2015 Interbike: Rip-Roaring at the Hall of Fame
A couple years ago I rushed into the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame induction part way through its program at a point where it was revved up and going full bore. Last year I missed out by opting to shuttle out to Cross Vegas. That same race was set to be bigger than ever this year after being designated the UCI World Cup opener. Sounds like something you wouldn't want to miss.
But I did. So that I could return to the induction ceremony once again.
Joe Breeze and Otis Guy
got some CORBA members there, along with Charlie Kelly
Horst Leitner and Otis Guy
just not sure who accepted for the North Shore guys
a couple of old Repacks - Kelly and Breeze
not really sure how many were Aussies, but a good two or more were
This years class of inductees was a little bit different. The selection committee decided that it was time to give the ceremony a more international flavor. Not that the Hall of Fame does not already include riders, racers and other from countries all around the world, but this year all four inductees came from outside the borders of the United States.
Uli Stanciu. It is hard for me to associate the tern "pioneer" to the date 1985, but that is about how old mountain biking in Europe is, and about the time that Uli Stanciu got started in the activity. Both a mountain biking author and film maker, Stanciu also created the German "Bike" magazine. He was among the earliest instigators of the Transalp movement, and created the Transalp Stage Race. He is also the godfather of the Bike Festival Riva del Garda in Italy which brings in 30,000 visitors each year. Grasping the potential of GPS at an early date, Stanciu has logged more than 30,000 km across the Alps and used that information to establish the www.bike-gps.com website for travelers to the region.
Horst Leitner. In one way or another, today's suspended mountain bikes owe a portion of their existence to Leitner, and his well-known Horst Link. The suspension system developed by Leitner raised the bar for mountain bike suspension, and in the process proved to be a catalyst, inspiring competitors to raise their own game and designs. Less well-known, Horst Leitner also contributed to the innovation of disc braking systems.
North Shore Trail Builders (Todd "Digger" Fiander and "Dangerous" Dan Cowan began building trails outside Vancouver, Canada in the mid-1980s. The trails they built, and the films inspired by those trails, and along their tricked out, winding paths, are famous world wide. If the trails you ride have ladder bridges, teeter-totters, and log rides, you owe these two a measure of gratitude.
Glen Jacobs. Glen may be the most important man in Australian mountain biking. He brought both World Cup races and the World Championships to the land Down Under, and is the visionary behind Dual Slalom and 4x racing. Founder of the trail-building company World Trails he has designed and built hundreds of trails in more than twenty countries around the world.
All of this years inductees are worthy recipients to whom we can all raise our favorite bottle of brew in recognition. I must say though, if not for the Aussie contingent, the ceremony would have been considerably less vocal, less lively than the rip-roaring event of two years ago.