‘Born From Junk’ recalls the beginnings of mountain biking in Crested Butte


“Born From Junk: Outlaw Origins of Mountain Biking” tells the true story of how a few bored young rebels turned a depressed mining town into a melting pot of mountain biking culture.

Mountain bikers from afar regard California’s Mount Tamalpais (aka Mt. Tam) as the birthplace of modernity MTB — and rightly so. Yet few people know how the sport took root in Colorado.

For much of its history, Ridge Butte, Colorado., was just a struggling mining colony nestled in the scenic Elk Mountain Range. In the 1970s it was in a sorry state – no paved roads, jobs were scarce and the ski area had yet to take off. But that didn’t stop a few cycling hippies from moving into town.

(Image/’Born From Junk’, YouTube)

At first, the bicycle was just a cheap way to get around town. But then boredom set in, the beers did the rounds, and the race began. It soon became apparent that they would need more than the average bike to traverse the backcountry of Crested Butte.

That’s when a group of friends started tinkering with “bric-a-brac” using salvaged bicycle and motorcycle parts. Thus was born the primitive mountain bike – and it didn’t take long for everyone to want their own clunker.

This short film by Freewheel magazine skillfully recreates the early misadventures of Crested Butte’s ATV OGs and charts the rise of modern ATV culture. We think it’s worth checking it out.

Duration: 14.5 minutes

Brittany Konsella
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Jilli Cluff
By Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural mountains of southern Colorado, before moving to Texas for college. After seven years in business consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing – and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester and writer for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She’s based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she sets up shop with her climbing gear and blue one-ear heel, George Michael.

Subjects: Cycling, mountain biking

Keywords: movie, mountain biking, biking, video


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