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45th Anniversary coming up

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45th Anniversary coming up

Old 10-10-21, 04:00 PM
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45th Anniversary coming up

On October 21, 1976 I agreed to help a few friends settle an argument as to who was the fastest downhill rider on our modified "klunker" bikes. We had decided that a time trial was the way to make it as fair as possible. I worked out a timing system with a couple of clocks. We had that race on a steep 1.8 mile section of fire road that descended 1300 feet (14% average grade) that we called "Repack"

There is a reason they play the other 161 baseball games after the first one of the season. If you lost that first game, you want to play another that you might win. The same held true for our downhill race. The losers wanted another shot at the winner. Five days later we were back on that hill for another race, and four days later, for another. Soon, riders we had never heard of started showing up to race.

For a couple of years the downhill race took over the lives of a couple of dozen bicycle hobbyists, myself included. I bought the first generation of digital stopwatches to help time the racer. I promoted the race. Eventually I asked my friend Joe Breeze to build me a bike specifically for the race.

Gary Fisher, the course record holder, asked Tom Ritchey to build a similar bike. Tom liked the project and built a few more. He consigned them to Gary, who asked me to help sell these new bikes. We rented a garage to build bikes in and came up with the grandiose name for our company: MountainBikes
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Old 10-10-21, 04:04 PM
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Old 10-10-21, 04:26 PM
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Thanks Charlie! I've had much fun riding my MTBs over the years.
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Old 10-10-21, 06:22 PM
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Charlie, thank you so much for everything you and all the other riders have done. Such a neat story and some of the finest bikes came out of that.
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Old 10-10-21, 06:44 PM
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I am glad somebody out there was thinking outside the box, had a sense of adventure and invented a mountain bike..Cycling would be very boring without mountain biking and off road riding.
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Old 10-10-21, 10:11 PM
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Great post.
The whole thing is a great story.
I’m a former Santa Cruz’er, so close enough to be a big fanboy. And occasional rider in the N Bay Area.


Sure makes me feel old, tho’.
time flys when you’re having flyin times, on a bike.
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