Credit: Wende Cragg
It was 1976 and dust was flying. A group of locals to Marin County, California had loaded klunker bikes—old cruiser frames with balloon tires, modified with gears and BMX, or sometimes, motocross handlebars—into the back of a truck and driven to the top of a dirt fireroad on Pine Mountain west of Fairfax and Larkspur.
Some of the guys got out of the truck and rode or pushed their klunkers the last two-or-so miles to scout the terrain and warm up. From the top of the fireroad, they set off one-by-one on a wild biking time trial, spaced out two minutes apart by timer and official, Charlie Kelley. That first race, 10 guys tore down the 2.1 miles, descending 1,300 feet fast as they possibly could down the rutty, rocky dirt road.