1981 Grey Rabbit / Pearl Pass MTB Tour

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Photo Tim Thulin

One of the things in running Bike Jerks that gives me the most satisfaction are those rare instances when I get to share some history with you that I in turn was super excited to learn about. Bringing the old stories into the modern hobby and hopefully enriching our collective knowledge. Recently a fellow by the name of Mike Jarschke posted some amazing personal photos to a vintage MTB Facebook group that I am a member of and was kind enough to allow me to share them with the Bike Jerks audience.

The photographer was Tim Thulin, and while some of the photos are a bit blurry, they charmed the socks off of me, as I hope they will you. The photos paint an incredible scene of the formative days of mtb’ing and capture the spirit of pure fun, exploration, and adventure that existed in the sport before it became a “sport.” They are filled with people I would have loved to have known, style and smiles for miles.

2017 will mark the 41st running of the Pearl Pass from Crested Butte to Aspen!

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Mike Jarschke: That was a trip that I was invited on by Charlie Kelly, and Gary Fisher. I had just taken delivery of Ritchey #25, and their fledgling company needed exposure. So, a low rent bus was chartered, and some twenty or so bikers went to Crested Butte, Colorado to ride over a 12,700 ft. Pass, from CB to Aspen. Both northern and southern Cal were represented in the passenger roster. I boarded the bus in Fairfax, round trip fee, 75 bucks. We unloaded the bus on Elk Ave., and delivered two special order Cunninghams to the Cook Brothers.

This was 1981, September. I also rode back the next day, as many did. We are the people in the vintage Specialized poster, taken by Dave Epperson. I had no idea what the trip would be, I just went. My friend, Tim Thulin, had the foresight to bring a real camera. I had designed and developed a fanny pack that enabled him to carry a 35mm Nikon. In 1985 I moved my custom sports sewing biz to CB. In 1988 I was awarded a patent on the Kayak Deck Pack. And til 89 lived there and took pics of subsequent mountain bike events.

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the photographer: Tim Thulin

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Steve Cooks leg and Cunningham

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Ritchey #25

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Thank you Mike for sharing!