Schmoo shuffles off this mortal coil

Maurice Levenson - best known as Schmoo - died last night. He was a former Swansea bike shop owner and one of MTBing's earliest race team promoters. His famous team strip of fluoro yellow tops and fluoro pink shorts endured him to the photographers on early 90s MTB magazines who could always be guaranteed bright shots on even the murkiest of days!
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The Schmoo's shop racing team included Tim Davies, one of MTBing's best riders of the late 80s-early 90s.

Schmoo had been battling cancer for some years.

He gave up running his Welsh bike shop three years ago but remained active in MTB racing.

He was the time trial co-ordinator of the Welsh Cycling Union and had been a member of the BCF Executive Board since last November. Despite being ill he still found time to be the organiser of last year's Margam Park round of the Rav4 Mountain Bike Series.

Former deputy editor of MBUK John Stevenson, now a writer for cyclingnews.com, emailed bikebiz.co.uk from Australia with his reflections on Schmoo:

"Schmoo was one of the people who made the British mountain biking scene in the late 80s and early 90s a massively fun place to be. He was passionate about turning people on to mountain biking, looking after his 'lads' in Team Schmoo, and putting on damn good races at venues around Swansea. And handing out jelly sweets. Disgusting things, but mountain bikers will eat anything and we loved him for it.

"He was an argumentative old sod when he believed he was right -which was most of the time - but his warmth, humour and sheer love of life was utterly disarming; you felt he could charm the knobbles off your tyres and you wouldn't mind sliding round in the mud

afterwards.

"I last saw him at a trade show in 98 and he was cheerfully predicting his imminent demise from cancer, if I remember rightly. It's typical of the man that he hung on doggedly for another three years and I imagine he spent the intervening time making a total pain in the arse of himself to cycling's officialdom, and getting away with it by

sheer force of personality.

He was a great character and his is a great loss."

johnstev@cyclingnews.com

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