If you’re at (or near) the Salomon/Saab Mountain Mayhem 24 hour race at Sandwell Park, Birmingham this weekend (21/22 June), and have an interest in MTB history, you have a chance of seeing a living legend.
Gary Fisher is riding the whole 24 hours solo.
For those who just said ‘Gary Who?’ we’re talking about the guy who kick started the mountain bike thing back in the day. Gary was a road racer who got a kick out of racing old klunkers down Mt Tam, still holds the record for the fastest run in the repack and got the idea of modifying the bikes so they could be ridden uphill too.
He started a business modifying bikes for downhill racing with parts from mopeds and started selling them from a business called MountainBike. (It was because the big companies thought he had trademarked the name that the awful expression ‘All Terrain Bikes’ was coined).
Gary went on to do a whole lot more for the sport. He sorted XC bike geometry with the Fisher Procalibre, ran an innovative business until it was bought out by Trek, then shook the bag again with Genesis geometry and his Big Wheeler.
He continues to invent and promote mountain biking, riding as much as he can around the world. Not at his best in an urban environment, Gary’s usual catch phrase when you meet him at a show is: “Get me out of here, let’s go riding.”
Trouble is, founding father or not, he’s quite capable to tearing the average rider’s legs off.