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  1. #1
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    My "retro" website

    I have been uploading a lot of pics here because it means I don't have to pay for the bandwidth. I have spent the last few years working on a personal website that covers my mountain bike activities from the '70s to around 1990 when I stopped making my living from the bike industry. If you are into "retro" mountain biking, you can't go any firther upstream than what is on my site.

    Gary Fisher and I were roommates from 1971 to about 1976, and in 1979 we partnered up with Tom Ritchey to start a business which we called "Mountain Bikes." That was our brand name for our single product and the name of our company, since then co-opted to describe all modern off-road bikes.

    Here is the link to my site. Because I have so much material I have spread it out over a lot of other pages, so you should follow the links on this page to see the rest of it.
    Last edited by Repack Rider; 10-27-2005 at 05:22 PM. Reason: The photos are not attached

  2. #2
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    Cool site.

    Thanks for your contributions to the sport.

  3. #3
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    Website

    I love your website Charlie. I actually found it a while back by googling. I dig all the old repack posters and stuff. The ride pics are cool too? Thanks for starting all this.
    Scotty

  4. #4
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    CK, great web site. I have spent many hours reading on your site. I'm glad that you've documented so much of the history, and written down your recollection of events. For those of us that love learning the history of the sport, sites like yours and books like the one by Frank Berto, are great insights into events where we wish we had been present.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I have been uploading a lot of pics here because it means I don't have to pay for the bandwidth. I have spent the last few years working on a personal website that covers my mountain bike activities from the '70s to around 1990 when I stopped making my living from the bike industry. If you are into "retro" mountain biking, you can't go any firther upstream than what is on my site.

    Gary Fisher and I were roommates from 1971 to about 1976, and in 1979 we partnered up with Tom Ritchey to start a business which we called "Mountain Bikes." That was our brand name for our single product and the name of our company, since then co-opted to describe all modern off-road bikes.

    Here is the link to my site. Because I have so much material I have spread it out over a lot of other pages, so you should follow the links on this page to see the rest of it.

    Here are a couple of samples. The "Mountain Bikes" ad is our first ever, and ran in a BMX magazine in February, 1980.
    Very, very cool. Nice job and thanks for all you've done!
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  6. #6
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    Great site Charlie. The stuff you've got up there is as 'Vintage, Retro, Classic' as it gets.

    Keep those retro scans coming !

  7. #7
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    thank you ck,

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    CK, great web site. I have spent many hours reading on your site. I'm glad that you've documented so much of the history, and written down your recollection of events. For those of us that love learning the history of the sport, sites like yours and books like the one by Frank Berto, are great insights into events where we wish we had been present.

    Keep up the great work!
    my words, but better english thx eric






    not mine, but in my reach.

    ciao
    flo

  8. #8
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    CK, your site has been on my favorites list for a long time. It was great to see you with the old gang at the Davis bicycle conference. You guys had lots of cool stories and insight on the birth of this sport, I hope they do it again next year

  9. #9
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    Here are the photos

    I bungled the upload that was supposed to accompany the first post in this thread. I'll try again. These are photos from my archives.

    The first is our first printed ad, which ran in a BMX magazine in February 1980.

    Who's the kid? Gary Fisher, racing cyclocross in 1967.

    The three gentlemen posed with their bikes are Monte Ward, Jim Sullivan and Tim Rysdale, the "Ritchey Wrecking Crew" taking the first three places in the 1981Coyote Derby. In 1981 The Ritchey Mountain Bike was by far the most advanced off-roader on the market and it was unlikely you could beat the owner of one on anything else. The mass-produced Stumpjumper was six months away from its first appearance on the market. For the first five years of mountain biking every bike that came onto the market was as nearly an exact copy of this one that anyone else could build. Even though competitive mountain biking has moved past it, this simple design is now the workhorse bike of the world.

    And last, Cindy, the most awesome mountain bike babe who ever turned a pedal.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I bungled the upload that was supposed to accompany the first post in this thread. I'll try again. These are photos from my archives.

    The first is our first printed ad, which ran in a BMX magazine in February 1980.

    Who's the kid? Gary Fisher, racing cyclocross in 1967.

    The three gentlemen posed with their bikes are Monte Ward, Jim Sullivan and Tim Rysdale, the "Ritchey Wrecking Crew" taking the first three places in the 1981Coyote Derby. In 1981 The Ritchey Mountain Bike was by far the most advanced off-roader on the market and it was unlikely you could beat the owner of one on anything else. The mass-produced Stumpjumper was six months away from its first appearance on the market. For the first five years of mountain biking every bike that came onto the market was as nearly an exact copy of this one that anyone else could build. Even though competitive mountain biking has moved past it, this simple design is now the workhorse bike of the world.

    And last, Cindy, the most awesome mountain bike babe who ever turned a pedal.

    Wow. Amazing stuff CK. Thanks for sharin.

  11. #11
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    Your bike looks to me like 1982 or early 1983. The fork is Tange and the gruppo is an actual gruppo. The Mitsuboshi "Cruiser Mit" tires were the first light tires on the market, but by the time this bike came out there were good dirt tires available, starting with the original StumpJumper tire.

  12. #12
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    I must say that web site takes me back, love it.
    On another note, your sister-I think, Casey, was in the shop, Absolute Bikes in Salida Colorado, a few months ago. She moved to Alma/Fairplay about 1+ hours away. We got talking about the early days and she was surprised that Joe Murray is still looking like he did back in 1984.

    Scoty
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  13. #13
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    Classic!

    I never would have recognized Fisher. He's so young!

    I know Sully through his advocacy work. I'd never have recognized him either. I guess the old-timers were all young once.

    Great pics!!!!

  14. #14
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    Fricken Awsome....Charlie, I just want to shake your hand and say "Thank You". If we ever meet, the beers are on me.

  15. #15
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    Maybe I'll take you up on that

    Quote Originally Posted by abmtnbkr
    If we ever meet, the beers are on me.
    So, uh, where do you live?

    Since I'm posting, here's a pic. The guy on the left is Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. The guy in the middle is me. The other three people are Deadheads that we ran into on a ride and they had to get a picture because their friends were never going to believe them.
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  16. #16
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    Yes, excellent site! I spent a lot of time there a while back, when I stumbled across it. It's great to see all the history there.
    Beers are on me if you're ever in cajun country (Lafayette, LA)!.
    Serge
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I have been uploading a lot of pics here because it means I don't have to pay for the bandwidth. I have spent the last few years working on a personal website that covers my mountain bike activities from the '70s to around 1990 when I stopped making my living from the bike industry. If you are into "retro" mountain biking, you can't go any firther upstream than what is on my site.

    Gary Fisher and I were roommates from 1971 to about 1976, and in 1979 we partnered up with Tom Ritchey to start a business which we called "Mountain Bikes." That was our brand name for our single product and the name of our company, since then co-opted to describe all modern off-road bikes.

    Here is the link to my site. Because I have so much material I have spread it out over a lot of other pages, so you should follow the links on this page to see the rest of it.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I have been uploading a lot of pics here because it means I don't have to pay for the bandwidth. I have spent the last few years working on a personal website that covers my mountain bike activities from the '70s to around 1990 when I stopped making my living from the bike industry. If you are into "retro" mountain biking, you can't go any firther upstream than what is on my site.

    Gary Fisher and I were roommates from 1971 to about 1976, and in 1979 we partnered up with Tom Ritchey to start a business which we called "Mountain Bikes." That was our brand name for our single product and the name of our company, since then co-opted to describe all modern off-road bikes.

    Here is the link to my site. Because I have so much material I have spread it out over a lot of other pages, so you should follow the links on this page to see the rest of it.
    Hi CK. Yep, you've long had the best site on the net for vintage mtb content. Now I'll have to find another secret source to glean all my info from so I sound like I know what I'm talking about... Keep up the good work. I think it's safe to say you've found your audience. I love seeing all those photos you took. Glad someone had a sense of preservation!
    Pete
    Nothing left to lose, & half mad.

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    I too have had your site maked for quite some time. Very cool stuff - thanks! That photo of Jim Sullivan sure also looks an awful lot like Bob Hadley. But my mind may be playing tricks on me. I remember Sully (maybe there are two Jim Sullivans) having sandy colored hair.

  19. #19
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    My bad

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    I too have had your site maked for quite some time. Very cool stuff - thanks! That photo of Jim Sullivan sure also looks an awful lot like Bob Hadley. But my mind may be playing tricks on me. I remember Sully (maybe there are two Jim Sullivans) having sandy colored hair.
    My big bad. The guy in the photo is Jim SAMUELSON. Sully's name just came to my fingertips when I wrote it. Glad you guys caught it.

    I have a story about Sully the porcine valve guy. When he became National vet champ in 1990 I introduced myself, because I was getting paid by Bicycling to write about the event. He told me that we had met, when he was 16 years old and walking his bike past a stage at Stanford University where a rock band was playing. The roadie seemed to know a lot about bikes, and they talked for a while. Later on we both turned out to be the same people. Much later, like 20 years. He remembered the incident. I didn't.

    I enlarged and cropped the Fat Tire Flyer Tomac pic that is the earliest known photo of him in a mountain bike race. I enlarged his bike so you guys could inspect it. I'll do a higher res scan next time I visit the archives (which are not kept in my house).
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  20. #20
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    Some experimental bikes

    Here are some photos I took in Crested Butte in the mid eighties. The bikes are hand made, each is one of a kind, built by a couple of guys from somewhere in Colorado. I don't know who they were or what happened to them, but I got the photos.

    Notice that the chainstay has been moved to prevent chainsuck, like the "Alien" bike.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    ...I enlarged and cropped the Fat Tire Flyer Tomac pic that is the earliest known photo of him in a mountain bike race. I enlarged his bike so you guys could inspect it. I'll do a higher res scan next time I visit the archives (which are not kept in my house).
    Dang Seekay, He converted a BMX bike! Could that have been at the first/early Sea Otter?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Dang Seekay, He converted a BMX bike! Could that have been at the first/early Sea Otter?
    The first "Sea Otter" was in 1991, and at that time it wasnt even called that, it was the Laguna Seca Challenge where the top pros battled in a stage race that had road and mtn stages. Lance Armstrong won. I htink the next year or maybe 93 it got the name Sea Otter.

    Heres what Tomac said about that shot:


    "That's one of my first mountain bikes that I built up from a 24 bmxer and it's also one of the first X-C races I raced in. That would put it at..I believe the winter of 85-86 and
    the race was the Tour of Tampa Land in the SanFernando Valley foothills of
    So.Cal.. "

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    My big bad. The guy in the photo is Jim SAMUELSON. Sully's name just came to my fingertips when I wrote it. Glad you guys caught it.

    I have a story about Sully the porcine valve guy. When he became National vet champ in 1990 I introduced myself, because I was getting paid by Bicycling to write about the event. He told me that we had met, when he was 16 years old and walking his bike past a stage at Stanford University where a rock band was playing. The roadie seemed to know a lot about bikes, and they talked for a while. Later on we both turned out to be the same people. Much later, like 20 years. He remembered the incident. I didn't.

    I enlarged and cropped the Fat Tire Flyer Tomac pic that is the earliest known photo of him in a mountain bike race. I enlarged his bike so you guys could inspect it. I'll do a higher res scan next time I visit the archives (which are not kept in my house).

    Tell us about this picture CK, was he pretty much a complete nobody at this point or was his name already getting around in the mtb world? Do you remember how he did by chance? He said it was his first mtb race, quite a historic/neat shot.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    He said it was his first mtb race, quite a historic/neat shot.
    There's so many cool things about that picture.

    In no particular order:
    The bum bag! (Fanny pack)
    The HUGE seatpost.
    The cables taped to the frame.
    The Mt.Zefal pump mount.
    The Suntour(?) shifters.
    The Rivat Cyclocross shoes.
    No granny ring.
    Sidepull brakes!

  25. #25
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    CK,

    Great site! Love it and loved the bikes. I had an '84 recently, but it was too small and had to find a new home.





    Thanks for all the great history!

    Bob

  26. #26
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    That Tomac pic- two different wheel sizes?

    First, thanks CK for your dedication to preserving the heritage of mountain biking for the rest of us followers.

    That Tomac pic looks as though he may have squeezed a twenty six inch wheel/ tire in the front. Not much crown clearance there. Also, from the perspective of the shot, the front tire should appear slightly smaller than the rear, if they are the same diameter. That doesn't appear to be the case. 26X 24? What does anybody else think?
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  27. #27
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    One thing I noticed

    Quote Originally Posted by moonter
    There's so many cool things about that picture.

    In no particular order:
    The bum bag! (Fanny pack)
    The HUGE seatpost.
    The cables taped to the frame.
    The Mt.Zefal pump mount.
    The Suntour(?) shifters.
    The Rivat Cyclocross shoes.
    No granny ring.
    Sidepull brakes!
    There is no QR on the rear wheel, and the dropout looks so wimpy that I wonder why he didn't tear it off.

    Of course John Tomac was an unknown when the shot was snapped, just another kid riding his home-built racer. Only later, when he became, you know, John Tomac, did the significance of the shot become apparent.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    First, thanks CK for your dedication to preserving the heritage of mountain biking for the rest of us followers.

    That Tomac pic looks as though he may have squeezed a twenty six inch wheel/ tire in the front. Not much crown clearance there. Also, from the perspective of the shot, the front tire should appear slightly smaller than the rear, if they are the same diameter. That doesn't appear to be the case. 26X 24? What does anybody else think?
    I was just thinking the same thing.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    My big bad. The guy in the photo is Jim SAMUELSON. Sully's name just came to my fingertips when I wrote it. Glad you guys caught it.
    Jim Samuelson! Yes it is. I haven't heard that name in a loooong time. He used to be a regular in the shop I worked in the 80s/90s and was a helluva nice guy.

    You got some sweet shots of Cindy. How about some shots of another early cutie - Carmen Carrouche? Didn't she and Roy Rivers take off on a 'round the world sail boat trip?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    Jim Samuelson! Yes it is. I haven't heard that name in a loooong time. He used to be a regular in the shop I worked in the 80s/90s and was a helluva nice guy.

    You got some sweet shots of Cindy. How about some shots of another early cutie - Carmen Carrouche? Didn't she and Roy Rivers take off on a 'round the world sail boat trip?
    I remember Carmen! She was a cutie. At the 1986 NORBA Points Series Race in Eugene she arrived with Rivers and Thomasberg in the WTB team GTO/LeMans convertible. They had fork mounts bolted to the body in front of the trunk. Got Paul talking about that car a couple of weeks ago.
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  31. #31
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    Whoops, not your sister, Michael Kelley's sister, now Casey Patterson NORBA Nationals '84, 1987 RAAM.

    Scoty
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  32. #32
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    This is Mike Rust's Shorty, which he still rides. Back in the late '80's, he and Don McLung were making Shorties in Colroado Springs, then Salida, only 23 made. The chain stays were made from Tange ultralite frok blades, wicked short top tube, chainstays, wheel base. The later frames have a curved seat tube, which enclosed a frame pump.
    Check out the custom intergrated Campy seat binder skewer & top pull front derailleur.

    Scoty
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    The chain stays were made from Tange ultralite frok blades, wicked short top tube, chainstays, wheel base.
    What's the reasoning behind the super short TT?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    You got some sweet shots of Cindy. How about some shots of another early cutie - Carmen Carrouche?
    How about the two of them together? This was what I could find with a quick dive into the archives. I'll look around for more shots of Carmen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    How about the two of them together? This was what I could find with a quick dive into the archives. I'll look around for more shots of Carmen.
    Now that's HOT! Hot from the Factory Pilots down to the Rivats.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    How about the two of them together? This was what I could find with a quick dive into the archives. I'll look around for more shots of Carmen.
    Thanks, Seekay!

    And how about the square chainstays in Cindy's "Ross"? The same stays were on her "Schwinn", too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I remember Carmen! She was a cutie. At the 1986 NORBA Points Series Race in Eugene she arrived with Rivers and Thomasberg in the WTB team GTO/LeMans convertible. They had fork mounts bolted to the body in front of the trunk. Got Paul talking about that car a couple of weeks ago.
    There's quite a few stories about road trips in that car - including the "off-road" excursion. That is the all-time best team vehicle. Because of that car, I've always wanted a '62 Cadillac convertible with a rack set up just like the WTB GTO. There's got to be an acre of trunk deck lid on a 62 Caddy!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    How about the two of them together? This was what I could find with a quick dive into the archives. I'll look around for more shots of Carmen.
    this thread is sooo cool.. sorry for the cliche but those 2 fast babes on mtn bikes are everything. the cindy pic in the thread's top is even more beautifull.. thanks mr. Kelly. job well done. up to your legend status standards.. thanks.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by banks

    This is Mike Rust's Shorty, which he still rides. Back in the late '80's, he and Don McLung were making shorties in Colroado Springs, then Salida, only 23 made.
    I was in Don's shop about a month ago. He had at least 3 of those bikes hanging, I think 2 of them were complete, plus a coupla frames. Built up with wicked, wicked long stems--think 170-180mm long. Don preferred the short tt/long stem thing because that long rudder acted like a steering damper on the descents--instant return to center.

    Cool thread.

    MC

  40. #40
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    Rooting through the files

    I spent the afternoon rooting through the files and scanning random items.

    Here is a paragraph from the May, 1983 Bicycle Dealer Showcase, a trade magazine. This issue would have been put together shortly after the New York trade show where Gary and I had shown our bikes for the first time on the East Coast. It was also the same trade show where the formation of the National Off-Road Bicycle Association was announced to the bicycle world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    I spent the afternoon rooting through the files and scanning random items.

    Here is a paragraph from the May, 1983 Bicycle Dealer Showcase, a trade magazine. This issue would have been put together shortly after the New York trade show where Gary and I had shown our bikes for the first time on the East Coast. It was also the same trade show where the formation of the National Off-Road Bicycle Association was announced to the bicycle world.
    Perfect! That was a cool read!

    It was quite an honor to meet you today CK!
    -eric-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    Perfect! That was a cool read!

    It was quite an honor to meet you today CK!

    Yep, great stuff today CK. Thanks again for everything!

    And, wow, I sure hope we can get atleast a small fraction of all your photos posted.

  43. #43
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    Carmen Carrouche

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    How about some shots of another early cutie - Carmen Carrouche?
    MMmmmmm. Beer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    MMmmmmm. Beer.
    Mmmmm, beer - right on!

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    Hey CK, this is great stuff to read. Those pictures and stories are sogood. BTW, we had a interview years back for a dutch magazine. I even found a picture of the article on your site. You might remember it. In fact, you might remember this interview being taped. This was easy to get it worked out into an article. I might still have it somewhere. Maybe I can find somebody to get it digitized and send it to you. We had a really nice talk and I still remember all the stories you told me.

  46. #46
    Carsten
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    So, uh, where do you live?

    Since I'm posting, here's a pic. The guy on the left is Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. The guy in the middle is me. The other three people are Deadheads that we ran into on a ride and they had to get a picture because their friends were never going to believe them.


    that is/was Tinker's Adroit, isn't it?

    thanks for the thread!

    Carsten

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ScottyMTB's Avatar
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    Tomac's Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider
    My big bad. The guy in the photo is Jim SAMUELSON. Sully's name just came to my fingertips when I wrote it. Glad you guys caught it.

    I have a story about Sully the porcine valve guy. When he became National vet champ in 1990 I introduced myself, because I was getting paid by Bicycling to write about the event. He told me that we had met, when he was 16 years old and walking his bike past a stage at Stanford University where a rock band was playing. The roadie seemed to know a lot about bikes, and they talked for a while. Later on we both turned out to be the same people. Much later, like 20 years. He remembered the incident. I didn't.

    I enlarged and cropped the Fat Tire Flyer Tomac pic that is the earliest known photo of him in a mountain bike race. I enlarged his bike so you guys could inspect it. I'll do a higher res scan next time I visit the archives (which are not kept in my house).
    Looks like a Mongoose 24" Pro Class. Those are definately pro class rims. I dig the Redline 401 cranks. I am going to go throw mine on my single speed.

    Scotty

  48. #48
    RIDE
    Reputation: Built4Speed's Avatar
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    Good job! Nice website!

    Hey Charlie. I'd like to add your website link to my crappy website (after seeing yours,neat).Thanks for bringing mountain biking to us and to ME because right now I'd be a 300 pound monster eating cheesy poofs and finding my chihuahua between my butt cheeks. TMI...Sorry.I'm tired.
    Again Charlie and the rest of mountain biking's pioneers.THANK YOU!
    'Faster and faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death'
    http://fotki.com/vintagemtbr/

    Joe R.

  49. #49
    RIDE
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    Good job! I love Cindy.

    And last, Cindy, the most awesome mountain bike babe who ever turned a pedal.[/QUOTE]

    'Faster and faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death'
    http://fotki.com/vintagemtbr/

    Joe R.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    Outstanding historical website - long overdue. Here's to hoping this whole "mountain bike" idea takes off!

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