Why Gary Fisher thinks the bicycle is the happiest invention on Earth
Gary Fisher’s bikes have been picked up by everyone from Pierce Brosnan to former American President George W Bush. And now, the founding father of mountain bikes is coming to Chennai. Apart from getting riding tips from the legend who just celebrated his 68th birthday earlier this month, cycling enthusiasts can also test ride several of Trek’s high-end offerings of the road, mountain and hybrid bikes, including Madone, Émonda, Domane, Marlin, Dual Sport, and FX at an event that will be held in OMR. This is part of Fisher’s four-city Trek Ride Camp that apart from Chennai, covers Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.
With a longstanding reputation for innovation, (he introduced the 29-inch wheel size which was revolutionary for mountain bikes in 2000) you might guess that our conversation would have veered around suspension, tyres and evolving metrics on building better bikes. But at the heart of it, we found that what drives Fisher to get on his bike every single day, (yes even so many years later) is a singular feeling we can all relate to — happiness. “My wife will say to me: You know, you’re getting a little twitchy. I think you ought to go ride your bike,” he shares with a laugh. “You go out for an hour, come back, and you feel so much more settled. It’s like hitting a reset button,” Fisher offers life advice that everyone can pedal toward (whether you ride a 1,000 rupee cycle or one of his high-end variants that are priced are as steep as Rs 8 lakh!).
The act of riding a bicycle has never been fully described because as we improve the machine and parts become better, more becomes possible - Gary Fisher
Taking a quick trip down memory lane, we have to ask Fisher how much has changed in the cycling business since he got into it over two decades ago. “A lot!” he responds. “When I started riding a bike and racing, it was more like a regulation piece of sporting equipment. But then, in the ’80s, things really started to change. More people from aerospace got into the business, people from the motorcycle business... and we got a lot of new ideas. The materials — steel frames, aluminium frames and carbon fibre — everything’s changed — even in the last 10 years. The rate of change just keeps getting fast and faster, and that's the most exciting thing for me,” he shares with evident enthusiasm.
I have a trailer that my six-month-old daughter can sit in that is attached to my bike, so we can spend quality time riding together. And the trailer has got the suspension in it, so it stabilises the whole bike.
Cycling in India
This is my second time in India, and
I can see that there are a lot more cyclists that are hardcore now. I notice their eyes get really big when they talk about their bikes!
The Fisher formula
A well-tailored bike is like a well-tailored piece of clothing. It doesn’t bind you, instead, it feels like an extension of yourself. It’s not this thing you are trying to tame, you become one with it.
Riding with 007
Over the years, Fisher has been associated with a whole spectrum of people on wheels — from high school students at his home city in San Francisco to athletes that take on the Tour de France. But one of his most memorable trails, he recalls, was in Hawaii whilst mountain biking alongside Pierce Brosnan. “After we got done, he (Brosnan) told the crowd: ‘I wish I was as confident as Gary Fisher’. My wife said, do you realise what just happened? 007 just said he wishes he was as confident as you!”
Participate in the event on November 25 at the Mermaid Resort, Kovalam Road OMR. Time: 7 am.
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