- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: VeloPress (October 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1937715167
- ISBN-13: 978-1937715168
- Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking Hardcover – October 1, 2014
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“For the mountain biker on your gift list, grab a copy of Charlie Kelly’s Fat Tire Flyer. One of the sport’s founding fathers, Kelly tells the most honest and complete history of the sport’s earliest days, dating all the way back to the days when ‘mountain biking’ was nothing more than a bunch of hippies bombing down Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais. The sport has come a long way since those days, but the story of how it all got started is one not to be missed.” ― Bicycling
“Several histories of the invention of the mountain bike have been published, but Charlie Kelly is indisputably the man to tell the story. In Fat Tire Flyer, he relates it with attention to detail and storytelling flair. It is the definitive account.” ― Wall Street Journal
“Fat Tire Flyer is the best first-hand account of the dawn of a new era for bike riding.” – Velo magazine
“Kelly’s new book, Fat Tire Flyer is a true, firsthand look at the wild beginnings of the sport of mountain biking with never before seen photos, artwork and memorabilia.” ― Dirt Rag magazine
“Best known for chronicling the early days of mountain biking as publisher of the sport’s first periodical, Charlie Kelly is legitimately one of the handful of Founding Fathers of the sport.” ― Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
“The firsthand account of the sport’s early days…Regarded as a leading archivist of mountain biking, Kelly rounds out his 264-page hardcover history with a wealth of original photos, drawings, and memorabilia.” ― Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
“An excellent book on the birth of mountain biking…Filled with great stories, tons of information and historic photos.” ― Mountain Bike Action
“Fat Tire Flyer is a fresh look at the awesome band of crazies who created the sport.” ― MTBR.com
2014 PubWest Book Design Contest Gold Award Winner: Historical Books
“Just like the biking; [Fat Tire Flyer is] too good, too fast, and waaay too much fun.” ― Jersey Pocket
“Fat Tire Flyer is the first book to provide a detailed insider’s account of the birth of the mountain bike, a machine that had numerous fathers but was the product of a very particular time and place. Fat Tire Flyer may not be about road bikes and Euro-style but it is not just about a new technology coming to life. It is about unforgettable characters, good friends, good times and having fun on your bike. That is something all cyclists should be able to relate to and enjoy.” ― PezcyclingNews.com
“Illuminating and inspiring.” ― Mountain Flyer magazine
“Fat Tire Flyer is a trip down memory lane for Charlie Kelly, the guy above whom the tornado formed. His is a collective memory, nearly omniscient in scope, the masterful narrator whose voiceover takes in a sweeping view of Northern California at a point when it was still Redwoods and hippies, pot and touring rock bands. Fat Tire Flyer will go down as the definitive history of mountain biking’s start, a book indispensable to any cyclist’s library.” ―Red Kite Prayer
“Kelly candidly tells the story of the rock-n-roll-soaked years that led up to [Repack], as well as the business he started a few years later, MountainBikes, with his other roommate, Gary Fisher…Fat Tire Flyer is a terrific read, although it’ll probably make you want to put the book down, dust off that clunker that’s been buried in the garage, and head for the hills.” ― WinkBooks.com
“Packed with color photos, posters, cartoons and pictures of early mountain bikes from Kelly's extensive archives, Fat Tire Flyer is being billed as ‘the definitive history of one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century.’”― Marin Independent Journal
“Fat Tire Flyer argues that it was Kelly and his crew who spurred the sport until it caugh on―and then rode the wave as first-generation mountain bike manufacturers.” ― Colorado Springs Gazette
“With Fat Tire Flyer, we now have the most complete, first-hand documentation available of the mountain biking culture that resulted in a movement and industry that, even today, sees more mountain bikes being sold than any other type of bike…Fifty years from now, this book will still be the definitive work on the roots of mountain bikes.” ― USCyclingReport.com
“Few people will be better equipped to give a first-hand account of how mountain biking developed in the early years, and Charlie Kelly has done the job justice.” ― Cycling World
From the Back Cover
THE TRUE, COMPLETE, AND EXTRAORDINARY TALE OF THE INVENTION OF REPACK AND THE RISE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING
"It's a cool, clear morning in Northern California, but the five young men are sweating profusely as they push strangely modified bicycles up the steep hill. They are discussing the dirt road surface, which re ¬sembles a moonscape more than it does a road.
"These young men belong to the same breed that skis down cliffs, jumps out of airplanes, or rides skate ¬boards down Everest. They have developed their own unique athletic challenge, a race which is known only to a few dozen locals and is referred to as "ËœRepack.' The road they are on is the racecourse.
"The sport that is going on here may never catch on with the American public, and its originators couldn't care less. They are here to get off."
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Charlie has clearly honed his skills as a writer through the years. His prose is straightforward, entertaining, and absent any irritating quirks or repetitiveness. The book tells the story of the birth of mountain biking in Marin County very effectively. It is a first person account which concentrates on Charlie's own experiences, not interviews and research, which is what makes it so effective. Charlie richly illustrates his book with pictures, posters, and printed artifacts that bring this story to visual life for the reader. There are interesting side articles in the body and an appendix that augment the tale. It appears that Charlie carefully preserved notes and materials through the formative period of mountain bike development with an eye to posterity and we are the lucky benefactors.
My first full-suspension mountain bike was a Gary Fisher and I now know about its early origin. I am ordering a second copy of Fat Tire Flyer for another friend today. There is a reason why it is sold out as I write this review. I will be back out on my bike this afternoon with a persistent chuckle and newfound appreciation as I ride.
Anyone who has read Berto's "Birth of Dirt" or seen Savage's documentary, "Klunkerz" will love this first-person account of the invention of the mountain bike and the modern sport of mountain biking.