brake levers instead of Magura. Gary and I had already snatched the Magura OEM distribution for NorCal, so he would have had to buy them from us.

  42. #42
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    I didn't want to mention Sinyard. He was instrumental in ripping off others' ideas and bringing big business to mountain biking...and then going after anybody who hinted at "borrowing" from the big S.

    I try not to don that logo.

  43. #43
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    This http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R906241000, is rad!! Play the mp3..
    Last edited by Captain Cobb; 12-30-2010 at 09:35 PM.

  44. #44
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    Rumor has it that in 2012 there will be a mountain biking display at the SFO Airport Museum (the only accredited airport museum in the US). Don't know much more than that, but I'm sure that the museum would be interested in any historic MTB related items. If any one has any items that they might want to loan the museum, drop me a PM and I'll see if I can put you in contact with someone from the museum.

  45. #45
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    To the Threadparent: I'd invite Charlie Kelly too. Never met him, but his posts here and website imply a pretty interesting guy. Don't know GF either (got close at a bike event in MPLS about 20 years ago) but "rock stars" generally are very tough to get ahold of.

    Side note: when I was a kid a lot of us rode our old cruisers out in the woods; they worked a whole lot better than skinny tired bikes. I remember an older guy that was pretty hard-core about it, having adapted 10-speed components to an old cruiser giving him a bike that would really climb hills, but his main goal was getting out in the woods to pick mushrooms and berries...but I think he enjoyed the rides, too.

    Where GF, CK, and some of these others diverged (IMO) from all of us that took our fenders off and rode in the woods was more of the "human" aspect. Repack fire road was an important component to be sure, as was the "Mountainbike" company, Wende's photos and all the other parts of the story, but at the bottom, I think, its really about all the people in the story.

    Thanks, Charlie, GF, and all the others involved along the way for making riding in the woods and hills acceptable sport, rather than the province of kooks like my old friend that picked berries and mushrooms, or a bunch of wild dumb-asz teenagers like I was back in the day.

  46. #46
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    Heres me an Gar' taken a pix with his new Iphone.
    Classic.
    I see him all the time around these parts.
    He was also leading a pack of 50-60 somthings up the last hill before Repack on the Appitite seminar.
    I was going down the hill, he was coming up, and I just about took him out.
    That would not have been good.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gary Fisher - Charlie Kelly - Klunkerz-dsc00590-medium-.jpg  

    Banned for showing Boobies.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by icantdrive65
    Time to brush up on mountain biking history. Look up Tom Ritchey, Victor Vincente of America, Jacquie Phelan. Please come back tomorrow with a biographical report for the class.
    Yup. Anyone who rides a mountain bike and lives in the bay area should do so.

    There are a whole lot of guys that have been left out of this discussion that deserve note, but I won't nit pick.

    CK has been a fantastic historian and patriarch of records as well.

    Having had the opportunity to ride and hang out with several historical types (on several occasions) is easily an MTB highlight for me.
    We're lucky to live where we do and these guys responsible for our passion are all so down to earth and inviting...shame not to acknowledge or know who they are.
    -eric-

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  48. #48
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    The sport of mountain biking was born of more than an arbitrary dateline. I don't find that fair at all.

    Repack, you would have told the story a little differently? You should tell it here! Have you mentioned it before? I need to pay more attention!

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I would have told the story a little differently but Billy did pretty well. Some of the people included were there because they became prominent later, but were not really influential on the earliest developments.

    Charlie Cunningham did not participate in any of our activities in the '70s, did not race at Repack, and rode skinny tires on trails until light rims and tires became available around 1981. He ridiculed our use of incredibly heavy wheels and tires, but he wasn't testing his bikes on Repack either. Jacquie arrived in Marin in the fall of 1981, by which time things were well down the road.

    I felt that some of the interviews were a little "revisionist" and that there was some after the fact polishing, but that is to be expected.

    In the film Mike Sinyard took great pains to point out the SINGLE difference between the gruppo of the Stumpjumper and the gruppo on the four bikes he bought from us, which was Tomaselli brake levers instead of Magura. Gary and I had already snatched the Magura OEM distribution for NorCal, so he would have had to buy them from us.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanleyButterfly
    Repack, you would have told the story a little differently? You should tell it here! Have you mentioned it before? I need to pay more attention!
    There is a lot of stuff on my website, but it does not tell the story in a linear fashion. It's not like I haven't been working on a book about that amazing adventure, but I haven't found anyone to publish it yet.

    If you care to look at the draft I send around to publishers, which covers my bike history right up until Gary and I opened the little shop, it's online as a .pdf. There's another ten years of fun that isn't on there, including the rise and fall of our shop, NORBA, the Fat Tire Flyer magazine, etc. Ignore the uncorrected typos.

    If I ever get it into print, of course I would include lots of graphics of the sort you see on my website, Repack posters, MountanBikes advertising, the Fat Tire Flyer, Wende's photos and so on.

  50. #50
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    We all know that Mountain Biking was pioneered by Rodney Rom. Just ask him http://www.completesite.com/mbhof/pa...4&memberid=154
    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
    CS Lewis
    Quadzilla

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