Gary Fisher is interviewed by local television stations prior to the start of the ride.
One hundred and twenty people turned out to to ride the streets of Tucson with mountain-bike pioneer Gary Fisher Tuesday night.
Despite being known for creating mountain biking, Fisher is a big advocate for using bicycles as transportation and said doing an urban ride is a great way to show people you can get places on a bicycle.
“[Transportation cycling] is so much the the future of our cities and urban areas,” Fisher said. “It is the healthiest way to get around. Who let these guys onto 100 percent of our streets with vehicles that are known to be dangerous and poisonous? One hundred years from now we are going to look back on this age and go ‘wow that was strange.’”
The ride was organized by Trek Bicycles of Tucson manager Duncan Benning, who said having Gary Fisher in Tucson helps draw attention to the cycling community and Tucson as a whole.
“It is something special. It draws attention to the community — not just the cycling community,” Benning said. “Gary is such a big personality that it really draws attention to Tucson in general.”
Benning was extremely pleased with the number of cyclists who turned out for the ride, which started at the Trek Bicycles of Tucson store on Ft. Lowell and ended at Borderlands Brewery at Toole and 7th Avenue for a sneak peek of the brewery and the Velociprints art show.
Fisher was also thrilled with how many people showed up to ride with him.
“I didn’t expect so many people to turn out,” he said. It’s an honor.”
Check out the photos and video below.
Professional photographer Kathleen Dreier was on hand and posted the photos on her site. Check them out.
Thanks for the honest appraisal, Mike. That's what I expected actually. The Tuesday night ride has a bunch of kids who are the ones who do the most aggregious stuff. I think another factor is that the Fischer group was trying to be reasonably well behaved so as not to embarass the guest of honor. No large group would behave well enough to satisfy PSIsquared. In fact, a group of bike police would act about the same as the folks did in the Fisher ride, not good enough for PSI, but more than good enough for me.
I rode both rides on Tuesday night. The GF ride was slower paced with a slightly larger group. The GF group had better stop sign behavior on the empty residential streets, but not entirely. It took two signal sequences to get through those intersections and the GF group would reunite nicely at a stop sign. The TNBR has gotten better at this, too, but corking to finish proceeding through intersections does happen. Car traffic doesn't seem to have much of a problem with this. The number of BMX riders scampering around the group has diminished. The two routes were similar last night with the TNBR group circling the Occupy Tucson camp at Armory Park sending 'Whoops' of support....something a GF group of riders might have done 'back in the day'. There was no encroachment by enforcement and there really wasn't a need for any. The TNBR is calmer from a year ago and I think it's due to better route choice and orchestration. Last night's route:
Yes, a fantastic after dark ride! Great to see all the lights blinking and winking with happiness. Nice video. To the 3Wheeler: most people stopped at stop signs. We tried to stay to the right side of the streets, but it was difficult with so many skill-levels represented, people stopping, falling (in 4th Avenue tunnel--rider popped right back up, uninjured!), etc in front of others without warning.
Sad that the video didn't show the group riding on a street. I wanted to see how much better behaved that group was than the Tuesday night bike ride. Did everyone stop at every stop sign, and no one rode more than 2 abreast? Leave a comment if you were on the ride w/ Fisher, did everyone display perfect behavior?
In response to Martha's comment about a large group of cyclists turning out for a night ride, there are between a 100 to 200 riders every week on the Tuesday night ride. There were over a 100 last night too.
Think about this for a moment: Here's a ride that took place almost entirely after dark. Yet more than 100 people turned out for it.
And there were even more who'd ridden over to the Borderlands before the crowd arrived. I was one of them. What was really impressive was watching the wave of headlights rolling in. You really had to be there.