Video: Geoff Kabush Attempts to Set a New Fastest Time on the Repack DH Course

Apr 13, 2021 at 13:18
by Geoff Kabush  

Where was the first downhill race? What did the course look like? Why was it called Repack? How fast did they allegedly go? Could I beat the legend's fastest known time on a modern trail bike? What about the modern day KOM? What set-up would be fastest down a gravel road? Well, thanks to COVID I've had lots of spare time once again this spring so I figured I'd dive in, learn a little more, and experience the historic Repack DH first hand for myself. It's a confusing time as an athlete without competition so I thought it would be fun to challenge myself against the clock and against a few legends of the sport. I hardly ever pin it down gravel roads like Repack but it brought back a lot of early memories of racing DH at the start of my career. Two wheel gravel road drifting wastes a lot of elevation but was super fun and definitely underated.

Repack History: Where, What, When, How, Why.

I am a self-proclaimed bike nerd and love the history of our sport. Details of the earlier days and origin of the mountain bike are scarce but I still love hearing and reading the old stories. The legends racing down the Repack downhill outside of Fairfax in Marin is one of these stories. So what is the big deal about the Repack DH?

Repack Historical Map (Marin Museum of Mountain Biking)
I can't really explain better than one of the legend's Joe Breeze. Here is a brief description of Repack's history from the Marin Museum of Mountain Biking website:

"It started innocuously enough. A motorcyclist turned bikie discovered the old dirt road west of Fairfax, Marin County, in the early ‘70s. He and his buddies would ride or push their 1930s or ‘40s ballooners to the top of the ridge for the downhill thrill. The road plummeted 1300 feet in less than 2.1 miles. On the twisting, sometimes precipitous decent, the bikes’ antiquated hub coaster brakes would get so hot that the grease would vaporize. After a run or two, the hub had to be repacked with new grease (thus the term “Repack”)."

For the full Repack history definitely check out this article on their website; or better yet got take a visit the Marin Museum fo Mountain Biking in Fairfax when it is finally allowed to open up again to public:

https://mmbhof.org/mtn-bike-hall-of-fame/history/repack-history/


The story goes they officially had 24 Repack races between 1976-1979; just around the time I was popping out of my mother's womb. The recorded and compiled fastest times down Repack reads like a who's who of the early days of mountain biking; Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Otis Guy, Fred Wolff, Jimmy Deaton, Charles Kelly, and Mike Sinyard are among the names listed. Gary Fisher sits atop the table with a time of 4:22 which lets just say is very impressive if you believe it. According the legends it was said that the start line was at the junction with Pine Mountain Road. After 20secs of flat sprinting it plummets down the hill and finishes at the valley creek junction after 4-5min of descending. They were racing on Klunkers which actually sounds pretty terrifying after riding Repack at speed a few times. It is a fast, loose, and sometimes rutted gravel fire road.....and the sides are littered with poison oak.
Repack Historical Times (Marin Museum of Mountain Biking)


SB115 Attempt 1: Little bike fastest on a fire road?

March 17th: I had ridden Repack once about five years ago and all I could remember was that it was a fast fire road with a little pedal at the top. Surely my very capable little bike, my Yeti SB115, would be the perfect fit to do a quick time on. Regular fun trail set up on it had the 130mm Fox 34 on up front. I threw on a 2.3 Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR combo for a little grip, super light Stan's podium wheels, 21-23psi. Standard full XTR with a good gear, 760mm x 45mm PRO stem for control. Figured I should be dialled and ready to send it and see how close I could get to the fastest times.


It had rained a couple days earlier so the loose course was in perfect condition. I did one recon lap just to familiarize myself with the course and then rode it as comfortably pinned as I could. I filmed my run and you can watch the video below to get a feel for it. I definitely knew I would need to learn and memorize the corners a bit better to carry more momentum and speed but it felt fairly rapid. On the limit of my SB115 and 2.3 Minions anyway. When I uploaded my ride and compared it to the "Repack DH Historical" segment on Strava I had only done a time of 4:36. I thought, hmmm, this is going to be tough and I have some work to do.

Views: 8,815    Faves: 2    Comments: 0

Full Repack POV run on my SB115

Repack Historical Times: Too good to be true?

After my first attempt all I could think was "No way they went that fast on Klunkers!". Old bikes, shitty brakes, crap tires...come on now! Either the start line must have been further down the road or the timers were smoking some serious weed. Well, pretty much guarantee they were smoking some serious weed but I did some research and looked online for some old Repack start line photos. I was able to find a single start line photo below and the storied start appeared to match up with the junction.


Start line research. The old start photo appears to be at junction. Post and/or the rocks marks the start line of the old course.

I heard from a friend about Mark Weir pretty much getting in a shouting match with Otis Guy about the old times but memories have faded and I don't think we will ever know the truth. With conditions and weather it will never be a straight up comparison anyway; pretty much like inaccuracies on Strava and GPS which I was using to gauge my times. Pretty sure the old guys weren't taking any "Strava" cuts either as it is almost impossible on Repack with the terrain. Modern day bikes and equipment are undoubtedly faster so I would have to just give it another go and see how much I could improve my time.

Repack DH Historical Strava segment details and modern day Overall Leaderboard.

Speaking of modern day Repack DH times. Gary Fisher's time of 4:22 would have been 4th all time on the "Repack DH Historical" segment I was using as a gauge. Nicky D topped the charts with a 4:18 and Peter Lucas and Joe Lawwill slotted in second and third at 4:19 and 4:20. I don't know who Nicky D is but I know Peter who owns Marin Service Course in Fairfax and Joe Lawwill, former DH racer, now at Shimano. Both are/were locals, grew up in area, and would have had Repack run very dialled in. I actually talked to them about it and they said they had pretty rapid runs together on a good day for conditions back in the fall of 2017.

SB150 Attempt 2: Monster truck drifting faster?

So, after my first attempt I knew I had to make some adjustments. Watching my POV video I could see a lot of corners I could clean up, take better lines, and carry a lot more momentum. After feeling too close to the limit I also knew I needed more braking and cornering grip to get a fast time. I didn't have an SB130 built up so I was going to have to upgrade to my monster truck SB150. Typically more suited for EWS courses or riding tech in Squamish I knew the big bike would still give me more comfort, speed, and stability even if it was just a gravel road. After some time skiing in the mountains I had one more week in the Bay Area so I took my SB150 over to Marin for what I figured might be my last chance to ride Repack this spring before it got super loose and dry.

Repack DH take two. Time to take the monster truck SB150 out and go for it.

April 9th: Definitely don't want to send it on a busy weekend so I headed over on a quiet Friday afternoon to Marin and told myself I would give it three tries max to see what kind of time I could post up. I had mounted up a 2.5 Assegai/Minion DHF tire combo in an EXO+ Maxxterra compound with CushCore Pro. I figured this would give me more grip, Maxxterra would still roll well, and the CushCore would let me run low pressure with the support I needed in the corners. It was actually my first ride on the new Fox 38 but I just ramped up the compression front and in the rear X2 a bit for a little more support on the simple track. Riding up the hill I could tell without rain for several weeks it was already a lot looser but I did have a little tail wind which would help compensate.

Wheel set up: Maxxis Assegai/Minion DHF EXO+ Maxxterra, CushCore Pro, Stans Arch CB7 wheels

Run 1: I gave it a good punch off the line for the first flat 20sec sprint or so. Into the descent I immediately felt a little lost on my lines in the first couple chicanes but kept pushing hard. There are a lot of lines to remember and try to figure out which is faster; Sam Hill shorter insides or just pin it around the outside like Eli Tomac. By the bottom I started to feel a little more comfortable with the drifting and letting the tires work. I figured it would be a decent time improvement compared to the SB115. There is no cell reception in the valley so I had to pedal back up a couple switchbacks before I could upload and check my time.....4:27. Well, I took 9sec off but the Gary Fisher's time and the KOM were still a ways away.

Shimano XC9 shoes for the sprint start, Lazer Jackal MIPS for my head, Shimano XTR drivetrain 34 x 11-51


Run 2. On the way back up I took a good look at a few corners. Tried to figure out some braking, turn in points, and remember inside or outside on some of sweeping and tighter blind corners. There is nothing to puncture on so I dropped my tire pressure a bit more to 21-22psi for more grip. After a deep breath I sprinted off again. I stayed on my lines until I missed an inside and almost dropped my rear wheel off the side of the hill. Managed to hold on to it but felt pretty close to my max speed. Started to feel more comfortable with the drifting, maybe could have committed a little more, but I was getting close to my limit. Rode back up and checked my time....4:20. Well, pretty good, seemed like a fitting time for Repack. I had beat Gary Fisher's time but did I have it in me to shave a few more seconds off and take the KOM. I wasn't so sure.

Didn't use the travel but Fox 38 was nice for drifting and supple feel. XTR trail brakes on my 760 x 45mm cockpit.

Run 3. This was my last shot. Made my way up and decided to try to switch up a few corners based on how I was feeling; skip some insides and just carry speed and drift around the outsides. Decided I wanted a bit more grip as well so dropped my pressure again to 19.5-20psi. Left my rear compression closed this last run for the pedal, took a breath, and sprinted off one last time. Nailed the chicanes, has some blissful no brake drifting through the corners, and felt like that was it. On that day, in those conditions, that was pretty much as fast as I could go. Sure I could ride it over and over, swap my baggies for a skinsuit, take the visor off my Lazer Jackal helmet, but this was just all for a fun challenge. I had a good time pushing myself to my limit and that was satisfying enough. I rode back down the valley to Fairfax waiting for cell service to check my time. Finally uploaded and I'd done a 4:16. Nice! I was pretty psyched to put it together after thinking about it for a month and getting it done.

Top of the leaderboard for now. For how long we will see. Definitely a time to be beaten with the right conditions.

Can't say it is a major accomplishment to take the Repack Strava KOM but it was super fun after so long to have a goal and go after it. I loved looking into the history of Repack, breaking down the course and my equipment, and seeing how fast I could push myself. Definitely encourage everyone to go check out the Marin Museum of Mountain Biking if you get the chance and ride Repack as well. Remember it isn't a closed track so keep your head up and be careful out there. I'm going to keep challenging myself on different projects and hopefully start doing some real races against the clock soon. Until then keep riding until the fun stops! Cheers. - Geoff


111 Comments

  • 126 3
 Geoff, fun story, there's a bit more to Repack and Marin in general though that you left out. One, the bike speed limit is 15mph everywhere in the county. Rangers post up with radar guns around blind corners on busy weekends and collect tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Getting popped going 20mph on a bike on a fire road in Marin is more expensive than getting ticketed going 100mph in your car in much of the lower 48.

Two, bikes have legal access to less than 15% of the nearly 400 miles of singletrack in Marin County and 0% of the watershed where you were riding. Most of the geriatric anti-bike retirees in Marin who have nothing better to do than spend hundreds of hours/year in public meetings deriding our sport have Strava accounts and your recent KOM and this PB story will get brought up in a Board of Supervisors meeting at some point.

Three, I'm not typing all this out to cast shade your way or point a finger, but to educate everyone still reading on the dire plight of locals in the birthplace of our sport. The local advocacy group is access4bikes.com and they are led by a tireless individual named Vernon Huffman. Throw a few bucks their way if you can. Full disclosure: I'm a former A4B board member who moved back to the Rockies partly due to the grim circumstances in Marin.

Four, you're just a couple years younger than me, aka, too damn old to eat sh!t on a fire road at 30+mph. I've ridden with Otis and I think those times are legit. They were young and careless and it was before the waterbars. Cheers
  • 64 0
 I did not address this piece of the story but thanks for all you advocacy work. It is a bummer and definitely a frustrating situation in Marin. Ironic being where a lot of mountain biking started. Hopefully with continued work and support we will eventually see change.
  • 47 0
 @gkabush: Having lived in CB, "the other birthplace" and now further south in New Mexico, and having seen advocacy function as it should, with rational back and forth between different stakeholders, Marin is extra special in all the wrong ways. It is quite possibly the most entitled, self-righteous zip code on the planet.

FWIW I didn't mean or intend to fault you for not getting into the nearly 40 year history of political bs in Marin. I saw an opportunity to educate your readers on a sad story that doesn't get enough attention in the MTB press and I took it. 4:16 is fast af either way, nice workSmile
  • 16 0
 @used-couch-salesman: Thanks, I was definitely aware of situation and very careful to do it on quiet days and would have checked up if I did see anyone. Luckily I didn’t run into a single person descending but was keeping my head up as best as possible. Fun challenge but not worth pissing anyone off over. Cheers.
  • 30 0
 @used-couch-salesman: literally the pinnacle of calling someone out in the comments section there. Reasoned, informed and polite.

Bravo sir.

Also great knowledge of a sad circumstance, I’m blessed to live somewhere that MTB is seen as a key economic driver that is at the heart of the local economy.
  • 6 0
 As a Mill Valley native and recent Portland transplant (Marin -> PDX) I understand why anyone would want to leave Marin in search of better trails with infinitely more access.
  • 6 6
 "Rangers post up with radar guns around blind corners on busy weekends and collect tens of thousands of dollars in fines."

Calling BS on this. Raised in Marin mtbing and sure the occasional ranger will be out there but," tens of thousands" is overblowing it. I hate the NIMBY-ism in Marin as much as anyone and there is a lot of work to be done but this is a bit much.
  • 7 2
 @seraph: you moved to the one place with worse access
  • 11 0
 @NorCalNomad: I got dinged by a ranger with a radar gun for $375 for doing 24 in a 15. Yay norcal
  • 4 1
 @phalley: i heard they cost even more now. i stay poachin tho
  • 11 0
 @joedaho: Eh, thanks but I'm not trying to call anyone out. Unless you've sat in public meetings in Marin you wouldn't have any idea the lengths the anti-bike zealots are willing to go to. I've seen 80 year old ladies stand up and read mtbr threads they've found and printed out. Guys I used to ride with had no idea how insane it was. It's something you have to see to believe. With all the worthy causes in the world today, they choose to die on the hill of being anti cycling.
  • 7 1
 @chrisclifford: I was gonna say: hope he likes Sandy Ridge. A lot.
  • 7 1
 @gafoto: and the hour long drive one way to get there. I grew up in Marin and lived in Portland for 5 years. Marin has the better riding scene and it's not even close. A lot of the good stuff around Portland was illegal when I was living there (some recently legalized) but you still had to battle traffic to go ride it. Love or hate Marin you never have to get in a car to get on singletrack
  • 2 4
 @phalley: The only thing a forest ranger, or any other so called authorities, got from me for riding a BICYCLE, was a middle finger. Sorry, but once again, for riding a BICYCLE. Are you kidding me? Unless you are on private property, we have the right to ride anything that is human powered. Period.
  • 1 0
 live a little....
  • 2 0
 Thanks for bringing this up. I've only been riding a few decades but have seen a massive shift in the way bikers interact with trails and other trail users. This should serve as a reminder to all riders that access is a privilege and not a right and that ignoring right of way, closures, trail conditions, and generally butting heads with the rest of society is a good way for us to lose a large part of the equation that we take for granted. A4B added to the support list
  • 2 1
 @chrisclifford:
The PNW hype scene is real. People move from the midwest, buy a “Mountains, Please” sticker and won’t stop raving about the outdoors access. I spent two years in Portland after moving from SLC. The trails are great in the area but they are so far away and so few compared to Utah.
  • 5 0
 @used-couch-salesman: @chrisclifford is probably in the top 10 fastest riders here in Marin, and like anyone who grew up here I’m sure he contributed to advocacy. I think the future is bright for Marin. As a 15 year old the amount of support for riders is substantial. While we will never be “allowed” to ride Nora and Temalpa. We have rad bike shops and both A4B and MCBC. The mountain opening is inevitable as more kids are riding bikes.
  • 2 0
 @thedirtgypsy: Right on. The old geezers will die off and the youth will build better relationships and access agreements.
  • 4 0
 @thedirtgypsy: Oh it's going to happen fast as soon as the current crop of antis die off. Marin Conservation League is not a young organization nor are they getting young people to sign up. I had a Marin County Supervisor tell me once "well, you can keep fighting for an inch here and there or you can simply wait for them to die."
  • 4 0
 @used-couch-salesman:

Appreciate your comments (I also enjoyed the article) and the work of all who have the chutzpah to tackle access issues for the rest of us. One thing that increasingly concerns me these days is that the same activist hikers who attend those meetings likely won’t know the difference between a motorized bicycle and a human powered one when it zips past or collides with them etc. We have enough to contend with in terms of defending the public image of mtbing, now we will be lumped together with motor-bikes. There are more people on the trails every day and they are already overcrowded, now we have these machines. Tensions are high out there. I would think at the VERY least we need e-bikes to be clearly stickered/identified as such.
  • 1 0
 @used-couch-salesman: i wouldn't be so quick to assume it'll die off with the old folks. a ton of younger/middle aged folks are just as intolerant as their HOHA counterparts and they have the money to keep shutting bike access down. i'm not even worried about getting a ticket, i just hate getting yelled at, it makes riding kind of a bummer. it would be so easy to take certain trails that are already slated to be decommissioned and just "give" them to bike access, as these trails make for really shitty hikes anyways, but nothing yet.
  • 2 0
 @newbermuda: Well, the younger gen of land managers is more likely to have a relative, or 'know someone' of the MTB orientation and may eventually be able to accept more progressive resource-sharing visions. Even to most conservative people can change their minds. Heck, one of their own children may be part of the MTB community. My current allotment of atoms will no longer be configured in a way that can ride a bicycle by then, but don't give up hope....
  • 1 0
 @newbermuda: I hear you, I never worried about getting caught either, but the negative vibes from being constantly bitched at wears you down. It just sucks the fun out of riding in a beautiful place. I was lucky though, I lived in Bolinas and the west side of the county wasn't nearly as bad as riding out of Fairfax, less people overall and no one is ever on the trails that drop down to the PCH.

Also, riding north out of Bo after dinner with a light kit is where it's at. I highly recommend thatSmile
  • 3 0
 @used-couch-salesman: woah woah woah, there arent any trails that drop down to the PCH... Wink
  • 1 0
 @used-couch-salesman: Meant in the best possible way!!
  • 1 0
 @chrisclifford: Really? So far I've found hundreds of miles of legal singletrack.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: not in Portland city limits you haven’t
  • 1 0
 @chrisclifford: News to me.
  • 104 1
 Brian Lopes was going to go for the KOM as well. Looks like Geoff beat him to the punch.
  • 4 0
 Hahahaha!
  • 4 0
 This needs all the likes. Well played sir.
  • 1 0
 Gold, solid gold.
  • 2 0
 Makes sense that Myles would be the king of this course.
  • 1 0
 Nobody ever beats Lopes to a punch
  • 82 0
 Got some more info from Joe Lawwill after posting my story. Apparently all the water bars on Repack are new which slows things down these days compared to the old Klunkers run conditions. Course was prepped and prime conditions for Gary's 4:22 run. Also Myles Rockwell allegedly did a hand-timed 4:02 back in the day which would be smoking!
  • 15 0
 I would love to see this (and some of the other old skool DH race) as stage in the WC DH maybe every 10 years or so.
  • 3 0
 It has definitely changed over the years. There has definitely been a lot of bar room arguments over modern times compared to historical times and What the trail is like now compared to then! Regardless of when to get a first time on the trail you are pushing the edge and the limits for the entire 4 1/2 minutes! But I never do not have a huge grin on my face at the bottom!
  • 3 0
 I was looking for Myles Rockwell. Why isn’t he included on the leader board???
  • 21 0
 Myles was sure smoking alright!
  • 3 2
 @likeittacky: since Myles did a 4:20 is a mile high on the board
  • 5 4
 @Euskafreez: 4:02 not 4:20; you must be a mile high dude
  • 2 0
 The course back then was harder than nowdays. The terrain was rough. It looks like a bike path now.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: He was just pre-legal. Bad timing, stupid laws.
  • 25 0
 What you had to do on a modern bike to beat those time should show that those old timers deserve a ton of respect for their riding and the times they got on what people would consider junk today.
  • 14 0
 Damn, I knew Michael Jordan was a natural athelete, but top ten on Repack. Wow.
  • 12 0
 I'm going to repack a bowl and read it again, it's that good.
  • 10 0
 Man I hope Jeff Spicolli can step it up to a top five position.
  • 10 0
 Seriously. Mr. Hand will not approve of this truancy.
  • 5 0
 Yeah, think those water bars went in about 13-14 years ago. My brother works for the Marin Water District, pretty sure they are the ones who do the maintenance on Repack. Crazy how hard those guys were riding those old bikes!
  • 4 0
 Nice work! By the way, the video doesn't do justice to the exposure on some of those off camber turns littered with marbles... Supposedly, people used to fly off those sections as they overcooked the corners and couldn't stop in time. Would be awesome to see this (and other classics like the Mammoth DH) as a stop on WC DH or Enduro tour... Mostly as a tip of the hat to nostalgia but I think it would be a great way to connect the past and present!
  • 4 0
 Left the Bay for Tahoe in 1991, saw the evolution of trail closures first hand. Did repack with a group in before we left , tires were having blowouts at the bottom from buddies who were too brake happy with rim brakes from the heat. The old timers were studs who must have had blurry vision from no suspension among other things , hats off !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 6 0
 I'm looking at these guys rocking the canti brakes at those speeds and sending all the respect their way!
  • 1 0
 They probably couldn’t slow down half the time when they tried! Basically riding DH brake less. Just nutty
  • 1 0
 they weren't even rocking canti brakes, they were using coaster brakes!
  • 7 0
 I miss you Pigoor
  • 2 0
 Pigoor is all over the KOMs in one of my local zones. Who is that person?!?
  • 2 0
 @sriracha: Yeah, can the real Pigoor stand up?
  • 1 0
 @Jimmy0 You heard of the legend of Pigoor and a Guy on a Buffalo?
  • 1 0
 @kinimod: Who are those guys? Dominating KOMs
  • 2 0
 @mikeyb76: Pigoor is a beast, has all kinds of climbing KOMs as well as rough dh. a true hero
  • 1 0
 @kinimod: a true power couple
  • 3 0
 @Jimmy0:
Pigoor or is a twenty something road racer. He’s a nice guy and he’ll pass anyone up or down.
  • 1 0
 @thedirtgypsy: hes an old friend of mine and I'll be damned if he passes me going down
  • 5 0
 This was a great read, love nerding out on bike tech and history and really appreciated this look back with a modern lens!
  • 5 0
 This is rad. Now if only we could bring biking back to the bay where it started
  • 4 0
 Mark Weir getting in a shouting match over... (checks notes) ...bike races that happened 40+ years ago. This aligns 100% with my impression of Mark Weir.
  • 1 0
 He can be intense, but that's why he's a champ. He owned Downieville for a while.
  • 4 0
 Super cool project! Would do you think your time would have been on the gravel bike set up you used for Iceman?
  • 10 0
 Thanks, I definitely had fun. Time on my OPEN? It is fast, loose, and a lot of braking/grip needed so it would be pretty terrifying. Guessing I'd be lucky to break 5min.
  • 4 0
 But Lopes will punch him in the chest for doing that and ripping him off the title of the fastest biker in Fornicalia...
  • 2 0
 Love to ride stuff like that,switch off the brain an do not touch the brakes till last moment!. In the Alps there are some good fire roads you can ride stupid fast,wide and open.
  • 2 0
 Did a shop ride in the East Bay with Gary Fisher while working at a Fisher dealer in the early 90’s. I don’t doubt his time, he was an extremely strong rider and an incredibly fast DH rider...
  • 1 0
 This is so sick because he roasted it!

The image of old guys arguing with even older guys about times and bikes and tracks in their corner of the tavern...it’s too much. Too much! Feels pre-COVID and I love it. I’m getting my tab and getting the f*ck out of there because what could be worse but it’s perfect I love it thanks
  • 2 0
 Love the old photo at the start, only one rider in anything like cycling gear. Who was the Grizzly Bear (no offence) in the checked shirt, holy smoke the pull of gravity would be huuuuge!
  • 1 0
 Was thinking the same thing! Reminded me of the guy (although not nearly as grizzly sized) that does races like 24 Hours of Old Pueblo and others in the SW U.S. on a Transition Klunker.
  • 3 0
 We just live in a society where walking is considered exercising. People back then were much stronger and more focused... even hippies
  • 4 1
 Dog bless the hippies.
  • 4 0
 This whole idea and article is amazing, more of this please
  • 2 0
 You have to remember the old guys rode the course while it was snowing, 1ft of mud and suffering from PTSD from prior crashes. Lore. Can't live without it.
  • 2 2
 Brings back memories, when you take a bike to over 60km/h on dirt with only cantilever brakes to stop you. Couple of points, heavy bikes including klunkers go fast downhill. Its called gravity, your yeti is to light. Secondly gearing, back in the day chainrings were big, 42/44 tooth or bigger, this meant you could pedal for so much longer than the 1x stuff and really get your accelaration going. Waterbars meh, just bunny hop them like they not there, and lastly once you are flying down the trail at breakneck speed, cantilever brakes, no matter how hard you squeezed, beyond a certain point they could not slow you, no option but to go fast and hold on for dear life. They should make this race an annual event again, different classes for hardtails, full suspension and if course klunkers......
  • 2 0
 I mean technically my 34 x 10 XTR gear with 29 x 2.5 tires is about the same or bigger than the likely 48 x 14 big Klunker gear on 26in wheels but yeah, no, exactly. Faster to tuck than pedal anyway. The waterbars make it harder as you can't brake and corner while in the air. I remember cantis too and lots of respect for the old times regardless.
  • 1 0
 Thanks! That was awesome. So cool to learn a bit and see that track.... just knowing what was to come makes me imagine those old timers, all stoked up and buzzing in those moments, like ancient gods or mythical heroes
  • 1 0
 There's gonna be a Repack race segment at the Vintage MTB Festival: vintagemtb.org

The only decent wikipedia page about the Repack is actually in French: fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repack_Race
  • 2 0
 Geoff I'm disappointed you had a 1270 max watts peak and not average, you could have been faster. ;p
  • 3 0
 Ha, averaging 257 when most of it is coasting means he was giving it a serious can of beans on every pedalling section.
  • 2 0
 A very cool article, Geoff, well done! It would be pretty interesting if you tried it again on a klunker "replica"!
  • 3 2
 It's the old "it's the indian and not the arrow" (also factoring in those "klunkers" vs. now days wonder sleds).
Perhaps they were just better/more ballsy riders back then?
  • 1 0
 And with Gary Fisher there’s a good chance some doping was involved, just not the type that’s in the cycling world today.
  • 2 0
 They were fast and balls out back then. They also raked the road so there were fewer corners with ball bearings. There also weren't water bars or sizable ruts. But even after taking that into account I'd still say the historic times are more impressive on those bikes
  • 1 0
 What a cool challenge. Modern tech and a heaping’ helping of history, all in the name of speed. Congrats on the KOm and thanks for sharing, Geoff!
  • 3 0
 Love it, what a fun article
  • 3 0
 Awesome
  • 1 3
 I have to think their timing points were closer together than the Strava points. Take a full rigid and throw on some 1.8 $9.99 walmart tires and tubes to approximate what they had and you could get an approximate baseline (will still have better brakes and geometry), which I bet would be in the 4:40-4:50 range.
  • 6 0
 I think they were just really good! I've seen plenty of the old photos and they had the 'foot out flat out' style dialed as Charlie Kelly demonstrates in the photo below. I also bet those bike with super wide moto bars and slack head angles weren't anywhere near as bad as we might think.

www.wsj.com/articles/book-review-fat-tire-flyer-by-charlie-kelly-1416605611
  • 2 0
 @wallheater: Lots of motorcycle racing influence, even the moto guys back then kept it pinned, even by todays standards guys like Malcom Smith and his contemporaries were very fast, klunker riders were no different.
  • 3 0
 This is awesome!
  • 2 0
 Nice work Geoff! Guess it's about time for me to give it another shot!
  • 1 0
 WTAF did I just watch that was crazy now you have unleashed the masses to KOM your BC ass!
  • 1 2
 Whenever I start reading the caption for one of these articles, a part of me hopes it will say “(Uber competitive rider X) attempts to just go for a chill ride and have fun on his/her bike”

Oh well, next time
  • 1 0
 Gotta hit this trail on my Breezer Repack and see what she can do!!!!! The bike is specifically designed for THIS!!!!
  • 1 0
 I didnt know andre the giant rode a klunker. Who is the ogre in the blue flannel shirt in the starting gate area?
  • 1 0
 Nice. Well done. My older brother raced in a couple of those early repack races.
  • 3 0
 Now do it on a klunker
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty do the next klunker challenge here!
  • 1 0
 That would be a ton of fun.
  • 1 0
 Someone who races flat track and mx is going to destroy that time.
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