NOSTALGIA VIDEO: Did mountain biking events as we know them start in Wendover Woods?

A video has emerged of some of the UK’s first mountain bikers trying out their modified cycles in the Wendover Woods.

The footage, from 1986’s Wendover Bash was posted on YouTube, and shows paticipants taking part in the event, which ran annually from 1984 to 1988.

Supporting information with the video reads: “This video from a TV report on the new sport of mountain biking, was filmed at the 1986 Wendover Bash and shows US style 26” wheeled mountain bikes competing against native UK bikes. “These British mountain bikes first went on sale in about two years before the arrival of the US style mountain bikes in 1984 and were made until the 1990s.

“Competing against a variety of US style mountain bikes can be seen a 1982 Cleland Aventura on the hill climb and a 1985 Mk1 Cleland Dingbat in the trials competition. At the beginning there is also a close-up shot of 1985/6 Highpath Engineering made Cleland.”

It is believed that mountain biking first came to Britain in the late Seventies, when British journalist Richard Grant saw the modified cycles in a California bike shop.

In 1984 the first bikes started to appear in UK shops, and the rest they say is history!

According to video poster Cleland Cycles the Wendover Bash was the first UK mountain bike racing event that included a range of disciplines including downhill, cross-country, hill-climb and trials riding, was organised by Geoff Apps. It took place in a forest clearing in the Chiltern Hills Buckinghamshire, on the 17th of June 1984. With the top trophy going to the best overall rider it became the blueprint for UK race events for the next decade until UK Mountain biking fragmented into specialist disciplines in the 1990s. The ‘Wendover Bashes’ were held annually on the same site from 1984 until 1988.

Are you featured in the video? Get in touch! Email hayley.okeeffe@jpress.co.uk

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