Results from 1970's and 1980's mountain bike racing
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Mountain biking events of the early and mid 1980s
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Mountain Bike Roots - the early days of mountain biking
Jacquie Phelan, High Sierra Challenge, 1985
Jacquie Phelan, High Sierra Challenge, 1985
Mark Michel in Crested Butte, 1985
Mark Michel in Crested Butte, 1985
Mitch Nilsen, NORBA National, Santa Barbara, 1985
NORBA National, Santa Barbara, 1985 (Mitch Nilson in center rear)

Mountain Biking - The Early Days


Bikes were basic, helmets barely provided protection, prizes were meager, and media virtually non-existent. It was the early and mid 1980's. Mountain bike racing was still in its infancy. Racers raced for fun, challenge, and glory, or at least as much glory as the world of early mountain bike racers could provide, not for money or media attention (media? what media?). Many non-racers still rode mountain bikes they had made themselves, in the tradition of the 1970's, crafted from heavy balloon tire cruisers, but racers rode the first generation of commercial mountain bikes. Some were made by bike riders turned bike makers, like Breeze, Cunningham, Fisher, Ibis, Ritchey, and the single speeders' favorite, the Procruiser, while others were made by pioneering traditional bicycle manufacturers such as Specialized and Ross, who sponsored teams and races.

The photographs on this site are from that first generation of mountain bike racing. I have over a thousand slides from that era, Ektachrome and Kodachrome transparencies taken with Nikons that seemed as heavy and rugged as the mountain bikes that transported them over so many rough trails. I am now finally sorting through those slides, digitizing them when I have time, and slowly adding them to this site.

You can help! If you have any race results from that era that you could contribute or lend, or if you can tell me the names of any unidentified riders in photos on this site, or if you spot any errors, please contact me. Eventually I hope to include more information about both the events and the riders in them, so anything you can send could be helpful.

(Erik) Gordon Bainbridge  contact me   

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