Charlie Kelly Publicity Photo

Widely publicized publicity photo of Charlie Kelly. Taken by Gary Fisher.

Charlie Kelly was (and is) a long-time friend of Gary Fisher's, and was a member of the Marin County Crew whom together, are largely credited for the spread of Mountain Bikes. He was responsible for handling the first Repack Races, which were considered botht the testing and proving grounds for early mountain biking technology. In 1988, he was inducted as a charter member into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, located in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Here is a quote from Charlie Kelly, describing his involvement with the sport:

"For fifteen years, from about 1975 to 1990, I was very involved with the sport. I promoted races, the most famous of which was called Repack, I owned the first custom mountain bike I know about, I was part of one of the first companies to sell mountain bikes, I published the first magazine for mountain bikers, I helped organize the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA), I wrote the first set of racing rules, which are still being used, and I wrote a lot of magazine articles about the sport. Now I do other stuff."

Fat Tire Flyer Logo

Logo for Fat Tire Flyer Magazine.

The Fat Tire Flyer was the first serial publication aimed directly towards mountain bikers. Charlie Kelly began publishing the Fat Tire flyer with Denise Caramagno in 1980 and continued to publish the paper until 1987, hanlding articles, photos, administrative tasks and much more. Affiliation with the magazine also enabled Charlie Kelly to generate press passes to various events for himself and others, allowing him to obtain free swag and finger food at bicycling conventions.