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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:14 am 
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Never met Archie, but we corresponded.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:30 am 
retrobike rider
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
This is an excerpt from the 'History of the RSF' written by their chairman.

...."many RSF members have little or no interest in the technical side of cycling. They would be unable to tell you the make of components on their bikes. Indeed for many years Archie Woodward the
RSJ editor (1969 to 1991) would refuse to publish any thing on equipment saying it was outside the scope of the magazine".



:shock: This did not stop them from developing bicycle 'Thermos flask holders'!
What effect did the Rough Stuff Journals refusal to publish technical articles for 22 years have on the development of specialist rough stuff bicycles?

Had the RSF championed the all-terrain machines of the Taylor brothers or Geoff Apps, would they have succeeded commercialy?

Finally, had the RSF championed all things technical, would specialist roughstuff machines have developed even earlier? Or was this limited by the availability of suitable tyres?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:33 pm 
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The RSF had years on the California boyz. Had they even THOUGHT about machinery, they had all the tools necessary to come up with the sport of mountain biking.

Their problem was that they were so...English.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:08 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Repack Rider wrote:
The RSF had years on the California boyz. Had they even THOUGHT about machinery, they had all the tools necessary to come up with the sport of mountain biking.

Their problem was that they were so...English.



Stuck up ****s more like - I've come across these types before, they think ignorance is bliss and supreriority rules.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:37 pm 
retrobike rider
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Repack Rider wrote:
The RSF had years on the California boyz. Had they even THOUGHT about machinery, they had all the tools necessary to come up with the sport of mountain biking.

Their problem was that they were so...English.


There are many types of English, some forward thinking, some backward looking and some just stuck in a rut.
I believe that the original 'pass storming' rough stuff pioneers had little choice but to use their everyday machines. It's most likely its all they could afford. The people in charge of the RSF probably looked back at these pioneers as role models and tried to emulate their achievements. Subsequently, the RSF never moved on, despite improved affluence and new technologies.

Geoff Apps' approach fits well with spirit of adventure of the original pioneers and it's a shame that a few conservative types, in positions of influence at the RSF, did not see this.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:14 pm 
retrobike rider
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This was posted on BikeRadar.com in reply to my posing on the history of mountain biking in Britain. The posting refers to the creation of Geoff Apps first Range-Rider Cross Country Cycle in 1979

Graham Wallace, I read your thread with interest, as this brings back many memories.....I worked at DOA (DeesCycles of Amersham) at this time (1978/9) for the company run along side the cycle shop( Signwell Ltd)... Roy Davies was my boss....Geoff was a customer at this time. Roy, with a little help from myself did build his first frame , always refered to as a cross country bike, not a mountainbike.We had to fabricate bash guards and many other strange fittings and I think we assembled the finished frame into a bike Geoff could ride home.
Geoff always used to ride to the shop....cross country of course!....dressed in his rather natty clothing and deerstalker hat.
Ive wondered what Geoff is up to these days, the last contact I had was at the Wendover Bash back in 88...
I'll try to remember more details about the spec, the thing I do recall is the studded tyes imported from Sweden (Hacka?)

This is an all to rare example of the internet uncovering anecdotes from the mirky pre-history of British mountain biking.

Below is my response...

Hi 'Zog',

Great to hear a first hand account of the creation of the first Cleland Cross Country Cycle designrd by Geoff Apps back in 1978/9. (Thirty years ago!) Geoff went on to improve his design and eventualy marketed it as the Cleland Aventura in 1982. I was one of his customers in 1984 and still own and use two of his machines. Geoff now lives in Scotland though returns to Buckinghamshire for a reunion ride each December. I have nominated Geoff for induction to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame museum in America and have the backing of Charlie Kelly, one of the pioneers who developed and marketed the American mountain bikes. Geoff and I are also developing a new version of his design which should be finished by the end of this year.

It's wonderful to hear stories about the early years of off-road cycling. Organised off-road cycling in Britain had existed since 1955 but Geoff was the first person to develop and market purpose built bikes.

People back then must have thought of Geoff and his ideas as excentric, not realising that what he was doing was preempting the invention of a new sport and style of bicycle. Much of what happened back then went unreported and so its history has been overlooked. Geoff tells me that most frame builders, at the time, refused to build bikes with sloping top-tubes. Roy was ok with the sloping top-tube but refused to bend the chainstays in order to improve the frame/tyre clearences. The later Clelands resolved this design problem by using straight chain-stays and extra wide (90-110mm) bottom-bracket shells.

I will pass your memories on to Geoff.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:16 pm 
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GeoffApps wrote:
We tend to think that steering a bike is like steering a car.
Steering a bike is more to do with preventing your bicycle from falling over, more than anything else.
Think about taking a tight turn; you literally fall into the turn, and the role of the front wheel is to prevent you falling over completely.
The effect is that you take the turn, but you haven't steered round it; you've tried to fall over and then moderated the fall by turning the front wheel into the fall.


This, in a nutshell, is why it's wrong for kids to learn to ride bikes with stabilisers (training wheels) on. They completely prevent the process of learning to steer by falling over.

Dr. Matt...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:34 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Absolutely right!

... and to think that I designed the most popular stabilisers on the market, which design was stolen by Weldtite, damages for which I sued.
It took more than six years to get to court, and six years out of my life, damaged my reputation, set my career back as many years ~ in fact I have not really worked since.
They're called 'ultimate' stabilisers, and are also sold with Halfords branding.

BTW ~ if you're still interested in a Cleland Aventura TT self-build project, I'll soon be preparing spec sheets and costings, as well as bits of advice, for three individuals. Would you be interested in this as well?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:15 pm 
Mr Darcy
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Archie Woodward....Broadsands Road, Paignton

Literally minutes away from where I grew up! Learn something new every day. Wonder where he used to ride there..


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:41 pm 
retrobike rider
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Last year I nominated Geoff Apps for induction to the American Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. However there was strong competition in the pioneers section from the Larkspur Canyon Gang who inspired the Marin county pioneers and went on to get the most votes.

As someone involved in the UK sport from its outset, I am now being widely encouraged to nominate him again this year. This time the nomination has the support of some of the big hitter- US pioneers and Gary Fisher in particular. Bitd, Geoff freely exchanged ideas with the us pioneers, they were impressed with his designs and so are very supportive towards his induction to the MBHoF.

Persuading US MBHoF members to vote for a little known Brit, won't be easy. But this time we have some very influential backers.

http://issuu.com/intentmedia/docs/bb51/30

http://www.completesite.com/mbhof/page.cfm?pageid=13664

http://www.completesite.com/mbhof/page. ... mberid=209


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