Three Breezers ready for use

Three Breezers next to a cabin.

The photo was taken by Wende Cragg towards the end of September in 1978 when she went to Mineral King, Sequoia National Forest with Joe Breeze and Charlie Kelly to ride their Breezers. The photo was taken next to a cabin with their bikes parked next to each other. The bike in the back is Joe’s Mark 1 bike. The bike in the middle belongs to Wende Cragg and the front most bike belongs to Charlie Kelly. Wende and Charlie’s bikes are Mark 2 Breezers. The Mark 2 bikes have a more BMX style fork in the front. Wende and Charlie’s bikes are also nickel plated where Joes is a blue. Joe’s has an extra piece on his fork which was for support but he decided to take it off on the Mark 2 after a bit of tweaking to better the design some and to cut labor time. The three bikes each have a water bottle in their holders and Charlie and Joe’s bike have a handkerchief, with what would be a repair kit wrapped inside, under their seats. These three bikes represent 3 of the first Breezers made and have a “twin lateral” design. The photo itself has been used in Frank Berto’s book The Birth of Dirt: Origins Of Mountain Biking (2nd ed.). This photo can show us how mountain bikes were taken all over to be ridden and just with the different Mark 1 and Mark 2 being present show how bikes are constantly being advanced and changed even if just slightly to improve them. Joe himself created custom pieces for his bikes, some more recognizable then others. These 3 bikes as mentioned had twin laterals. Joe only made 10 bikes with a twin lateral design that ran from the head tube all the way to the rear dropouts to help reinforce the bike, the twin lateral alone makes the bikes stand out and make them recognizable as Breezers. The Mark 2 had the BMX style forks so that if they ended up braking off then a Schwinn fork could be put on and work just as well. Also the simple design of taking off the fork reinforcement from the Mark 1 and putting on BMX style forks to make them easier to repair and made them a little lighter and easier to make. These tweaks added to making a slightly better bike since now more and more people were getting into mountain biking and were trying to make better and lighter bikes. Every ounce mattered when you could cut down the weight of the bike while keeping it functional. Joe by making these purpose built bikes helped to set off a market for these new mountain bikes. The culture grew as people saw these brand new improved bikes being ridden as something totally different since the bikes no longer looked like old Klunkers. The creation of these new bikes for the purpose of riding mountains helped establish a serious attitude behind this “new” sport which made people actually take notice to it in a serious manner.