Originally Published in the ECOreport 

From the Video
A mountain biking trail in Marin County – From the video “Renegades of Bike Culture.”

“Renegades of Bike Culture” traces the origins of mountain biking back to the high wheelers of the 1890. Along the way, you listen to earn that anecdotes and information, such as:

  • People sometimes lost control of the old high wheelers going down hill and modern bikes were originally called safety bicycles because they are easier to manage
  • Mountain biking, as we know it today, started in Marin County California during the 1970’s.
  • There is a connection between the Grateful Dead and mountain biking.
The Grateful Dead - from the video
The Grateful Dead — From the video “Renegades of Bike Culture.”

The narrator, Sarah McCullough, is the Associate Director at the Center for the Humanities at UC San Diego and her PHD thesis, at UC Davis, was a project on the origins and growth of mountain biking. Her research grew out of a simple question, “Why do people like to bike?”

“What fascinates me about bicycling is the way that people form communities around this particular two-wheeled object. The social formations centered on the bike are many, from roadies to downhill bombers to weekend beach cruisers, to midnight rides on the city streets. And then there’s just the daily commuters who want to get to work,” Ms McCullough recently wrote.

“Renegades of Bike Culture” is a delightful video, which you can watch by clicking here:

[youtube id=”YgljZQn62wM” width=”600″ height=”350″]

It is part of the series “Fig. 1 by the university of California.” Access the entire collection at

Sarah McCullough’s research into biking is ongoing and she has a website you can visit to learn more, or sign for her e-newsletter to learn about subsequent publications and events on this research:

(Image at top of page: A mountain biking trail in Marin County – From the video “Renegades of Bike Culture.”)

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