Charlie Kelly Responds
Today I received an email from Charlie Kelly in response to my blog last week about the KLUNKERZ world premiere.
Saw your discussion of Klunkerz, and had a comment or two.
Whether or not the hardware for mountain biking was "invented" in Northern California, the SPORT of mountain biking certainly was. There are many people like you who rode their bikes on dirt roads and trails before the first real mountain bike race that took place on October 21, 1976. I did it myself as a kid in the '50s, and a late friend also featured in Klunkerz built a bike in 1951 that was indistinguishable from an '80s mountain bike.
But mountain biking was not "invented" in 1951, even if there was a guy with a mountain bike.
What happened in Northern California during the '70s was organized racing, which gave people a reason to spend money on these (at that time) strange bikes, and a couple of guys who opened a shop where the only product was mountain bikes. And we called our company "MountainBikes," which became the generic name. Nothing that took place before that had changed the bicycle market forever, but opening that shop did, and that's why Northern California is where it all started.
Check out my website and when Klunkerz comes to the Minneapolis, my wife's home town, check it out.
Thanks Charlie for setting me straight. Please understand that I meant no disrespect in my blog. The history of mountain biking is fascinating and I, for one, greatly appreciate what you and your gang have done to promote the sport. Can't wait to see the film.