This entry was posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012 at 2:16 pm and is filed under MTB, QR.tv YouTube vids. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
I was in two minds whether to load this particular clip to YouTube. Not because of worries about copyright, I don’t think the BBC will mind too much, but more because (a) I’m wearing yellow shorts (b) I make a right fool of myself and (c) see (a) and (b).
The news clip is from BBC Look North, aired on 3rd August 1987. I was a cub editor on long-gone ‘Bicycle Times’ (there were no mountain bike mags at this time) and Peter Darke had only recently started his bike shop in Sunderland (it’s still going strong).
We had started the first British mountain bike team. Because we could. And nobody else had. There was a British Muddy Fox squad and all the other teams at the first MTB World Championships, held later in August in that balmy summer of 1987, were trade teams too.
We had snazzy white jerseys, made by Been Bag, and flock printed with logos. Sublimation printing wasn’t widely used at that point. SunTour was the team’s major sponsor and Rohan provided the official team clothing. I still have the team jersey; the Rohan ‘Bags’ (with large, vinyl letters down the side) are long gone.
Check out the video for gory close-ups of Shimano Biopace chainrings (oh, gullible us), chainstay-mounted u-brakes and my Pink Thing. This was an all-steel touring mountain bike made for me by frame builder Dave Yates. It had steel, integrated racks, front and rear. It was my touring MTB, heaven knows why I was riding it in this TV clip. I can’t remember what I rode on at the world championships but I do know I punctured and Did Not Finish. I rode for the British Mountain Bike Team? Yup. As co-manager it was a tough selection process but I managed to find space on the team for myself.
Our best finisher came 33rd. Helmets off to Lester Noble, who later went on to found Orange Mountain Bikes. Talking about helmets, we wore them at the World Championships, but dunno if it was compulsory back then. The pic below shows what we used. I probably secured provision of them, I certainly scammed a load of other kit so must have bagged a helmet deal too. Maybe they hadn’t turned up in time for the TV news appearance?
I’m dredging up all this MTB history because next month there’s to be a 25th anniversary weekend celebrating the first ever MTB world championships. I shall be attending.
Also attending will be MTB legends Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze. I know these guys now. Back then I was 22 and still wet behind the ears when it came to publicity (as the video attests). Listening to my claims that the Brits would wipe the floor with the rest of the world is pretty groan worthy.
The winner on the day was Ned Overend. He’s planning to attend the reunion, too. Should be a scream.