What with all the hoopla surrounding the USA Pro Cycling Challenge we thought it’d be fun to offer, as a comparison, a couple of videos featuring the zenith of Colorado cycling in 1980, The Klunker Classic.

It’s hard to imagine Colorado without mountain bikes. The knobby-tired bicycles are so ubiquitous now that it seems almost impossible that there was a time when trails were mostly for hiking. It may also be hard to believe that mountain bikes were once called “klunkers” made from vintage cruisers/paperboy bikes and that the people who rode them wore t-shirts and jeans or shorts instead of spandex “Tron suits” (Helmets? What!?), even as they rode long distances in the back country from places like Crested Butte to Aspen. (Note also the many single-speeds and folks cheerfully walking their bikes with friends!) We hope these two amazing videos of the “Crested Butte to Aspen Klunker Classic” in 1980 can serve as a small reminder of the simpler days when fun was the first order of business. If anyone recognizes anyone in this video, please leave a comment. (Thanks to pikespeaksports.us for finding these videos!)


5 Responses to Alternative Bicyclisms

  1. Adrian Draft says:

    Klunkers! I’ve never heard of that word before.

    I wish one day I’ll be able to get to Colorado and check it out with my bike.

    Retro bikes and juggling. Brilliant!

    Oh what a dream… sadly I don’t know anyone in these videos but they are great.

  2. Jeremy says:

    AWESOME! Thanks for passing on the video link, TBS KRCC crew. What a fantastic piece of retro mountain bike history! My first trip out West was via a Greyhound bus right out of high-school, to live for a year in Crested Butte (Crusty Butt) in 1989. What a mind-blower that was! Not only was I indoctrinated in the ways of fat tire riding, but also the forgotten art of tele-mark skiing, along with other crazy antics. Still a cool town, beautiful place.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Sortof looks like the late great Mike Rust at the very end of the first video (and in the still). Wouldn’t be surprised to see him there.
    Those folks were the real deal.

  4. Erin says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing guys…so interesting to see the old-school, humble beginnings…nary a helmet.

  5. Repack Rider says:

    Recognize anyone in the video? I’m in it and I knew most of those people. I’m the bike demonstrator guy.

    The juggler is Scot Nicol, who got so excited about the sport after coming to Colorado that he learned how to make bicycles and started the Ibis company.

    Check out this video shot a year and a half earlier in Marin County, which includes a few of the same people..



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