conversations with Gary Fisher...
at the National Bike Summit I met Gary Fisher...
okay... most anybody who attended the 2010 National Bike Summit in Washington DC walked away saying that they had met Gary Fisher
most of us getting our photo taken with him
most of us boasting about how approachable he was and how personable he was
I approached Gary Fisher twice...
on the first approach my new and unfamiliar camera was not working as it should
thus forcing me to intrude a second time with my camera and my potential chattiness
feeling that Gary had already been approached by so many people... he more than likely would think that this was my first approach
more than likely unable to tell one of us from the other
I will have to admit that it was pretty exciting to be standing along side Gary Fisher... THE GARY FISHER... THE SAME GARY FISHER WHO WAS SO VITAL IN THE SYNERGY THAT IS THE INNOVATION OF THE MOUNTAIN BIKE
links below to help you with that education
on with my rant...
so... Gary Fisher and I got to talking
we talked about certain things...
yes.... you guessed it
we talked about bikes... bicyclists... and bicycling
all sorts of bikes... all sorts of bicyclists... and all sorts of bicycling
we talked about utilitarian cycling as well as mountain biking
but more utilitarian than dirt cycling
in our talk on utilitarian cycling
Gary Fisher introduced a concept of value when dealing with bicycles
we talked about the concept of bikes and a MILE PER DOLLAR purchase value
we also talked about "the box store bike"
Gary did not approve of the box store bike
I shared with Gary my metaphor of LEMONADE
how there are these things called bikes that are not really bikes
just as in the case where so many things are called lemonade... some of which don't even involve lemons
we talked about the common man and more specifically the immigrants who shop for bikes by price
I spoke people I see on the streets of DC going to and from work on these box store bikes in various states of disrepair
I went on how there is this great disservice by companies like Pacific of Huffy where a bicycle is designed to look like a downhill bike when they should just be putting less money into faux form and more into actual function
Gary was in full agreement...
Gary understood the failure of this design...
Gary also believes that there should be an inexpensive option to suit the needs of this sort of consumer
we did not get into the numbers... but all know is that the box store bike and its low price point takes up a massive amount of sales each year
sadly... these bikes are purchased and in need of a bike shop mechanic's attention before their maiden voyage
some of these bikes are in need of repairs... repairs that the bike shops can promise nothing more than "a earnest effort" or "best possible" as the wheels were not meant to be trued and the gears were not meant to be shifted
and the shocks... well... if people were to understand that the least expensive front suspension fork alone costs more than this entire bike... then they would not expect those faux shocks to do much suspending
we talked about a better design... a simple design
a bike with fewer gears
a bike that lacked the extraneous shocks
bikes that came stock with rational urban utilitarian add ons like fenders, chain guards, and baskets or racks
it was a nice little informal conversation
it was a pleasure to stand in the shadow of mountain bike greatness
it was nice to talk with him and hear his ideas and some of his history
Gary was a regular guy with a less than regular life history
what? you do not know the history of the Mountain Bike?
check out Charlie Kelly's Web page
or maybe Bill Savage's movie KLUNKERZ will give you the background knowledge you need
or get it straight from the horse's mouth... the story of Gary Fisher as told by Fisher Bikes
here is a history of the bikes
Fisher Bikes has the "City" line
Fisher's parent company Trek has the "urban" line