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Friday, June 13, 2008
By Yokota Fritz

Billy Savage lived in the hills of Marin County, often pushing his 20" BMX bike up the fire roads in the same area where local legends Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Alan Bonds, Wende Cragg, and others created the sport of Mountain Biking.

Stevie Wilde, one of the founders of Veloclub Tamalpais who helped pioneer mountain biking back in the day, says this about Klunkerz:
Billy lived and worked in Fairfax for years and gained a real appreciation for what mountain biking was and where it came from. Billy's a half generation younger than the founders but has great admiration for what he saw happening. He also wanted to bring people of that era back together because he could see the righteousness and spirit that it evolved from.

Billy is a responsible hard working family man on one hand but he also comes from those crazy motion freak roots so many of seem to have with skateboards, surfing and cycling on dirt and road. A wild and savage guy but a genuinely warm, straight up human being.
Billy admired mountain biking and the people involved so much that he raised the money to create Klunkerz, a documentary. He rounded up many of the luminaries involved in the early days, interviewed them, dug up shoeboxes of photos and old Super 8 film of the crazy guys and gals on their homebrew bikes, and created a wonderful film that takes you back to those early days of fun and innovation. You can get Klunkerz online through PayPal or your credit card.
Klunkerz: A film about mountain bikes

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Tom Ritchey lived then and now in Palo Alto, and was not "pushing his bike" in the Marin hills as one of the original Repack gang.

Tom got into one Repack race, in 1979, and rode an old Schwinn in that race. Then he went home and built a few frames.
I still haven't seen Klunkerz. Thanks for the reminder to order a copy. I'll consider it a birthday present to myself.

Interesting about Stevie Wilde; One of the founders of Veloclub Tamalpais, huh. Very cool.
Thanks for the details, Charlie. I was just at your website the other day looking at the old mountain bike information you have there.
Thanks for the kind words Fritz. I really honored that these legends trusted me tell their story. I wasn't the first filmmaker to try. Getting to know these amazing athlete/inventors renewed my faith in good old-fashioned American ingenuity. If it wasn't for these folks, and the people who influenced them, like John Finley Scott, many of us would have left the thrill of jumping off curbs and splashing through puddles in our parent's garages. Instead, it's not unusual to see many 'gray hairs' out on the trails smiling with mud splattered teeth. The fact that most of the 'originals' are still riding is a testament to their dedication to the sport and the wonder of the most noble of inventions, the bicycle. Ride on.
...seems like those cats were on to something & that savage dude is tryin' ta share it w/ the world...

...righteous effort...
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