Randy Nelson

Some people have “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in their snowplow. This new RED ROCKER RIDER has a RED ROCK’n ROCKER as his pow wow. Some say never to look back. I’m glad I backtracked…going back to older posts, I realized this the most… as long as looking back is positive and you don’t dwell…you can “RE-D” iscover, the heavenly trail can be as fun as hell. Without further ado, the VERY FIRST MAIL ORDER RED ROCKER BIKE is DUE: Meet Randy Nelson, another die-hard Red Rocker Rider. 

1. How did you know about Sammy’s MTB Red Rocker?

I had been into mountain biking for many, many moons prior to finding out about the RRer. I was lucky enough, thanks mom and dad, to have the south Wisconsin Kettle Moraine State Forest right out my back door. It’s where a couple glaciers stopped and melted leaving behind deep kettles and the moraines are the terminal ridges. I started “off road” biking in the early 70’s there on single-speed beach bike types. Rattle ‘em back home and fix ‘em and back out. My first official mountain bike was a Trek 970. I still have most every bike I’ve spent time on. Right down to my tricycle. Kind of a collector, hoarder (?), that way. So, I was pretty into building my 970 as technology changed. I liked to keep up with what was happening and had a subscription to a mountain bike magazine and one day there was Sammy and the RRer bike. I liked the article about himself and Eddie out riding and Sammy building this bike. I had to get one. Still have the magazine as well. 

2. How & why did you purchase it?

I found the phone number to Sausalito bike shop and called ‘em up and provided a CC. A couple weeks later a box showed up. Wish I would have saved the box. That was probably around fall 1989. Happy day!

3. You stated you did NOT receive the free poster…did you ever know about it until I asked you?

The poster! Did not know about the poster until Chris mentioned this in January 2022. I received 1 water bottle and bracket. Think it’s too late to request a poster and another autographed water bottle and bracket?

4. What size is your RR? Size is 21”

5. Which issued number?

Another January 2022 discovery. Did not know that there was a number. Thanks, Chris. Mine is 9A0104. 

6. Your first memory hearing Sammy?

First time hearing Sammy was probably out of a Craig super tuner 8 track in the mid-’70s on some back road with a box of road sodas and a frisbee. (I dig this memory bRotheR)

7. Any particular experiences?

The configuration that Gary had with the bike was super cool and comfy. Completely different from the other bikes my friends and I had at the time. I would let my buds ride it on the roads to get a feel for it. They totally loved the feel. One day one of ‘em was goofing around off curbs or something and dumped it. Scraped up the left front brake handle ball. It’s still a bit of silver today and that was the last “friends” ride. Sooo they were kind of happy for a bit…

8. Your picture of the RR in the snow is AMAZINGLY AWESOME and this website’s FIRST AWESOME SNOW SHOT!!! You ride it on roads with snow around?

This bike has spent its whole life in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin area. I have ridden it in light snow but never on the roads. The road maintenance folks love to paint our roads white with salt in the winter. Sucks. 

9. Any stories you feel you can share about you and the Fisher Mountain Bikes Sammy Hagar Red Rocker?

There’s one story that was kind of fun about one day out in the Kettles. Trek started in Watertown, WI and eventually grew with one plant in Whitewater, WI. There is one moraine you can stand on and see the Whitewater plant. Watertown isn’t that far away either. Anyway, my buds and I were riding through the woods and went to the public parking area for water. In the parking lot was a crew with prototype bikes. I had seen ‘em before and I’d check out the non-marked bikes they had, and they’d ask what I had removed or added to the 970. The RR was the star of the show though that day. They were all ogling and asking about it. I did allow a couple of ‘em to ride it in the parking lot. That was pretty fun. 

10. See Sammy live? And what are your top three favorite tunes in his entire career?

Maybe. Possibly in the early ’80s at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. This was a pretty big music venue and was only about 20 miles from home. When I say big as in all the local friends worked there at some point or another. Either at security, door ticket checkers, or beer vendors. So, the rest of us that didn’t work there “knew a guy or gal”. I spent a lot of time in the parking lot and attended many shows. Seems Sammy may have been there but I’m not real sure. 

As for Sammy favorites I’m still pretty old school. In no particular order: Rock Candy, Bad Motor Scooter, and of course Space Station # 5. 

Thanks, tons for reaching out and helping me dust off some old memories. 

The Red Rocker will be Rolling this spring!