In the late 1960s through the 1970s a group of cyclists in Northern California's Marin County turned the bicycle world upside-down by taking their adventures off-road.



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Credited cast:
Joe Breeze ...
Gary Fisher ...
Charlie Kelly ...
Tom Ritchey ...
Mike Sinyard ...


Long before the mountain bike entered our global consciousness, the cycling enthusiasts of Northern California's Marin County rode modified pre-WWII bicycles down the slopes of Mount Tamalpais. They developed their bikes through rigorous field-testing, often risking life and limb to do so. Some of these cyclists were Category-1 road racers looking for a new way to train during the off-season. Others were simply fun-loving hippies looking for a new way to commune with nature. Their early bikes were scavenged from dumpsters and junkyards. It was from these humble beginnings that a multi-billion dollar industry, a form of recreation for the masses, and an Olympic event, were born. These hefty steeds were affectionately known as Klunkerz. Written by William Savage

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They Re-Invented the Wheel


Documentary | Sport



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Release Date:

26 September 2007 (USA)  »

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Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Charlie Kelly: The demand was so high and the availability so limited... even our ineptitude couldn't stop us.
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User Reviews

A film about the birth of mountain biking
2 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mountain bikes weren't called "mountain bikes" in the 1970's. Category 1 road racers and hippies alike took their old cruiser bikes out on Mount Tamalpais, in Marin County, California, and rode them on the dirt trails and fire roads. They called them Clunkers, Bombers, Ballooners, Beaters, and many other names– but the sport of mountain biking had been born. This is a great documentary film about the very beginnings of mountain biking. Director William Savage is at his finest, capturing the thoughts of the men and women who brought this sport into the public's eye with the world's first mountain bike race, the famed "Repack" downhill.

Interviewed in the film are mountain bike pioneers Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, Tom Ritchey, Otis Guy, Alan Bonds, Wende Cragg, Chris Lang, Craig Mitchell, and Fred Wolf, including others too many to be named. The Larkspur Canyon Gang and The Morrow Dirt Club are two more groups that rode on Mt. Tamalpais in the early days. Klunkerz has some great footage of the old days; shots from helmet-mounted cameras, bombing down fire roads, cameramen being wiped out by out-of-control riders, and the festivities at the end of the race. Whether you're curious about the history of mountain biking or not, this is a entertaining and informative film to see.

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