Gary Fisher, mountain biker pioneer and now roving design visionary for Trek Bikes, was at the start of stage two in the Tour of California.
Looking fit and rail thin, the 62 year old pronounced himself ready in case a crash or illness took down one of the RadioShack Nissan-Trek riders.
“Hell, look at Horner and Voigt — they’re forty and still going strong,” said Fisher. “Nobody is really pushing the pace on the climbs — I’m sure I could help if needed. I’m not gonna be much help on Baldy but I can still bring bottles up.”
The flamboyant Fisher is famous in the world of two wheels. In 2000, Outside Magazine named him as one of the “50 who left their mark on the sport.”
He’s not done leaving those marks. “Really, with the conservative race tactics these days, there’s no reason I couldn’t help my man Horner. And I can descend faster than Nibali or Danielson,” said Fisher. “I’m here if they need me. My mustache is waxed and the legs are shaved. Just plug me in.”
It is not out of the realm of possibility that Fisher could ride for RadioShack Nissan-Trek. While UCI rules clearly state that no rider substitutions are allowed once the race has begun, there is an exception for “bike sponsor personnel.”
Fisher is well aware of the loophole and ready to take advantage. “I know these roads up here because I’ve ridden in Marin county for decades. There’s hardly a climb in California I haven’t ridden. Like I said, if Matthew Busche goes down, they know where to find me.”
Special thanks to Cycle Sport magazine photographer Neil Fraser for the photo.