John Finley Scott's 1958 Jack Taylor Touring Tandem

1958 Jack Taylor Touring Tandem (27") Serial number 3278. Originally owned by John Finley Scott. Purchased through Spence Wolfe of the Cupertino Bike Shop.

John Finley Scott, a University of California at Davis sociology professor with an intense personal interest in bicycles and bicycle riding, is credited with being one of the inventors of Mountain Bikes; in 1953, he put together a forerunner of the modern mountain bike. In 1958, while Scott was a PhD candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, he started corresponding with the Jack Taylor firm about acquiring a tandem.

1958 Touring Tandem Brochure

1958 Receipt for $50 paid to Jack Taylor for Scott's tandem.

Peter Rich of VeloSport captaining and Dave Staub stoking at the San Jose Speedway c. 1959, former site of Sabatino's velodrome.

Lynn Marshall at the helm and John Finley Scott stoking before a Berkeley Wheelmen ride c. 1960. Note tiger in the tank and tartan saddle bag.

Bill Pritikin of the Hollywood Wheelmen (with newspaper insulation in his hairnet), and Bill Pritikin captaining and John Finley Scott stoking at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park, 1961. Photo: Dave Ziegler.

David Nasatir at the helm and Linda Searl, 1975 US Women's Cyclocross champion, stoking on Davis Double Century 1974. Note 650B conversion and new paint.

David Nasatir at the helm and Linda Searl stoking on Davis Double Century 1974.

Dave Brink captaining and Vance Sprock stoking on Davis Double Century 1981. Note converted chainline, Phil Wood hubs, Hartsough brothers drafting.

Dave Brink and Vance Sprock again, on Davis Double Century 1981.

After Uncle Finley’s death, 2008.

2009, spray-can special, before new paint.

Eroica, Paso Robles, 2017. Photo courtesy of John Gallagher.

27" Versus 650B Wheels

In early pictures of the tandem, it has 27" wheels -- since the 1970s the bike has had 650B wheels. The conversion was non-trivial, as it involved moving the brazed-on cantilever brake bosses. Why did Dr. Scott modify the bike in this way? One clue appears in an article that Scott wrote for the September, 1963 issue of the journal of the Rough Stuff Fellowship. According to Steve Griffith, Chairman of the Rough Stuff fellowship, John Finley Scott joined the Fellowship in 1961 with his wife Lois Scott when he lived at 2535 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley. Mr. Griffith adds that the article was "one of the few published which focused on the technical side."
Finley is writing about his interest in riding off road in "Rough Stuff" and is discussing his selection of components for an off-road bike, predecessor to the Mountain Bike of today.
I chose 650 x 35 mm. tyres and wheels designed for use on continental set-stone pavement; they have proven an excellent choice. Traction is never a problem and there is sufficient flotation to ride over most desert sand. The tyres, though large in section, are lightly made and feature a matt tread - a virtue because of the propensity of deeply patterned treads to get wedged into them sharp bits of rock, etc., which produce punctures. So far the tyres have not been punctured at all. Their suppleness permits a gear of about 70 where a 280-gram silk will permit an 85 - not too great a sacrifice in speed." (Pg. 7)

Scott's article from the September 1963 Rough Stuff Fellowship Journal

(Courtesy of Steve Y. Griffith and the Rough Stuff Fellowship)

The Thief of Vicenza

In the above mentioned letter dated September 26, 1958 from Jack Taylor, it appears that Finley asked for Campagnolo derailleurs for his tandem:
Regarding your various items of equipment, we will endeavor to supply everything exactly as you require but in the case of the gearing we wish to state that we have found that a French CYCLO rear derailleur gives the very best changing of wide ratios on a Touring Machine and we suggest fitting one of these to your job instead of the Campagnolo which you ask about in your last letter. There is no Campagnolo available in England suitable for tourists neither is there a front Campagnolo changer suitable for three rings.
Yet in the Rough Stuff article:
My general preference is-for the smooth if unfashionable shifting of a Benelux Mark 8, but in this case the dual need for minimum exposure to passing rock and brush and for unequivocal shifts from 2nd to low at, say 3 m.p.h., suggested the use in the rear of a Simplex Raidex gear. It performs as it should in this connection even though in order to shift from 5th to 4th it is necessary to touch 3rd -- a defect present also in the Folly of Vicenza, which shall be nameless.
Finley is maligning the "Folly of Vicenza", Tullio Campagnolo. Later, Dr. Scott rode a gray Teledyne Titan inscribed with anti-Campagnolo inscriptions:

The Saddlebag

Original saddlebag from Finley and Marshall picture.

Reproduction saddle bag made by Tesh Kosowan.

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