“No one thought I should have been the guy to win their race.”
On October 21, 1976, a small group of cyclists and a dog named Junior gathered on Carson Ridge, which rises just west of Fairfax, California. It was mid-morning and the sky was bright blue, a beautiful day for racing 50-pound vintage Schwinn Excelsior clunkers down Cascade Canyon Road, whose winding dirt surface plunges 1,300 feet in less than two miles, past serpentine outcrops, low-lying chaparral, and scattered oaks on its way to the confluence of San Anselmo and Cascade creeks.
Among the bike riders assembled that Thursday morning, at an hour when most folks were dutifully toiling at their boring 9-to-5s, was Fred Wolf, an early off-road cyclist, and owner of Junior the dog; Charlie Kelly, a roadie for a beloved local rock band called the Sons of Champlin; Larry and Wende Cragg, who carried her trusty Nikkormat 35mm camera almost everywhere; and an airbrush artist and vintage-bicycle customizer named Alan Bonds, whose recorded time of 5 minutes and 12 seconds that day (average speed, about 23 mph) was good enough to take first place in a race that quickly became known around the world as Repack.
After the Darien Gap post yesterday, I got stuck in a Ian Hibell internet black hole!
Black hole makes it sound like a bad thing, time suck yes, but not a bad thing. I would have never found this amazing photo-set and write up from Ian about Laura if I had not gone down, down, down!