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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rest In Peace, Gary Fisher…

Once upon a time there lived a immoderate Crevice Dwelling Geezer who derived great joy from summit hikes and peddling his hard tail mountain bike up roads and trails with ridiculous inclines. It was a solitary ritual for the most part. After all, what fully witted person willingly chooses gruel and suffering? But physical trials release such a rush of endorphins, a whitewash of mind, body, and soul, that they soon became his drug of choice.

One recent day, Geezer Guy faced a black mass of clouds that built while he ascended Camp Bird Road to the mine. He made a quick U turn at the top and pointed his 29'er down hill… toward Mouse's Chocolates, dreaming of one (or two) of their infamous Scrap Cookies and a hot cup of Americana.

Speed is a wonderful thing. An integral part of why I love to peddle up long ridiculously steep hills is due to the joyous sense of flight derived from the descent. For men, there are but a couple of things in this life beyond sex that never lose their thrill. One is flying down a loose-graveled road in an aerodynamical tuck, a blur of trees and rocks and bridge railings, the chatter of teeth and suspension, and living on the edge of a collarbone incident (knock on wood). It is pure delight.

But in the midst of this delight, trying to outrun a storm, Geezer Guy hears a distinct "POP." He brakes, gives the 29'er a quick look-over. Nothing seems out of order, so flight to Scrap Cookie is resumed. All is well.

A few days later Geezer jumps on his 29'er for another ride up Camp Bird, but the seat rocks back and forth front to back. Uh oh. Broken frame, right where the seat post tube intersects the main tube… a notorious week spot. 

A quick Google search reveals a Lifetime Warranty on Gary Fisher frames. But, Gary Fisher was bought out by Trek a few years ago. More research reveals that any claims must be accompanied by a receipt as proof of purchase of the original owner. Fat chance.

Trying out a Gary Fisher 29'er in Tucson, way back in 2008
I carried that freaking receipt in my wallet for over five years before finally, in a fit of butt-cramp rage, purging the reoccurring obesity caused by miscellaneous notes, business cards, and meaningless receipts for items like Snickers Bars and Diet Cokes—a long-expired Colorado Fishing License from 1998—you know,  those meaningless wads of paper that swells a Man Purse into nothing short of a portable 4 drawer file cabinet. I don't remember purging the bike receipt, but it was gone… along with the butt-cramp.

Salesman getting bored with all my questions… 

Long story longer… it occurred to my Bobbie that we likely put the bike purchase on our credit card, and she promptly went on-line to see about accessing our charges from 2008. It took a few days for Citi Bank to comply, but there it was… April, 2008, a $200 downpayment-to-order expenditure to Fairwheel Bicycles on University Street in Tucson, Arid-zona. Then a $847.37 final payment when we picked it up. Sweet.

I contacted Kent at Poppa Wheelies Bike Shop in Montrose, where we bought Bobbie's new full suspension Trek Lush last year, and gave him my sad story. He contacted his Trek Rep and worked on my behalf to get the frame replaced with a new Trek frame. I'm happy to report it's on its way. It will cost $160 dollars to have all the old components switched to the new frame.  

Unfortunately, the Trek will be a Hard Tail, just like the Gary Fisher. But I realize that my hard-riding mountain bike years are finite, if not numbered less than fingers on a left hand. It would be nice to have a full suspension bike, but, in my eyes, it doesn't justify an additional $2,000 bucks. Maybe if I was ten years younger, but not now, on the precipice of Geezerdom and Medicare (sniff). 

R. I. P., Gary Fisher. I'm a Trek guy now…  
Sick Bay...


  1. Sorry for your loss
    Happy for your hard tail gain
    Stay loose and go fast

  2. But Mark, Geezerdom is THE reason to have a full suspension bike!

  3. Trust me, life is short, full suspension is worth the money.


  4. I guess if you're used to a hard tail you can certainly handle it! I know my soft tushy couldn't!

  5. Reminds me of when I was a kid in the early 70's and my Schwinn Cottonpicker had a kickstand that was welded to the frame and it broke off. Schwinn gave me a brand new frame. Check out this new bike that I saw in Mtn Bike Action magazine... it comes out in July. http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/2015-Sea-Otter-Classic-Pit-Bits-PLUS-SIZE-Edition,8860/Prototype-2016-Airborne-Griffin-27-5-Bike,90712/bturman,109

    1. Similar experience with Schwinn. I broke one of the drop outs and Schwinn replaced the frame. Good company!

  6. Gee, how serendipitous - I just bought a used "geezer" (I'm 63) bike today at a local Las Cruces store. $299.00 for a 2013 Specialized Expedition Sport with 24 gears and low entry. I'm a happy camper (uh, I mean biker...).

  7. That's pretty impressive that Trek honored the warranty. Full suspension will change your life - for the better.

  8. Sad day I know the feeling. My "replacement" came at the cost of a busted chain-stay and a busted thumb one cold Nov. descent. The thumb had surgery and recovered. The bike (Pro-Flex) was toast, no longer made so I stripped it and hung the frame in the cellar. One day meeting a K2 rep at a local shop he said I should return it to K2 who bought out Pro-Flex. I did and got a K2 Attack with rear shock in return - fantastic. A bunch of ebay parts later and I still have a sweet 26 full suspension scooter. Get a pogo seat post and you'll be A-OK! John

  9. I love using the credit card, and Amazon, for this very reason. I looked up my sodden boots on Amazon...speaking of which where the heck is my replacement, I'll have to contact them!


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