Press Release

From Repack to Rwanda: The Origins, Evolution, and Global Reach of the Mountain Bike



CONTACT:  Charles Schuler
Associate Deputy Airport Director 
(650) 821-5031    


From Repack to Rwanda: The Origins, Evolution, and Global Reach of the Mountain Bike
New exhibition focuses on Northern California's role in the development and evolution of the mountain bike


SAN FRANCISCO -- From its humble origins as a modified, single-speed “clunker” raced downhill on the trails of Marin County in the early 1970s, to today’s sophisticated machine used for recreation, commuting, and international competitions, the mountain bike has experienced a remarkable transformation.  This exhibition focuses on four decades of contributions by Northern California’s mountain bike designers and builders. Thirty-five years after the introduction of the first modern mountain bikes in Mill Valley, California, they are now ridden everywhere in the world, including some of the most remote locations from the Himalayas to Timbuktu.  In Rwanda, one of the industry’s founders from Palo Alto, California, is helping to transform that nation’s economy through a series of bicycle-related initiatives.  The mountain bike’s impact is widespread and deeply felt.  Despite the insistence by many of those early clunker riders that they “weren’t out to change the world,” the bicycles they created and the industry they pioneered certainly have.


Selected images from the exhibition are available for download at:


From Repack to Rwanda: The Origins, Evolution, and Global Reach of the Mountain Bike is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport.  The exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from July 21, 2012 to February 3, 2013.  There is no charge to view the exhibition.


SFO Museum

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. For more information, please visit


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