The new UK MTB Golden Era 80s & 90s appreciation group on Facebook is for "old gits that want to back pedal in time," says group founder Shane Lawton. It is attracting reminiscences from back-in-the-day riders, journalists, photographers, bike shop staff and brand owners.
The group is for those who "love shiny purple parts, white tyres and Etto helmets" and who remember the likes of Brit racers such as Caroline Alexander, Tim Gould, and Deb Murrell. Bike shop owners have been posting photographs of their store rooms, where they still keep ancient parts (which are now probably worth a fortune, and are whetting the interest of group readers).
Industry veterans such as Drew Lawson, Andy Sutcliffe and our very own Carlton Reid are also posting to the group. Drew Lawson was the co-founder of the original Muddy Fox, the indigenous MTB brand which kickstarted much of the UK interest in mountain bikes – Muddy Fox even aired a late-night TV ad in 1988.
Andy Sutcliffe, later to edit Cycling Weekly, was the assistant editor and then editor of Bicycle Action, one of the first British cycle magazines to devote copious space to mountain biking. The magazine even had a page – "Off-Road Reid" – by Carlton Reid, the co-founder and rider-manager of the first British mountain bike team, now the executive editor of BikeBiz. And it was on this page that the world first heard about a mountain biking sheep called Mint Sauce, drawn by Jo Burt.
The group is also getting contribitions from racers David Hemming, Paul Hinton, and Rory Hitchens
Lawton said: "It’s brilliant to see all the amazing pictures people have been posting of events and machines. We have former international and national elites here, well known photographers and journalists, we have people who worked for different teams, mechanics, mums and dads, boyfriends and girlfriends of riders, enthusiastic riders and fans."
In related news, the UK MTB history documentary seeking crowd-sourced funds has surged beyond its £10,000 target. Mountain Biking: The Untold British Story still has four more days to run.