Podcast: Gary Fisher On Bringing Mountain Biking to the Masses

Jan 17, 2021
by Downtime Podcast  
Photo - Dan Milner

Words Chris Hall : Photo Dan Milner

Gary Fisher is one of mountain biking’s founding fathers and was very much responsible for bringing mountain biking to the masses. Gary grew up with cycling in his veins, and this passion took him on a crazy path through road racing, free love, LSD, and popularising the mountain bike around the world. We sat down for a wide ranging chat to find out more about Gary’s story. We discuss the early days, the growth of our sport, bringing 29ers to production, his dress sense, Gary’s thoughts on the future and much more. So hit play below and listen to this episode with Gary Fisher.

You can also listen by searching for ‘Downtime Podcast’ on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts, by asking Alexa, or over on our website www.downtimepodcast.com/gary-fisher/ and you can follow us on Instagram @downtimepodcast.

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  • 259 190
 Potentially unpopular opinion: I don't want to bring mountain biking to the masses. That's not to say that we should gatekeep or be unnecessarily exclusive but mountain biking by definition is not a sport for everyone, nor should it be.

More people total equals more chances for a small minority of morons and a*sholes to at best demand that challenging features are removed from trails and at worst sue land owners when they inevitably hurt themselves on some trail they're not good enough for yet and then the rest of us lose the whole trail/network.

Mountain biking is not Joe and Karen Six-pack and their kids riding their city bikes on any dirt trail in the woods they find, with no idea the difference between what a green circle and black diamond means, who will complain that the other riders are going too fast. It's an extreme sport, and in opinion it should stay that way. We should strive to encourage and support new riders entering the sport, whether it be our friends or strangers, but we should not be encouraging everyone en mass to pick up this awesome, but niche, sport.
  • 397 81
 I agree. We should have stopped allowing new riders the day before you started.
  • 85 46
 Elitism at work lol, dont let those poor kids ride bikes man they will ruin it for us wealthy folk
  • 68 49
 @Inertiaman: 20 years ago, it would be a very niche sport indeed. I found mountain biking on my own, I slowly learned the rules and etiquette by reading forums and books (Brian Lopes) and observing others. I did not come in with a sense of entitlement, and my post specifically said we should encourage new riders like that. What I said is we shouldn't drive everyone en mass into MTBing, because then you get entitled people, you sound like you might be one yourself.
  • 130 32
 "That's not to say that we should gatekeep or be unnecessarily exclusive."

Proceeds to write two paragraphs about why we should gatekeep and be unnecessarily exclusive. Lol
  • 17 1
 Time will tell which of those who try the sport actually become part of it, and make it a part of themselves, naive to think there's much control of either of these aspects of culture
  • 16 0
 I understand your opinion, but I feel like it should be one of the sports that anybody can do, but it's difficult to the point where it keeps the karen's and joes out.
  • 53 14
 It’s selfish to think that what you enjoy should not be enjoyed by others.

Try to think beyond your own desires.

I find that if I think about other people having fun, I feel better about sharing.
  • 25 17
 @nurseben: This guy gets it. The other guy, though, is worried about too many green circles and not being able to tell his buddies how extreme he is.
  • 34 5
 You have to realize that Joe and Karen Six Pack and their kids are what keeps the mountain bike industry alive. They're the ones buying the sub 1k bikes that brands sell MUCH more of to be able to make and sell a small percentage of high end mountain bikes.
  • 45 2
 Mountain biking has too much range of difficulty to call it 'extreme'. Sure what is advertised and shown on platforms like pinkbike is extreme, but that doesn't mean that there isn't entry level stuff or people riding mountain bikes on mellow stuff. XC bikes on gravel trails or flowy flat singletrack is hardly extreme, but still mountain biking. Point is that Joe and Karen won't be riding the extreme stuff because they won't be able to make it. You might be inventing a problem that doesn't, or won't, exist.
  • 6 0
 @Ryan2949: People were Mt Biking before there was an "MTB industry" to keep alive, and even MTB riding on Mt. Tam while Gary Fisher was riding road bikes and Charlie Kelley was waiting for the internet to be invented so he could pimp his book.
  • 4 0
 As a father I wouldn't banish anyone from doing something without even seeing them try , and even if they "do bad" I wouldn't banish them because they might feel good about how they did or they might feel happy. instead of banishing someone to do the same activity like you do ,you can just keep your trail / trails in secret ;-)
  • 16 2
 you lost me with 'extreme sport'.
  • 43 1
 Everyone wants the gates to close as soon as they cross the moat
  • 3 5
 @DasProfessor we should try some darwinism and let any down at least a red track and if they get down unscathed, they are welcome. entrance ceremony a la freemasonry ; ).. Seriously though, I understand your point , and there is a fine line between too much people that might negatively affect the sport and wwhat is good for it (economically mainly).. I believe it's different in US/canada than in Europe.. the "elitist" fraction of the sport will push back if any dumb-down of the trails pops up.. (The Elitist fraction I mean the people who are naturally at home in what the trails are and have been until today, in average, with mellow and rough trails available at staying out of the ones that are above their technical skills ).
  • 7 1
 Good news! It never will be for the masses. It’s too expensive, inaccessible, and it intuitive enough for it be like pick up basketball. But could it become like skiing or snowboarding? Would it getting that big be good for innovation and for the health of the sport? Most definitely.
  • 21 6
 This sounds like back country skiers. "Close all resorts! Stop them from expanding! Stop the ski link! Resorts are corporatist boogie men!"

How did you learn how to ski?

"At a resort, of course."
  • 13 2
 The mainstreaming of any sport is typically favorable after you get over yourself. You become accepted, normalized, and welcomed by hikers, parks, landowners etc. If Joe and Karen and their kids go tell all their friends what a lovely time they had then the next time their friends see a biker on the trail they don’t think “speed demon a*shole Mother Earth killer” they think, oh! Joe and Karen said that was fun over brunch yesterday and smile and wave, as long as you slow down and smile and wave as well.
  • 16 3
 Miss me with this elitist nonsense. We’re not going to get away from frivolous lawsuits by excluding people from the sport.

Bicycles have and always will be for everyone, regardless of whether you’re sending train gaps or puttering along down a green trail. “Joe and Karen Six-pack” should be welcomed and shown the ropes by experienced riders, not driven away.
  • 2 3
 I get what you're saying.
  • 38 0
 @DasProfessor: you learned etiquette from Lopes? Ahh..
  • 2 1
 Mountain biking should be available to all who want to participate. Parents encourage kids, friends encourage friends and couples encourage couples. I believe some of the "bring mountain biking to the masses" might come from corporations and even that's ok as it helps reduce cost but its not so ok if it is purely about profit, and all corporations are about profit.
  • 11 2
 I agree with you, but only partially.

Generally everybody should have the chance to try this sport. But what really is worrying me, is the fact that the lower entry hurdles like e-bikes, Strava etc make the sport available for people who shouldn't be in the places they get to.

Charging stations on top of mountains, pollution in the woods, and more and more people who behave like a$$holes on their bikes. And simply too many people in sensitive environments ...
  • 9 1
 I think mountain biking overall shouldn't be marketed as the sport for everyone. Some disciplines could be up to a certain limit, however its a difficult thing to know where to draw the line. Bike parks marketing themselves as "for everyone" is a huge mistake if the only criteria needed to be met to use ANY trail is to wear a helmet, have a bike and buy a lift pass. Sadly last summer it happened in Sweden for example that one guy died on the trails in quite a famous bike park, that started a huge sandstorm by the sensationalist media and the mourning family. Everyone was revolted that the features are way to dangerous even though based on pictures it was a relatively small drop(~1m) where the accident happened. If mountain biking needs to be "for the masses" than the risks involved have need to be communicated as well clearly! That being said I agree that sadly it isn't a sport for the masses, however that comes down mostly to the incredibly high prices in this industry.
  • 19 0
 Mountain biking is already popular amongst the masses considering the investment required in it. If you want to look at what happens with gatekeeping, take a look at BMX. Aside from the boom in the 80s, BMX riders have actively tried to keep BMX as "core" as possible for a long time. Any kind of corporate sponsorship, riders like Mike Spinner and Daniel Dhers, "circus riders," etc. were all derided for years. MTB slopestyle riders were made fun of for years by BMXers. To some degree, this did keep BMX true to it's roots, and kept a culture that no matter where or who you are, if you saw someone else riding you didn't know, chances are you would immediately introduce yourselves and ride together.

Compare this now to surfing or skateboarding. Surfing obviously also has an interest in not allowing more people to get into it, as breaks are limited. Still, corporate sponsorships weren't avoided, and brands actively looked outside the sport for promotion, same with skateboarding. It's totally normal to see some random wearing an Oneal, Quicksilver, Thrasher, or Spitfire shirt. The downside is if you are are surfer/skateboarder, you aren't just going to go up to one of these people out of nowhere and become friends over your common bond, while if you ride BMX and see someone in a Terrible One or FBM shirt, you will know they ride and are probably cool. The upside is many surfers and skaters have had great careers, while in BMX, you can be at the cutting edge and still barely scrape by. Someone like Van Homan likely isn't going to retire off his BMX career earnings, while dozens of top surfers and skaters will.

MTB is sort of in the middle. Nothing in MTB is really seen as a lifestyle brand as far as I can see. On the other hand, most people that can ride a bike at all can make it down a decently fun for a beginner IMBA doubletrack, and some subset of these people will buy what are essentially top of the line race bikes, bringing high margin income to a lot of these brands. There is some chance some 40 year old accountant watching a Graham Agassiz vid will go buy a YT and ride it on a local trail. This person is not going to buy a Bone Deth BMX bike and try a handrail after watching a Sean Burns video. That's good to funnel money into MTB, but there seems to be a bit of a disconnect between MTB sales and how much is funneled back to riders.
  • 16 2
 @DasProfessor: lol
You learned your rules and etiquette from Brian Lopes?!... makes sense
  • 2 0
 As Gary Oldman would say:https://youtu.be/74BzSTQCl_c
  • 1 0
 @DasProfessor you must hate skiing
  • 18 2
 I rode this morning and could hardly believe what I saw: So many new 'types' of riders, crowding a trail way beyond what's usual. I saw a dad with 6-9 year old kids (I asked their ages) and was super impressed until I saw more dads with their kids, out there on the fairly techy trails, shredding their REI CO-OP hard-tails. I saw fully kitted out, quite over-weight dudes everywhere, slogging their way up the trail. Oh, and a TON of e-bikes.

Yesterday I called my local shop to ask if they had my type of spokes in stock (because I'm supposed to give them a chance, right?) They (somewhat rudely) basically said, 'you know what man, it's best if you just come in and ask, we're too swamped.' – They've got so much business now their early-covid thankfulness has turned to near resentment for it.

Covid's changed things for a while. Many have now been exposed to this sport and we'll see how many stick with it. In the past I tried to get friends into it and was shocked when it didn't stick. 'How could you not love mountain biking!?' Apparently, it isn't awesome to everyone. Some people hate the climbing, the bugs, the flats, the expense, and the inevitable crashes.

Bring the sport to the masses. . .or don't. It's sort of irrelevant. Ultimately I think this 'bubble' is going to pop and there will be a whole lotta' lightly-ridden e-bikes and REI hard-tails for sale. In the meantime, I think it's great to see all these people out there in nature getting exercise instead of plastering their faces to a phone for 3 hours.
  • 18 3
 Rubbish . Mountain biking is a sport where one can chose how they want to ride and that choice of riding style defines the sport for them . it encompasses the rider that just enjoys being out in the fresh air and just cruising along in an easy and relaxed manner to enjoying a bit of speed , to the extreme in speed , jumping ,and Ariel kamikaze acrobatics .To say it is ONLY ONE of those things because that's how YOU ride , is ignorant, elitist and arrogant . i was riding my old schwinn double top tube beast in the late fifties in marin county before you were even born , i suspect .We cruised , we jumped as best we could , which wasn't very good and we rode fast downhill praying that out brakes would hold up, but we never envisioned what it could become and we NEVEr lost sight of what it was and still is . a sport for any rider at any skill level and no judgement or imposed definition .
  • 6 1
 On the busiest days at whistler, Goat's Gully still doesn't get much traffic, What gives? Best trail on the mountain. I hope these new riders appreciate these types of trails and ride them more.
  • 7 1
 @Chief2slo: I bet Joe and Karen make a great brunch...avocado, naturally, a selection of breads including seeded, gluten free and rye, some artisan coffee, oat milk, banana bread...I didn’t like them at first - Joe still calls his forks “suspenders” - but they really know how to throw a brunch...
  • 5 0
 I can see some of this. Only because I come from a bmx dirt jumping background. I have seen people's kids sneak onto private property to jump, get hurt and sue, and win. I have seen townships come in and plow jumps and tear down ramps on PRIVATE PROPERTY while the land owners and builders were at work, and the land owners even lost said court battles. I'm not into gate keeping, but to a certain extent people often feel they should be able to go and do where and what others can. This is not the case. This will lead to everything becoming more tame and watered down. I only say this because as far as bmx, this is what happened around me growing up.
  • 1 1
 Yes we should worry about mountain biking becoming ‘too accessible’ when it requires, as a minimum, a $1k bike, safety equipment, spare parts, a vehicle with bike storage, access to trails within ready driving distance, basic bike mechanical knowledge and being able to balance while rolling down an uneven trail at speed /sarc
  • 1 0
 @Inertiaman: Comment Gold 2021! so funny.
  • 3 3
 @Inertiaman: He’s 32. He forgets that he too found the sport and not because us who came before unwelcoming.
  • 7 3
 Couldn't be more true. This is why trails are getting dumbed down, ebikes are more popular than ever and double black trails are being "thinned out". Moreover, the idea that mountain biking is a right rather than a privilege you earn (sorry to wake you up NSMBA) is the reason so many trails get changed the way they do. The idea that mountain biking is for everyone is why the Fromme parking lot is the way it is: daycare, and I am not sure if they are referring to the kids or the parents. And sadly, there is no going back to our roots since, well, they are disappearing under a deliberate mandate and being forgotten.
  • 1 2
 Hey Levy. Isn’t this you’re que? To chastise opinion and ask ask him out on a date? The tandem Dairy Queen date? I don’t agree on the opinion but it just seems like it’s your que to abuse your title and position and ask this cat out for an ice cream cone.
  • 20 5
 Wow, well this blew up in a way I wasn’t quite expecting. Given the backlash I went back and carefully re-read what I wrote to see if I didn’t explain my point well. And I stand by everything I said, the incredulous responses are simply evidence that the posters didn’t actually read what I wrote.

I at no point said MTBing should not be enjoyed by others or that we should banish or exclude all new riders. I was quite clear in my original post that I was against is aggressively pushing mountain biking to become more mainstream. That is not the same thing as actively discouraging new riders in the sport. I have never done that and never would, and would admonish anyone I saw doing so.

To those saying mountain biking isn’t extreme, it is in comparison to any mainstream sport. Go into any ER and ask the nurses whether they get more patients from MTBing or soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. No, it’s not all FEST and Rampage, but on the continuum of sports with lawn bowling at one end and base jumping at the other, MTBing is well over to the extreme side of the spectrum.

To those making snarky comments about Brian Lopes, parking shenanigans and punching fellow competitors aside, his 2005 book Mastering Mountain Biking Skills had lots of important etiquette rules like don’t skid on public trails, yield to climbing riders, don’t blast through blind corners, always ride in control, etc. Things that may seem obvious but to a newbie often needs to be explicitly explained.

As for “gatekeeping”, that is already present in our sport, and everywhere. Inclusion and exclusion are two sides of the same coin. A women’s only group ride for example specifically excludes men in order to foster a more enjoyable riding experience for women. Some gatekeeping/exclusion is necessary for a functioning society, though we should always strive to get rid of any that is arbitrary, malicious, or based on any immutable characteristic.

A-line wouldn’t be fun if everyone and their mother tried to ride it, the fact that there is a squirrel/joey catcher (an almost literal gatekeeper) at the beginning of arguably the most famous trail in the world shows where and how exclusion can be necessary and kind of proves my point, so I’ll leave it at that.
  • 1 0
 well we don't have much of a choice whether or not mountain biking becomes 'mainstream' I highly doubt it will. But it certainly will grow. And I will continue to invite friends to try it and be friendly to newbies. What we also can do is help build the technical raw trails we enjoy. That will ensure they stay around.
  • 5 0
 @jeremiahwas: Speaking as a shop mechanic who answers a lot of phone calls, if you call me asking about a part and can't be extremely specific (in the cast of a spoke, what gauge and length), yeah, I'll probably ask you to come in and let me look at it. Because yes, we're too swamped. The struggle is real.
  • 1 0
 Love it
  • 4 2
 @DasProfessor: You didn't learn enough if you reference Brian Lopes and etiquette in the same sentence.
  • 5 0
 Hear! Hear! far too many tracks being turned into 'nannas day out' green trails. I'm not anti-green trails, just don't dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator.
  • 10 1

Thanks for sharing your opinion and concerns. I hope some of the earlier replies to your comment and mine will help you consider other perspectives.

Mountain biking is already a mass activity. We are part of the mass. We are not some sort of elite who made it to being able to ride to a certain level and/or has some legitimacy preventing others from participating. With that being said, mountain biking may never be for everyone.

The question you seems to want to answer is: would ("real") mountain bikers benefit from making the sport more inclusive? And your answer seems to be: no.

Your argument is that ("real") mountain bikers would lose (some of) their trail network if we make it easier for more people to participate. Whistler bike park and the NSMBA are good local examples of your argument's weakness.

Giving more people of all ages and abilities the chance to discover, learn, enjoy and progress on maintained and properly labelled trails is the best thing that can happen to legitimize trail networks and be able to develop them (on both ends of the ability/expertise spectrum). Any industry expert will tell you that.

And, the best thing that more experience riders can do when less experienced ones are around is to lead by example and share some wisdom. We all have the choice to do that (or not) on the trails.

In addition, I've never seen Joe, Karen and the kids on illegal trails but I've seen a lot of "real" mountain bikers acting like first class morons when confronted by other users on such trails. And to my knowledge, that type of behaviour is leading to a lot more trail closures than Joe eating crap on a sanctioned trail.
  • 4 4
 People talking crap about this guy saying he's an elitist, but anyone who's ever been to a slatepark full of unsupervised kids will understand that he completely has a point!!
  • 3 0
 @DasProfessor: good for you, I got into Mountain Biking after watching Joe Schwartz in NWD1necking a beer in the back of a pick up then smashing it against the town sign for Nelson.
  • 2 0
 @timbud: no doubt. World Class a*shole.
  • 2 0
 @barp: It's crazy ! I have been helping my lbs because they are like three months back !!!
  • 6 0
 Good topic here, a lot of really helpful discussion.

One of the cool things I found about mtbing is that when I started it 12 years ago people seemed much more open minded than in many other sport I do. This has changed over the last 3-5 years, what I think is just a mirror of our time and society (and can be seen in this posts)

people should be able to discuss more and be able to endure different opinions more easily
  • 3 0
 @theging: Agreed, you'd think we were on a surfing website.
  • 3 0
 If it’s niche it’ll never be mainstream or whatever your fear is. However if we open up the gates more riding communities will blossom and the well established ones will become even more broad. If your afraid of trails being made to easy go make your own and share accordingly. Donate to local trail building networks. We all love the sport so why not share with more.
  • 4 0
 I've seen good and bad as MTB has exploded with covid in my neck of the woods.
The good:
- Lots of kids riding
- Great market for me selling used parts
- Plenty of new jumps built on my local trails
The bad:
- Clueless riders messing up trails riding when it is muddy or snowy. So many new ruts.
- Overpriced market for buying used parts (I'm guessing this will pass as supply ramps up)
- Lack of trail etiquette - riders not deferring to uphill, much more trash
- Dopes not wearing helmets. One fractured skull could close the trails for everyone.

At the end of the day I'm maybe a bit more annoyed by the clueless hikers that dont even step to one side than the new bikers. I dont mind the guys on Schwinns huffing up the climbs or the gaggles of tweens sessioning jumps.
  • 2 0
 @Altron5000: I could not help but read this in John Oliver's voice.
  • 2 1
 @DasProfessor: wait, you learned etiquette from brian lopes?? Jokes
  • 1 0
 @timbud: lol you beat me to it
  • 1 0
 @Lagr1980: Darwinism on display every Friday on this very website
  • 4 0
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: Underrated comment. Hard to tell if the original commenter is someone who only mountain bikes or whatever. But as someone who has tried everything while growing up in SoCal, mountain biking has one of the healthiest communities and one of the better business models. And while there may be little to no land to develop for trails in the coastal areas, the rest of California is just an infinite source of mountain bike potential.

I happen to ride a trail system with a jump track in the middle, so I see the WHOLE spectrum just about every day. Kids on hardtails, kids on BMX, parents on e-bikes, work out fiends on gravel bikes, everything. The consensus seems pretty simple, we're all glad we got outside today. Regardless of skill level and 'discipline'.

This dudes trying to take the locals only surf line up approach to a sport that is nearly as broad and widespread as you can possibly get. Off road cycling. Yeah good look reeling that beast in lol. It's not like gravel bikers are coming to shut down your unmarked gravity trails. Big Grin lol
  • 1 1
 allow me to edit your comment by replacing the word "potentially" with "idiotic, selfish, ill-informed."
  • 3 1
 @Inertiaman: Ah! great comment. Made me laugh. @DasProfessor , did it ever occur to you that instead of removing features and challenging trails that this could lead to more NEW beginner trails, which tend to lead to more NEW advanced trails once people get hooked and learn to ride? Bad attitudes kill trails faster than any "Joe and Karen six-pack" ever did.
  • 2 0
 Eugh, that guy again. Shell art is OVER
  • 2 0
 Mountain biking for the masses....or at least till the borders open up again for the masses. Can’t wait to get my hands on a hardly used Yeti for 2 grand by then......
  • 1 0
 He only rides park!
  • 1 0
 @gizmofreeride: You'd think signing a waiver would be a good indication that you're getting into a park where you can potentially get hurt. Unfortunately it means trails get dumbed down and the challenging features just get hidden away on illegal trails
  • 40 0
 I just listened to half the podcast and I’m pretty sure Gary is still tripping balls... it was like trying to listen to my 11 year old daughter tell me a story about a dream she had a month ago after washing an Easter basket down with a redbull... but holy hell what stories!
  • 4 0
 Hahaha ! I loved this podcast for that exact reason !!! So good !
  • 3 0
 Every conversation with him is like this. Dude has crazy ADD and just lets his mind wander in whatever direction he wants. I want to respect him because he's *one* of the founders of the sport, but he's lost most of whatever marbles he started with.
  • 21 2
 When I see goofy old people that stylize themselves like that the first thing I think is, "Do not invite them to strike up a conversation." Gary Fisher seems to prove that's wise.
  • 19 0
 In 2021 look for Gary Fisher to appear in Season 3 of the Umbrella Academy as he reprises the role of Sir Reginald Hargreaves.
  • 22 2
 Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze and Tom Ritchey........THX
  • 2 1
 The minus is probably from someone who hates mountainbikes, so he joined Pinkbike to downvote these guys.
  • 13 0
 Has anyone actually listened to the podcast before spouting the wanton law over who and who shouldn’t be bloody mountain biking ?

I simply cannot believe no one has really mentioned the fact that Gary banged on for least 40mins about his Acid & pot smoking dayzzzz with the grateful dead and name drops a bunch of dudes none of us have ever heard of !

I kinda felt for Chris, all he could do was nod and agree mostly.

But is this bad or wrong ? HELL NO.! Gary Fisher is one of life’s true Characters and eccentrics, these people should be celebrated (in a mild manner)

He also stands for the sports History, in his own way. Probably played a bigger part in the 29r than most know.

What I did find interesting was his lack of mention of Charlie kelly. I get the impression they ain’t gear head buddies anymore. Anyone know different ?
  • 8 0
 For me this is a classic case of "never meet your heroes" - I was scratching my head a few times during the interview and would love to hear a few words from the "opposite" sides of GFs stories. But at least he has a boatload of stories and miraculously lives to tell them.

Well done Chris though, I am sure this was not an easy one to pull off vs. a Yoann Barelli :-)
  • 9 0
 My first MTB was a Fisher. Still riding 30 years later...Thanks, Gary. You got me hooked.
  • 2 0
 Same here! A silver Mt Tam. I learned my first bunnyhops and did my first race on it.
  • 1 0
 Mine too. The 1st 'real' one, not counting that department store version I got the year before, in 1986. Turns out all 15 speed mtb were not created equal even then!
  • 1 0
 A Fisher was my first "real" mountain bike as well. 2001 Sugar 3 that I got in high school. I still have it and will probably never get rid of it.
  • 1 0
 Ditto. Rode the hell out of that tassahara and the wife is still commuting to the train station with it 20+ years later. Thanks for all that you did Mr. Fisher.
  • 1 0
 25 years ago I got my GF Aquila. Green powder coat. Upgraded to V brakes a year later. Then got the RockShox Judy XC. Ahh bikes... memories... And today I can still go out on my bike and feel 13 again. Timeless or ageless, not sure which...
  • 11 2
 Yeah... the Don Cherry of MTB.????
  • 31 7
 Except, you know, less of a racist shit bag.
  • 7 29
flag m33pm33p (Jan 17, 2021 at 18:31) (Below Threshold)
 @danprisk: aww show me where the Don hurt you on this bear snowflake.
  • 3 2
 @m33pm33p: old people who know better but choose to be bigots break my heart as a human being.
  • 2 0
 @danprisk: there are stories of some paternity issues that put GF in the game.
  • 9 1
 Saw the photo and immediately assumed he passed. Glad the first word was Podcast.
  • 8 0
 A hard man to interview. He rambles on and off topic constantly and has a large ego. Interesting listen nonetheless
  • 10 6
 Okay, fed up, did anyone listen to the whole interview?

I couldn’t do it, it was such BS.

As much I respect the founders of modern mountain biking, that guy is not humble and he really should be, especially if he is the man he’s selling.

So we all get old, once you’ve done your thing, it’s better to move on to something else. otherwise you get irrelevant.
  • 4 0
 also, wished they would have asked..."When did your brand of mtn bikes begin to suck and why?"
  • 5 0
 Thanks for sharing this @pinkbike As a 42-year-old mountain biker, who grew up dreaming of owning a Gary Fisher bike, it was pretty surreal to get the chance to sit down for a chat with the man himself.
  • 4 0
 The Biuffalo Soldiers of the US Calvary used bicycles off-road for long distancss in 1896. GF and others may have popularized it and created a "myth" for the masses who need cool OG or legend myths, but people all over the world have been off road biking since the bicycle, in it's various forms, was created. Hell, many of the dirt roads back then would pass for the "trails" people ride today. GF could be considered one of many innovators , but enough with the hyperbole.

That being said, I love the Downtime Podcast!
  • 2 0
 Totally fair comment @njparider To be fair to Gary, he does mention in the episode that they were far from the first people to be riding bikes offroad.

Stoked that you like the podcast!
  • 3 0
 @downtimepodcast: Thanks! And to be fair. It's difficult for me to be objective about GF. It's hard to see past the "persona". Thanks again!
  • 10 7
 Considering Gary’s gang’s version of mtb consisted of simply getting rad on a bike and scaring yourself a bit.. we need you back, Gary! Mtb seems basically gentrified now; snack storing wagon wheeled exotic 10k bikes are the industry’s focus? It’s kind of shocking to think about the difference in mentality, morphing from dirtbag radness to a delusionally “xtreme”fitness activity with 10k+ bikes and pit vipers.
  • 9 2
 “Dirtbag radness” wtf are you even saying? Most people don’t ride 10k bikes. The average MTBer has a humble bike and just rides for fun.
  • 8 1
 To paraphrase the quote "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better.", I've owned 1990 bikes and I've owned 2020 bikes. 2020 bikes are better.

Yes I want a $10k uberbike, but only to replace my $8k wunderbike.
  • 2 3
 @iamamodel: That’s a ‘95 Amp b3 (profile pic) and I’m glad they’ve evolved from there. But it’s like how long did it take for stems to become shorter, bars wider, toptubes longer, standover lower, rims wider? All those changes, among others, helped bikes and (more importantly) riding progress a lot. Now all the sudden I have almost no choice but to ride a 29’er? I’m obviously in the minority but it seems like a step backwards to me.
  • 2 4
 @mariomtblt: i guess riding for fun is relative, because if you were right those 10k bikes wouldn’t exist (with every major manufacturer) and I’d still be able to buy fun 26 and 27.5 bikes because I think those are more fun.
  • 2 1
 So what if the company wants to make a 10k bike? People don't have to buy it, the industry is more focused on mid range bikes, 1.5k to 4k. Plus even if the 10k mtb doesn't sell the company still probably made some new advances in terms of mtb technology. The same advances like clutched derailleurs, suspension lockout, narrow-wide chainrings, new suspension linkage, etc. Mountain biking doesn't have to be expensive, it's just the amounts of money you spend on the different aspects of the sport
  • 2 0
 @NoMaDicMTBer: As a bike shop owner I’d say the industry is focused on 3k and up. Bikes at 1.5k.. So lower-end hardtails? Have you ridden one? Most of the crap trickling down just sucks and makes the bike not as versatile. Imagine 14-15 yr old kids learning to jump, bunnyhop, manual on a wagon-wheeled hardtail with a boat anchor cassette. Or just watch friday fails. Sure they could learn those basic skills riding a dj instead but should they have to?
  • 6 0
 I have the sudden urge to micro dose LSD with him
  • 3 0
 I have the sudden urge to break thru with the man...
  • 2 0
 Yeah two parts to this interview. First all that reminiscing stuff. Looks like something he feels he needs to do, like a greeting card. It's such a strong part of the way her perceives himself, and being something that by default people don't have a clue about, he might feel that he necessarily has to convey that to "set the base". He can't be put together with the "common folk". But maybe he's right! And once the ego setting is done and over with, it was a fascinating interview, and I really identify with his outlook on a lot of things, hum, maybe more than anyone else I have ever known...
  • 1 1
 Damnit, this comment was not for this article/interview and now I can't delete it.
  • 4 0
 Wow! Very cool and inspiring chat with Gary Fisher, what an interesting fellow.
  • 3 1
 ..that's too funny. "I got in to MTBing on my own and read a book about it, therefore I am". GIVE YOUR BALLS A TUG! who f*cking cares if the masses ride. you were a "masses" to the people riding before you ever did.
  • 4 0
 Had the balls to get the party started! Thanks Fish
  • 3 0
 I would just like to see him for ONCE in a tee shirt and jeans. What’s with the costumes?
  • 2 0
 Why did Gary Fisher stop making good mountain bikes in the mid 90,s I'd have thought beeing the main man the bikes would be amazing.
  • 4 0
 Epic dude. Get that smug look off your face! "I can't... I'm happy!"
  • 4 0
 drops Jer-Ber, Owsley, Kesey, and MG names within 2 minutes... I'm in.
  • 2 0
 Truly an abundance of nods.
  • 1 0

Oh man... spoken like a true PT'r.
  • 7 3
 An og but became an ass?
  • 1 0
 yeah, all that...well, whatever it takes to increase salaries to pro riders that post content or race, I am all for that! and remember...you cant control fun
  • 3 1
 I was really excited about this but, 55 minutes in and I kind of wish he'd shut the fuck up.
  • 1 0
 Im kinda 50/50 The new riders are cocky and kind of a*sholes to kids who have been doing it for a while and they ruin some trails
  • 2 0
 The man has quite an eclectic style
  • 2 0
 Ah one of the true OG's in mtb
  • 1 0
 When I lived in Berkeley CA I went to one of his talks at an LBS. Transfixed.
  • 1 0
 My dad's still on his 20 year old Gary fisher Tassajara. Classic.
  • 1 0
 Yeah mass mtb and fucking up the woods with ebikes today.....
  • 2 4
 TDBig Grin L?
  • 2 4

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