The "Finding" of Mountain Bike Ultimate

By Dave Freed - MBU Historian and Head of the Rules Committee

Finding? Yes - - the story of six pioneers who found how to have fun on mountain bikes while throwing a disc of plastic. It was a drizzly, dreary fall day in 1990. The six pioneers (Dave Freed, Chris Hallgren, Lee Doyle, Jack Maxwell, Jim G. and Jim Cromie) gathered (where?) to assemble into a 2-car caravan. The destination: Lynn Woods, MA, almost an hour's ride to the north side of Boston. Since it was wet, we were somewhat apprehensive about tackling the technical, rocky trails that LW offered. The car with Jack, Cromie and 4 bikes enjoyed the ride, not knowing the concoction that was stewing in the other car. The car with JimG, Dave, Lee and Chris was strategizing for the upcoming ride when Dave said, "Wouldn't it be cool to play ultimate on mountain bikes?" a thought that was stewing in his own strategy-oriented mind for the last several weeks. "I think that there is a small field next to the parking lot, why don't we try something out?" Immediately three other light bulbs went off over the heads of the others in the car. The rest of the ride was spent in a tussle discussing possible rules. Some of the rules were obvious, some were not, we had to experiment.

When we arrived at the parking lot and informed the other car of our idea... they were psyched and curious. Can such a game be fun? Are the six of us up to the challenge of creating the hottest sport of the next century? Let's find out - and we did. That first game was a true learning experience, but a lot of fun. Trying to take both your own speed as well as the receiver's speed into account when making the throw was a new and interesting experience (especially if you are throwing backwards). We experimented with standing pickups, scoops, stall counts, throws and other new rules. We threw it around a bunch, and discovered that it was a blast, even with primitive skill level and lack of rules.

Over the next few months [and now years] our game and the rules developed to make Mountain Bike Ultimate the trend setting sport that it is today.

- Dave

The game has evolved and the word of MBU has spread across the globe thanks to the wonder of the internet and the sometimes wild sometimes mild marketing machine known only as MBUcentral.  BIKE Magazine, MT. BIKE Magazine, ULTIMATE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION Magazine and several Webzines from every corner of the world have featured us.  There was even a close call with Monster Truck Racing, but that's a long story and it'll cost ya a beer to get it outta me...MBUcentral.  (ps Make it a Guinness!)