The Birth of Dirt: Origins of Mountain Biking

The Birth of Dirt: Origins of Mountain Biking

by Frank Berto

Paperback(Updated)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781892495617
Publisher: Cycle Publishing
Publication date: 08/30/2008
Series: Cycling Resources
Edition description: Updated
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Former engineering editor for Bicycling Magazine. Living on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, CA, the mountain bike was developed right in his own backyard, so to speak.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Impact of the Mountain Bike 11

1 Inventing the Mountain Bike 15

2 Cast of Characters 17

Gary Fisher 17

Joe Breeze 18

Charlie Kelly 18

Tom Ritchey 18

Alan Bonds 19

Mike Sinyard 19

Wende Cragg 20

Steve Potts 20

Mark Slate 21

Charles Cunningham 21

Otis Guy 21

Russ Mahon 22

John Finley Scott 22

Tim DuPertuis 23

Erik Koski 23

Fred Wolf 24

Mark Vendetti 24

Bob Burrowes 25

Denise Caramagno 25

Craig Mitchell 25

Mert Lawill 25

Victor Vincente of America 25

3 The Mountain Bike Defined 26

Frank Berto's Definition of "Mountain Bike" 26

Why These Six Criteria? 28

Definition of "Invent" 28

Frank Berto's Interpretation 29

Terminology Used in This Book 30

4 Criteria for Invention of the Mountain Bike 31

Comparison with the Invention of the Pneumatic Tire 33

5 In the Beginning 34

1933: The Schwinn B-10E 34

1970-1971: The Larkspur Canyon Gang 36

1971: Velo-Club Tamalpais 37

1973: The Spread of Clunkers 37

Upgrading the Clunker 38

1972-1973: The Morrow Dirt Club 40

6 The Critical Years 42

The December, 1974 Mill Valley Cyclo-Cross Race 42

Gary Fisher's First Geared Clunker 43

1975-1976: The Spread of Derailleur Clunkers 46

1976: The "Legendary Wocus" Story 47

Derailleur Clunker Upgrades 49

7 The Repack Races 50

8 Purpose-Built Mountain Bikes 55

The First Custom-Built Frame 55

The First Breezers 57

More Breezers 58

9 Crested Butte to Aspen and Beyond 60

Marin Invasion 62

10 Beyond Cottage Industry 64

The First Ritchey Mountain Bikes 65

The Origins of the Mountain Bikes Company 67

Awakening 69

The Spread of Mountain Biking 70

The Specialized Stumpjumper71

Wilderness Trial Bikes 73

11 Mountain Bikes Enter the Mass Market 74

The Unraveling of the Fisher-Kelly-Ritchey Arrangement 78

12 Mountain Bike Precedecessors 80

Jacques Jiel-Laval's 1891 Paris-Brest-Paris Racer 80

Velocio's 1905 Chainless Touricyclette 81

Vernon Blake's 1930 Roadster 81

French Touring Bicycles of the 1920s and 1930s 82

French Velo-Cross Racing 83

John Finley Scott's Woodsy Bike. 84

Schwinn Corvette of 1961-1962 84

Tim DuPertuis' 1972 24-Inch Clunker 85

13 The "Mountain Bike" Name 86

14 Looking at the Numbers 89

15 Summary of the Chronology 91

1970-1976: The Clunker Stage 91

1976-1980: Custom-Built Mountain Bikes 91

Mass-Produced Mountain Bikes 92

16 So, Who Done It? 93

The Candidates 93

Analysis of Gary Fisher's Claim 94

So, Nobody Done It? 95

17 Lessons for Cycling Historians 90

Other Requirements for Invention 98

18 Response from Gary Fisher 99

Frank Berto's Comments on Gary Fisher's Response 100

Bicycle History Deja Vue? 101

19 Frank Berto's Repack 102

Repack is Back 104

The Rover Boys on Repack 104

Musings Down Repack Road 106

At the Finish Line 107

20 Repack Reunion (by Charles Kelly) 108

21 Where Are They Now? 120

Gary Fisher 120

Joe Breeze 121

Charlie Kelly 121

Tom Ritchey 121

And What Happened to the Mountain Bike? 122

Annotated Bibliography 124

Index 128

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