Celebrate mountain bike history with the Klunkin' Colorado patch.
Patches are sewn to every hat in Fairfax, CA.
Select your favorite styles from the drop-down menu. All hats feature premium stitching, snapback, and trucker hats feature mesh back panels.
Designed by Tommy as a side project, this patch is based on a 1976 Colorado license plate. That's the year of the first Pearl Pass Tour, the event that made Crested Butte a mountain bike mecca, and forver changed MTB history.
On the tour, riders navigated 12,700-foot Pearl Pass on bikes that would come to be called Klunkers, on their way to Aspen. The two-day event would be held nearly every year thereafter.
Klunkers are the precursors to the modern mountain bike. They began as fat-tire Schwinn cruisers, marketed toward youths, best remembered as paper delivery bikes. The choicest frames were built earlier, in the late 1930s. In the 1960s and 70s, as off-road riding re-emerged around North America, pioneering dirt riders gravitated toward these bikes, and scoured junkyards to find them. They were strong and stable. But they weren't reliable -- or lightweight.
Riders began modifying their frames with stronger and more capable parts, to better withstand the rigors of dirt roads and trails. In 1978, a small group of riders from Marin County, California road tripped to Crested Butte, having heard about the exploits of the 1976 ride. They had been building and developing off-road bikes back home and were amazed to learn that Colorado had a klunkin' scene, completely independently from them. That meeting would change mountain bike history forever.
Even today, riders build, ride & celebrate Klunkers in their original form: foregoing modern technology and looking backward to the roots of the mountain bike movement. It's a unique way to experience the outdoors -- and a way to give reverence to the visionaries who blazed our trails. If you go out for a Klunk, you'll start to see mountain bike history in a whole new way. But you'll always be reminded of an inescapable fact -- Klunkin' ain't easy.
Please note: colors in photographs are not exact
Copyright Tommy Breeze, 2022