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Marin Museum to hold auction to benefit Charlie Cunningham

Published March 5, 2019

FAIRFAX, Calif. (BRAIN) — On Saturday, March 23 the Marin Museum of Bicycling will host a benefit to support mountain bike pioneer Charlie Cunningham. Cunningham had a tumble from his bike in 2016 and remains in treatment for severe complications suffered during his recovery. 

The Marin Museum is home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. The evening event will include a silent auction and the conclusion of a weeklong eBay auction of a specially built Cunningham Homage Bike. Proceeds from the bike sale will go to the Cunningham Relief Fund. Silent auction proceeds will be split evenly between the Cunningham Relief Fund and the Marin Museum of Bicycling, an all-volunteer 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Several Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductees plan to attend.

The Cunningham Relief Fund is the brainchild of the Good Guys, a worldwide vintage-bike group founded by bike collector Lars Weber of Switzerland.

Cunningham has contributed to mountain biking since the 1970s. In 1979 he produced the first aluminum mountain bike, prototype for hundreds he would later build in Fairfax. Cunningham’s “CC Proto” includes many firsts in the sport, and is in the museum’s permanent display. In 1982 Cunningham, along with Steve Potts and Mark Slate, co-founded Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB).

The Homage bike was built by legendary framebuilder Frank Waddleton for the Good Guys. The frame has fat aluminum tubes inspired by Cunningham's bikes. Chris Kelly supplied the frame’s clear coat. Steve Potts created one of his Type II forks for the bike and the Good Guys donated vintage parts to the project. Aaron Faust built up the bike. The eBay auction opens Saturday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The reserve on the bike is $5,000.

Mountain bike luminaries are donating special items to the silent auction. Yeti founder John Parker was first to contribute to the auction, donating his prized welding helmet. Gary Fisher has donated a klunker frame he painted in the early 1970s in the psychedelia of the day. 

The Cunningham Homage Bike and Museum Auction items will be previewed at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show is in Sacramento on March 15-17 at the Marin Museum of Bicycling/Mountain Bike Hall Of Fame booth. Tickets for the March 23 event also will be on sale at NAHBS.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the museum (Thursdays-Sundays, 11-5), and online at Tickets are $20 per adult ($10 for students and Marin Museum of Bicycling members). Some tickets may be available at the door the evening of the event, but advance purchase is strongly recommended. 


Photo of Cunningham copyright Wende Cragg, Rolling Dinosaur Archive.

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