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These are examples of Fat Tire Flyer covers. Unlike other bicycling magazines, we actually tried to be creative with our covers. What a concept! To see a complete collection of all the covers, click here or click any of the photos.

You may purchase back issues of the Fat Tire Flyer from this page.

Jacquie Phelan had won every off-road race she entered, starting with her first NORBA event in 1983.

Here she leads Cindy Whitehead in the brutal 50-mile Plumline off-road race held near Bishop, California in 1986 in mountains that reached elevations of 11,000 feet.

Cindy was riding without a saddle on her bike, as her seatpost had broken in the first few miles. In one of the legendary exploits of mountain biking, she defeated the reigning champion over the long course, without ever being able to sit down.


I had taken a photo in Crested Butte at the end of the day when the lighting was incredible. Artist Kristin Throop had just graduated from art school, and lived across the street from my mom. I gave her one of her first commissions, to render my photo as a watercolor for our cover.

For comparison, you can see my original photo on the Mountain Biking page.

For many years a group of Marin County riders met in early April for "Derby," a rough game that involved riding in a circle and attempting to knock other riders down. Bikes were broken and blood was shed, in the name of...fun?

Of course, this game evolved when the bikes were one-speeds and cheaply replaced, and it died down after bikes got more expensive. At the end of the Derby, tradition was to drink a lot of beer and throw the bikes into a pile.

The top bikes were just pitched up there, and the idea was to show as little regard for the machinery as possible. This bike stack has a few expensive bikes in it, but it is likely that they were carefully placed, instead of thrown.

"Bike piles" also turned up at some regularly scheduled events, such as the annual Larkspur Fourth of July Parade.

Monte Ward and Joe Breeze ride a single-track trail in Marin County.

Rich Cast was one of the first good trials riders, and he did it all on a bike that most modern trials riders wouldn't dream of using. Note the fenders and the touring rack!

By current standards, the loose pile of logs is not very challenging, but at this event in Crested Butte in 1986 Rich was one of the few who could negotiate it.

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