THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARY FISHER
Mountain Bike Rider|October 2021
The godfather of mtb tells us about his Hollywood history, inventing the first klunkers, and his plans for a global trail network

Will technology save the world or destroy it?

It’s got to be both. Take clean eating… What food have we invented as Americans? The factory farm, and shelf life. We raise it up on chemical fertilisers and steroids. Then you ship it away 500 miles and kill it thoroughly.

But shelf life is a huge boon to humanity, something that can sit on the shelf and not go bad. In the 60s and 70s they were predicting all these famines worldwide and by factory farming we missed that bullet. It’s good things and bad things.

How have you been over the past 18 months?

I’ve been hanging out with the kids a lot in lockdown, cooking and cleaning and being domestic. My travel went from 100,000 miles a year to 0, which is bizarre for the book because we were going on tour to promote it.

We recently drove to Colorado with the kids though. On the way back we travelled through Ely, Nevada. It’s incredible, the scale of the mining we saw, they will literally move f**king mountains looking for copper. They figured out they could use arsenic to extract gold and that was a huge boom for a time. And now it’s become a super site, it’s unbelievable. It’s never been remediated properly, the groundwater is all messed up. It’s such a bizarre slice, there are huge swathes of the country that are still Trump territory, they still believe in the guy. People don’t wear masks... I had a big cowboy hat to fit right in. The bike cuts across it.

Is the bike the technology we need to save the world?

Part of it. The e-bike is so efficient, the world’s most efficient motorised transport. It’s efficient because you’ve got this thing sitting on the saddle. And also because it came out of the bike industry, and man we’re into efficiency. The major delivery companies are starting to say cargo bikes are a more efficient way to distribute our goods. Trucks are overkill.

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