A film tribute to the father of mountain biking

Film-maker Billy Savage – creator of Klunkerz, the film history of mountain biking – has emailed some news regarding a tribute to J.F. Scott, the cycle-mad professor who made a ‘Woodsie’ bike in 1953, long before the mountain bikes of Marin County in the late 1970s.

Savage writes:

“I made a little tribute film for U.C. Davis Professor J.F. Scott’s induction into the MTB Hall of Fame. He was in KLUNKERZ and was murdered by a crazed madman shortly after I interviewed him. He was the inspiration for most of the guys recognized as the pioneers of the sport like Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Mike Sinyard, etc.

“Finley, as he was known to his friends, made the first cool multi-gear off-road bike (The Woodsie Bike) in 1953. He also designed a lightweight ‘Fibre-glass’ cross country bike in that same year. He was also the investor in a little company, cleverly named MountainBikes, run by a kid by the name of Gary Fisher. While working as a Professor at U.C. Davis, he was the Chairman of the Davis Double Century race. He owned one of the coolest bike shops in the S.F. Bay Area: The Cupertino Bike Shop. In the 1970s he even co-drafted legislation in California for bicycles to be recognized as vehicles on public roads (vehicular cycling). This legislation helped set the standard for bicycles as vehicles across the US. We all really owe Professor Scott some thanks for all those bike lanes across America.

“I was very fortunate to have interviewed him for my film, KLUNKERZ.

“I never imagined I’d be using out takes of the footage for a tribute film for a homicide victim. But then again, I never thought I’d be writing a judge letters of ‘sentence recommendation’ in a murder trial, either. I guess we never know where the trail really leads until we get there. Professor Scott’s death had a profound effect on a great many people, including most of the pioneers of our sport, and even people who barely knew him, like myself. I’m very pleased he was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. It’s been a long time coming.”

Here are two clips from the tribute: