Subject: [CR]Anyone remember Craig Mitchell of Marin?

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Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 02:23:26 EST
Subject: Subject: [CR]Anyone remember Craig Mitchell of Marin?

Hi Stevan,

I worked with Craig Mitchell at Sunshine Bicycle Works in Fairfax, Ca from 1976-1980. SBW employed quite a few of the early mountian bike pioneers, Craig, Gary Fisher, Charly Kelly, Mark Horowitz, , as well as roadies like Frank Powell, Larry Mersereau, Kent Bostick, Otis Guy. Marnard Hershon also worked at Sunshine in 1979. In 1976, Ron Cooper came over an spoke to a group of us at Sunshine that included Joe Breeze and Craig. Craig shared a framebuilding shop with Doug White in Point Reyes when I first me him in February 1976. He later moved it upstairs at Sunshine. Craig was always looking for ways to make his frames lighter. He had a 17 lb "Whippet" road frame in 1977 with flat plate dropouts he had fabricated. The wheel was held in by a Hi-E skewer that went through a hole in the plate. Quick release...not! Craig had a degree in metal technology from UC Berkeley. To say he was bright was a serious understatement. In the early days of mountainbikes we were trying various types of brakes. Craig had built a custom lugless frame, (this was in 1976) but the fork was an old road fork he'd salvaged from a Motobecane and spread just below the crown to accommodate wider 26" tires. I think he had a 26 by 1.75 on an Arai alloy rim. The brake was an Arai drum, short lived on these shores...not the later one that tandem builders all over the country came to use, but a chromed steel hubshell very moped'ish in shape. Anyhow I took it for a ride down the sidewalk, turned it around and shot back towards the front of Sunshine, where, grabbing a handful of front brake, proceeded to re-arch the left forkblade "Bates" style. To say that Craig was miffed, is , well, an understatement but we got over it soon. He and Doug White rode the 1978 Marin Century on recumbents and fairly smoked the field during the first 50 miles. I was behind them trying to get some draft off the crazy machines. Craig was picked to make a bike for the Art of the Mountainbike show in 1990 and was also featured in Bicycling Magazine in the May 1991 issue with that bike. He was a teriffic craftsman, a perfectionist, and a fine artist as well. The Limbo spider inner chainring that White industries produced in great quantities during the late 80's and early 90's was one of Craig's ideas. I hope this helps for an off the cuff answer, Stevan. Feel free to call me.

Paul Brown 707 322-7208
Santa Rosa, CA