Charlie Kelly crowdfunds to digitise his MTB materials archive

MTB pioneer Charlie Kelly has taken to Kickstarter in order to raise $50,000 to digitise his extensive and historic collection of mountain bike documents. He has been joined in this task by graphic designer Rob Korotky and Tommy Breeze, son of Joe Breeze, maker of the world’s first modern mountain bike. The project has so far raised $2,098 and has 52 days left on the clock.

Kelly’s well-preserved archive includes historic documents from the earliest years of mountain biking. The collection includes Americand and international MTB magazines, race results, brand brochures, newspaper articles, club newsletters, and original images.

"It is the most complete collection of early mountain bike media in the world," said Korotky.

The archive is currently in a storage depot in Fairfax, California, at the base of Mt Tamalpais in Marin County, where mountain biking was born. Kelly was the official timer of the Repack downhill time trial on "Mt Tam" (a race series won by Gary Fisher – the two later went into business together as MountainBikes). He was also the founder of Fat Tire Flyer, the world’s first mountain bike magazine.

"It is truly remarkable to have all these materials still contained in one place, by one person," said Korotky. "And we have an opportunity to make it digitally accessible for future generations."

The MTB Legacy Project aims to create a text-searchable archive, sortable by type of content, provenance, date, topic, and more.

Kelly can be heard discussing the MTB Legacy Archive on the Spokesmen Podcast, recorded yesterday.

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