The Cupertino Riders
The Morrow Dirt Club was a band of early day mountain bikers from Cupertino, California, 50 miles south of Marin County. it was over 20 years ago at a Marin county, cycle-cross race, December 1, 1974, that these fellows were noticed by the pioneer Marinites. The Cupertino riders showed up at the starting line on old Schwinns with multi-speeds, thumbshift-operated derailleurs, and motorcycle lever-operated drum brakes. It was the first time that hall of famer Charlie Kelly had ever seen derailleurs grafted to ballooners. there at the base of Mt. Tamalpais the morrow dirt club pollinated the still one-speed Marin fat-tire scene. then they vanished!
After Joe Breeze and Charlie Kelly’s many attempts to find these men, they re-surfaced by chance in 1994. A mason was working on a house foundation for another hall of famer, Tom Ritchey, and noticed Tom’s more than casual interest in mountain bikes. He mentioned that he knew the first person who put derailleurs on fat tire bikes. Tom, thinking he meant Gary Fisher, didn’t think much of it. The following year, a man named Russ Mahon sent Tom Ritchey a big envelope. In it were press clippings and photos of Mahon and his buddies at the infamous 1974 cyclo-cross race as well as some interesting correspondence. Tom immediately called Joe Breeze who was able to help him piece the puzzle together.
The Morrow Dirt Club was created in 1972 as a way for Russ and friends to explore the off-roads of their coastal mountains and partake in exhilarating downhills. It never grew beyond the original ten participants in the Cupertino area. The ringleader was Russ Mahon, followed closely by Carter Cox. the others were Bernie Mahon, Tom Cox, Steve Mallet, Bill Hanna, Joe Prater, Greg True, Tim Secrest, and Kathy Mahon.