SO WHO IS THE LITTLE GUY ON THE BIKE
Cult Cycling cannot claim to have developed the “Little Man” with the hair and the horn riding the mountain bike in our logo, although he certainly is a good friend of ours, as is anyone who rides a mtb, or any other type of bike for that matter!
Nowadays the Little Man is known internationally as the Kokopelli Man. He originated in the lower Rocky Mountain High Desert area encompassing Colorado and Utah (Fruita and Moab) in the United States. If you’ve ever been there you’ll know that if magic exists, it’s alive and well in this area!
Whilst he was originally thought to have originated with the Anasi Indians, and to date around the same time as the New Testament (in biblical terms), research now taking place indicates that he may pre-date even that time.
Whilst his age is definitely formidable and to be respected, that is not what makes him such an enigma.His image has been drawn on cliff faces and rock walls for thousands of years, and has been replicated by three known Native American cultures; but hey! He’s a pretty cool looking little dude and you can see how one artist might copy his image from something he’s seen elsewhere on a rainy day in the cave (not that it rains much in the desert).
What starts to hint at MYSTERY is the fact that all three cultures attribute the same myth to him. This is complicated by the fact that in each case the previous culture died out (by hundreds of years) before the next started and none of these cultures had a written language. All three cultures had a Verbal Tribal History; stories told around the fire by the Tribal Elders and passed to the next generation purely by word of mouth. This certainly provides food for thought around a Mountainbikers campfire in the 21st Century.
And what was the myth…it just keeps getting better really.
The Kokopelli Man is said to be many things, perhaps first amongst them a Fertility God of note. It’s obvious that even back in the olden days they had Net-Nanny and Mary Whitehouse’s Party for the End of Immorality (whatever that is), because his image began to get “cleaned up” around the time Spanish missionaries moved into this area. He was originally depicted as a quite well endowed male in a state of constant arousal, and then suddenly he was genderless as you see him now.
He is also thought to be the God of Music, and through him the natural sounds of Mother Earth were transformed into music.
But his CV doesn’t end there!! He also plays much the same role as PUK in the Bard’s “A Mid-Summer Nights Dream”. Known in all cultures as a prankster and clown.
And so the story goes that the Kokopelli Man would walk from village to village playing his horn and casting seed from the sack on his back in all places, making the world green.
Each village would be simultaneously gladdened and dismayed to hear the delicate strains of pipe music herald his approach. Glad because it meant that the year’s harvest would be great; and dismayed because all the women of the village would be pregnant; from grandmothers of many winters, to the fairest of maidens.
It was considered to be a great honor to be chosen as his “Dreamtime Partner” but it doesn’t sound as if not being there granted you immunity from the effects of close proximity to a Fertility God.
The night of his arrival, a great feast would take place, and the Villagers would build a huge bonfire and party hard all night…and in the morning he was gone.
And then after the Navajo (last of the Native American Cultures to embrace him) came a new Tribe. Mountainbikers!!
Fruita has some of the best single track in the States (and one of the best Fat-Tyre Festivals too!) and one trail stretches the 200 odd miles from Fruita to Moab, which as we all know, is to Mountain bikers what Mecca is to Moslems; we are all obligated to go there at least once in our lives and ride the famous Slick Rock Trail.
Coincidentally, the trail that follows the cliffs along the Colorado Gorge from Fruita to Moab is called the Kokopelli Trail. Also one hair raising ride that is in the “must do” class. Have a look at the video footage that is shown on "Check This Out" for registered website users. The second video is the Kokopelli Trail following the Colorado River gorge.
This new and colorful Tribe of Mountain bikers saw the Little Man painted on cave and cliff walls as they rode past, and he just seemed to strike some sort of a chord with them, long before the few Mountain bike Tribal Elders who wanted to research him found his history. And it wasn’t long before the stores in Moab and all over America had riding gear and key rings and stuff with the Kokopelli Man on them because our Tribe can’t paint him on the walls anymore because it’s all a World Heritage Site now.
The Mountain bike fraternity has adopted him as an icon of our peculiar sub-culture, and you find him everywhere from California to France….and now in Africa.
We think he’s very cool and hope that you do too.