THE ORIGINAL MOUNTAIN BIKE MAGAZINE

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The FAT TIRE FLYER started in 1980, almost accidentally, as a club newsletter published by Denise Caramagno and myself. The newsletter outlived the club by seven years, and until 1985 it was the only publication for mountain bikers. I loved my magazine, and it was by far the most creative and artistic accomplishment I have had. During the time the magazine was published, I wrote much of it (using several names), took photos, handled the layout and the printing, edited submissions, accepted subscriptions and handled the mailing list. Publication ceased in 1987.

This was our logo, designed by David Ross. It was so cool that a lot of people stole it for their own use. Someone will probably steal it from here also.

The image to the right is the cover of the first issue of the Fat Tire Flyer, dated August/September 1980. It was not until five years later that anyone else produced another magazine for mountain bikers.

Click the image to see this first issue at its actual size and read about how Denise Caramagno and I started our magazine by accident.

Random Fat Tire Flyer Fotos

Surfin'

I met this SF bike messenger at the top of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. When our conversation was over, he surfed down the hill.

The FAT TIRE FLYER gets a mention on the L.A coliseum scoreboard.

The great thing about having your own magazine is that you can make your own press passes, which are really good for collecting swag or finding finger food at bike races. You could make up a press pass even if you didn't have a magazine, but no one ever seems to think of that.

UNCOMMON OPTIONS: a version of Fat Tire Flyer humor

Here are examples of Fat Tire Flyer covers. Click on any cover to see these five in a larger size, or click here to go to a gallery of all the covers on fotopic.net.

Click here to purchase back issues of the Fat Tire Flyer.

In 1981 the Fat Tire Flyer promoted a cross-country mountain bike race, starting and finishing in San Anselmo and won by Laurence Malone. This is a photo taken a few seconds after the start, a few hundred yards from where I now live. The surprising thing is that two riders are actually wearing helmets. Identifiable riders include Larry Souza, Erik Koski, Marc Horwitz, Joe Breeze and Mark Slate. The bicycle race was part of a town festival, and performing at the same time in the city park where our race finished was a traveling act from Canada, a one-tiny-tent acrobatic troupe called the Cirque du Soleil. They were pretty good.

 
These are my photos, which were used in the Fat Tire Flyer. Click on image to see full size:

Cindy Whitehead after the famous "no-saddle" victory.

Two guys bump front wheels. Kids, don't try this.

Waterfall. Cool.

Rich Cast shows off trials skills. (Cover photo.)

Cartoons were cheap, they filled entire pages, and they were easier to reproduce than photographs. Cartoonists beg for space on printed pages. No wonder every cheap magazine uses them.

Our cartoonists were Anthony Martin ("Cruisen with Ricky Cha"), Kevin Coffey ("MudPup") and Art Read ("F. Ewe Bailout"). Click on an image to see that cartoonist's work.

To prevent eyestrain,
here is the poem:



The Kid and Namwids
In and out for some skids
And Recurve was there
The first cruise of the year

They bombed down the Coaster
Shredding Franz Klammer
After all-time boaster
The Inhuman Mad Bomber

Recurve was intense
And The Kid was no dwid
With too much sense
Mellowed out was Namwid

Recurve got a flat -- what a pain!
And just past the tank
The Kid snapped a chain
In a whole new bummer down on the S
Just when he thought he has smoked all the rest
Too many jump turns his Colson had chalked

The Inhuman Mad Bomber's trusty Morrow
Was locked

Brian Skinner performed this stunt for a house ad. He said it was a lot harder than it looked.

THE UNIVERSAL BIKE REVIEW

Reading this will save you the trouble of buying all those monthly magazines in order to find out which bike to buy.

Originally published in the March/April 1986 Fat Tire Flyer. Copyright 1986 by Charles Kelly

The Bob Weir Mountain Bike Interview

This was written for the Dirt Rag, but I'm putting it here anyway. I wrote this around 1992.

 

REPRINTS: Here is some stuff I wrote for other people.

 

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