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Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Announces Rachel Atherton, Darren Berrecloth, Radek Burkat & Others as 2021 Inductees

Nov 15, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
Images from the 2016 MTB Hall of Fame as sent over from Hans Rey.

The Marin Museum of Bicycling & Mountain Bike Hall of Fame has announced the 2021 Hall of Fame inductees, a group of six mountain biking greats whose contributions to the sport have helped shape it into what it is today: Rachel Atherton, Darren Berrecloth, Radek Burkat, Dave Cullinan, Dave Kelly, and Rob McSkimming. We'd like to recognize each of their riders for their immense contributions to the sport and note the well-deserved place each of these riders has earned in mountain bike history.

bigquotesMeet your 2021 Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductees! An international cast of six luminaries, each of whom have left an indelible mark upon our sport in the arenas of competition, technology and journalism. Our 2021 inductees are: Rachel Atherton, Darren Berrecloth, Radek Burkat, Dave Cullinan, Dave Kelly & Rob McSkimming.Marin Museum of Bicycling

Rachel Atherton

Tip of the hat to 4 gold medals and the perfect season. Congratulations to the unstoppable Rachel Atherton from all Pinkbike

You all don't need me to tell you about Rachel Atherton's impact on the sport. The youngest of the Atherton trio won her first elite World Cup race in 2006 and remained at the top for more than a decade, winning every race in 2016 in what's been called the perfect season. All in all, so far, she's won 39 World Cup downhill races, six overall World Cup season titles, and so much more. Throughout her career, she's also overcome countless injuries, undergone 12 shoulder surgeries, and definitively raised the bar for the passion, dedication, training, physical toughness, and intensity that goes into a downhill mountain biking career. She's not done, either, and plans to return to the race track as soon as she's back up to speed after having a child. Now a team owner, bike company founder, mentor, and mother, we can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve to achieve next.

Darren Berrecloth

Darren Berrecloth Crankworx 2005 360 drop. Photo Credit Crankworx
The Claw's historic 360 drop at Crankworx, 2005.

Darren Berrecloth's career has spanned most of freeride mountain biking, as a kid who grew up into the budding North Shore freeride scene. He was one of the first to bring BMX tricks to mountain bike features, appearing in several early freeride movies and continuing to push boundaries in front of the camera throughout the following decades. He's collected two Rampage podiums, his fair share of slopestyle results, and some of the most impressive media appearances in mountain bike history. The way he has combined competition riding, media projects, and social media savvy has essentially defined what it means to be a professional freeride mountain biker today.

Radek Burkat

photographer unknown

Radek Burkat is the reason we're all here. Burkat is an IT wizard whose family migrated from Poland to Canada when he was young, and he seems to have been exactly the right person in just the right place at the right time: he discovered mountain biking in the '90s when freeriding was snowballing in western Canada, and it occurred to him that riders and trailbuilders would benefit from a platform where they could gather and see what everyone else in the budding mountain biking scene was up to. He had both the vision and the skillset to make something happen. In 1998, he created Pinkbike, and later ironed out the details with Trevor May of a mapping app that would be launched as Trailforks.

You are all reading this right now, so I suppose that speaks for itself.

Dave Cullinan

Cullinan winning run photo Iron Horse

Dave Cullinan's World Championship run in 1992 is the stuff of legends. The rainbow-winning run in Bromont, Canada, is part of Cullinan's enduring legacy, though he has a long list of victories to his name, both before and after that wild ride. Near the bottom of the course, riders exited the woods and crossed a bridge with a chairlift passing narrowly over their heads, so low that to jump at all would be to risk colliding with a chair in midair. Cullinan started to notice the timing of the chairs in his practice laps and, in the final race run, ended up slowing down as he came out of the woods, waiting for the timing to be just right, and then sending it. No other rider attempted to jump the bridge. The rest of his run, too, was balls-out, but it's that bridge jump that was marked down in history as the defining moment of his World Championship gold medal run.

The following year, he tore his aorta in a crash, but even after a series of open-heart surgeries, he continued racing and winning throughout the '90s. It wasn't until 1999 that his professional career ended due to a wrist injury. "Dave Cullinan gave his heart to the sport of mountain biking," the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame blurb says.

Dave Kelly & Rob McSkimming

Photo: Marin Museum of Bicycling

No place on earth has the same allure to mountain bikers as the Whistler Bike Park, and we can largely thank Dave Kelly and Rob McSkimming for making that the case. Dave and Rob built some of the most iconic trails at Whistler from the mid and late '90s onward, and we can thank them for A-Line, Dirt Merchant, and plenty of the other trails that have become household names. Eventually, Dave became the bike park co-manager and was an essential driver in making Whistler Whistler.

In 2007, Dave and Rob started Gravity Logic alongside Tom Prochazka, another former Whistler Bike Park director and part of the team that created Dirt Merchant. That's how Whistler's renowned flow escaped British Columbia and found its way to bike parks throughout North American and Europe.


63 Comments

  • 97 0
 "The following year, he tore his aorta in a crash, but even after a series of open-heart surgeries, he continued racing and winning throughout the '90s. It wasn't until 1999 that his professional career ended due to a wrist injury."

So, busting his heart open didn't stop him...wow.

"Dave Cullinan gave his heart to the sport of mountain biking,"

He really did.
  • 11 0
 Cully is a legend !!!! And super nice guy
  • 2 0
 I'm curious how the wrist injury ended his career
  • 3 1
 @wburnes: wrist injuries can be tricky , lots of little bones and if they don’t heal correctly the injury can linger on. And I the USA I believe that could end up costing alotta money to treat a ongoing issue .

But seriously dude had heart surgery and continued to shred
  • 1 0
 Was it Dave who had a "man made" heart valve put in, but then wasn't aloud to race due to insurance/medical clearance so he had another op and had a pig(?) valve put in so he be able to race?
(or it could of been the other way round?)
  • 100 8
 Can't wait for my turn to get inducted! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 13 1
 TFW you realize you can't buy everything
  • 37 4
 @mi-bike: Please don't share beyond jus the two of us...but there are some interesting talks between Outside and the MTB Hall of Fame!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 3 0
 @mi-bike: tell that to Bezos, & Musk. Of course he can buy everything, this is the beauty of being rich.
  • 5 1
 You got this Robin. By 2030-35 they'll be inducting the first e-bikers and gravel bikers and you'll be there to shine.
  • 50 1
 When I started riding XC in the mid-90s in Edmonton, I had no idea “freeriding” was even a thing. Then Pinkbike came along and I was exposed to a scene that was booming in Calgary, Vancouver, and elsewhere. It wasn’t long before there were big group rides near me on a weekly basis, with everyone hucking their meat down the river valley chutes.

Pinkbike is THE reason I started pointing my Trek 930 down the steepest lines I could find and hitting my first drops. Who knows if that is/was a healthy thing or not, but it sure as hell has been fun! Radek built the platform that inspired me to have a blast on my bike for 25+ years now, and I doubt I’m the only aging cyclist who can say that.

The modern bike industry owes Radek a huge debt and so do I. My closest friendships came out of working in the industry, which was the natural result of falling in love with freeride. From the VPS days to today, Radek and Pinkbike helped shaped my life in a way no other platform has, and given me an immeasurable amount of joy.

THANK YOU RADEK!!! ❤️ ♾
  • 31 3
 Another year…another massive snub. Maybe next year @mikelevy or @mikekazimer.
  • 9 1
 Eventually the Grim Donut will go mainstream and all the other bike companies will copy it. Then these visionaries will receive their just accolades.
  • 5 0
 @oldmanbucksaw:
I don't know exactly why, but man i love your screen name
  • 1 0
 @poncho467: thanks, you should sub to my OnlyFans
  • 26 1
 When will be Waki's turn?
  • 26 0
 Hmm...love of mountain biking and especially the internet...Polish roots...suddenly "banned" just before Pinkbike's sale to Outside was finalized...

Holy Shit! Radek is Waki! Waki is Rakek!
  • 15 1
 Of course Rachel
  • 7 1
 Even though I'm not a huge race fan I can't believe this didn't happen earlier. An automatic if there ever was one.
  • 3 0
 @iammarkstewart: you have to know that only retired racers can get inducted - which in this case surprises me - so either Rachel has plans to retire or they changed the rules.
  • 1 0
 @dirty-sundays: Not sure, but if you look at the HOF's web page under this years nominations it says right in the write up about Rachel:

"She says that she won’t put pressure on herself to return to racing but “The challenge to return to the podium after having a baby is real”. Rachel will always be a professional mountain-biker – and that journey has only just begun"

So it doesn't sound like she has plans to retire.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I'll have to ask them at the HoF. I actually brought that up a few years ago that it could be an advantage to induct active racers, as it would draw more attention to the HoF. Usually when they get inducted, it's only the older generation that knows or remembers those riders, but if we want to pass on the history to the younger, we'll have to close that gap. As an example Loic Bruni, Aaron Gwin, Greg Minnaar.. they will all get inducted for sure, so why not do it now and get more media attention, which would lead to more visitors and sponsorships/donations for the HoF.
  • 13 0
 Berrecloth was so ahead of his time it was stupid
  • 12 0
 How small does that Iron Horse look...
  • 2 0
 He’s almost hitting his wrists with his knees!
  • 3 0
 @shortcuttomoncton: If he doesn't watch it, he might hurt one of those wrists.
  • 5 0
 I'm looking at the chain as much as the size of the bike. Never appreciated my clutch so much as looking at that photo and remembering all those dropped chains back in the days.
  • 7 0
 I've only missed one Joyride, and can confidently say that DB's 360 off the drop was probably the greatest moment in Freeride history.
  • 4 0
 Congrats Radek! I grew up in Calgary and was fortunate to witness the evolution of mtn biking through Radek and his friends. I always thought that any product that could take a beating from Radek was a top tier component that I wanted. I didn't get the Super 8, Monster T's, and 24" / 26" Atom labs that I saw him running, but they will always be a strong reminder to me of the era I started in. Radek started and embodied this community in the late 90's early 00's, and he deserves all the accolades he has received.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree. I moved to Calgary in 2000 and my coworker introduced me to Pinkbike. I was still riding an XC bike and bending rims at COP. Pinkbike (and Drop In) convinced my to buy a squish bike and start hucking. It was my favorite era of mountain biking.
  • 7 0
 A massive yes to all of these!
  • 5 2
 "Eventually, Dave because the bike park co-manager and was an essential driver in making Whistler Whistler."

Not a sentence you'd expect in a HOF inductee announcement.
  • 4 0
 I think it is supposed to be "became the bike park co-manager..."
  • 4 0
 How was Rachel not already in there?
  • 5 0
 RC got robbed
  • 3 0
 Is Stevie Smith in the Hall?
  • 2 0
 nope, but you can make a submission for induction
  • 1 0
 I was banned 2 times by an MTB HOF inductee!!!! I'm (not) famous!!

Congrats, though, to Radek. I may actually go inside the HOF for once - passed by for years.
  • 1 0
 Is Rachel hanging it up? I hope not. I can't think of another rider inductee that was still racing at the World Cup level when they were inducted.
  • 4 0
 #wakigotrobbed
  • 1 0
 The pic of Rachel just has 'RAGE' shown on the side of the bus...which is awesome haha.
  • 1 0
 Bont....RAGER haha awesome
  • 2 0
 Legends!!! Congrats to all!!
  • 1 0
 Dave Cullinan’s FLEXIBLE HORSE
  • 1 0
 ***clap clap clap*** Congrats all.
  • 1 0
 Yep. Most often there's a few old clots in the list, but this year is pure cream.
  • 14 0
 That video is hilarious, what an era of garbage equipment these riders risked their life on! I was Cully's mechanic that 92' season (im the dork hugging him on the ground at finish) and took Cully to his first MTB race in Mammoth in 89' because I thought he'd be pretty good at MTB (I was way into racing at the time) and sure enough-he was the best MTB rider that era had seen.
Been a long time coming for Cully to get some acknowledgement, he is the TRUE birth of freeride as he was doing tricks on big drops by our house before freeride was even a word, and doing tricks in his race runs.
A true legend that had his epic career cut short 2 times.
Congrats Champ!
  • 1 0
 @stiksandstones: Pinkbike should do a podcast with you!
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: I think I am blacklisted, almost as many downvotes as Waki.
  • 1 0
 WTF!!! How is Rach not already in there?
  • 1 0
 free trailforks bah, so sick of outside!
  • 1 0
 No Jeff Steber? Brent Foes who followed but not Jeff. Mental.
  • 2 0
 Hey Jeff, how's tricks? Good luck with the racing next year.
  • 1 2
 without underestimating the contribution of the others , i would vote for Rachel or Darren
  • 2 0
 They are all in, there is no vote...voting is complete and these are the inductees.
  • 2 2
 Great Radek !!!!
  • 1 1
 But he sold it to outside
  • 1 0
 Also Trevor May (and arguably much of the community) built trailforks. Radek didn't pick it up until it was fairly well established in North America at least too my knowledge. It was also free before PB got involved so yay for that.
  • 1 0
 @squarewheel: he is no more in PB?
  • 2 3
 My wife grew up with Cullinan.
  • 3 5
 There's a MTB hall of fame?
  • 8 0
 There is and you ain't in it

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