Interviewer: Zhou Yuliangfounder of 24EN.com

Respondent: Bobbi Fisher director of Giving Hand

Transcript by Heaven Yang

Bobbi Fisher,一个具有传奇色彩的美国老太太。资深的电视媒体从业人士,疯狂的自行车手,2000年用了一年时间骑自行车环游世界。2008年因为汶川地震来到中国,创办接力慈善,在企业与需要救助人群之间搭建了一座桥梁。20111月,Bobbi Fisher做客爱思人物访谈,分享她的故事和思想。

Z: Zhou Youliang

B: Bobbi Fisher

Z: I’m very happy today to have Bobbi Fisher here to join Ace Interview. And Bobbi is a kind of legendary figure in my eyes because after she worked in entertainment industry for 35 years, she started riding bicycle.

B: I started riding bicycle when I turned 47. And I was getting a little heavy so I want to exercise.

Z: Yes, I should add that Bobbi is a crazy cyclist, because in the year of 2000, she traveled around the world on her bicycle. I talked with Bobbi the two key words, one is adventure and the other is love. In the year of 2008, immediately after the Wenchuan earthquake, Bobbi came to China and came to Chengdu, the city where we live. Now she is the director of Giving Hand, a charity organization, which to help a kind of bridge between companies, enterprises and people in need of help. So, welcome, Bobbi!

B: Thank you!

Z: I’m quite interested in the cycling part. Can you tell us why you started riding bicycle?

B: I never believed exercises, other than riding horses. I realized when I turned to 47, I was getting out of weight, getting a little heavy, I was getting into other shape. Then a friend of mine told me that I should start spinning. You know in the gym you go spinning and spinning. And I did that, and I got addicted. I lost a lot of weight and I didn’t need to go on a diet, so I could eat anything I wanted. Then a friend of mine asked me to do a bicycle event with him, which is to help raise money for the Aids, HIV. And it was a-week-long trip from the north of California to the south, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. And I said I haven’t been on bicycle since I was 12 years old, you know, 13. He said, oh don’t worry, I have 10 whole weeks to get ready to do it. Oh I loved it. I loved it so much. I got thinking: what I got to do with bicycle? And before I was back I called Universal, I said, I quit! I want to start my own business. But then I paid for a bicycle: What do I do with a bicycle? So I asked my spinning trainer, she said: the local bike club, they have an event next weekend. Then I joined but every day we started at 5:30 because it’s 200 miles, every one day. I must finish in 18 or 19 hours every time. I finished it and I said to my friends, I kind of love that. So after that I did many in California. And there were many 200-mile bike fans. After 35 of them, I learnt something about Paris-Brest-Paris It’s an event that started in 1896 every 4 years. It’s 1200 kilo metres from Paris to the ocean and back.. You have to do these events to qualify. So I started to do all these events. I loved them so much and I started winning them in certain part of California, actually in August of this year, in China.

Z: So riding bicycle actually changes your life, because before that you were working in Universal television for so many years. All of a sudden, you started riding and started quitting your job and really began to live for adventure.

B: Yes, I love adventure. I jumped from the highest bridge in the world. You know, do anything that is fun.

Z: In the year of 2000, you did something we think very incredible that you traveled around the world on your bicycle.

B: Oh yes, it’s in 2000, and 250 people joined in this event to ride around the world. And it was amazing. We hit 57 countries in every continent. We learnt different types of culture, you know people from all over the world, different cultures…. It was very exciting.

Z: Also I think this kind of experience helps the participants become more tolerant. Because they have to face so different cultures, so different styles.

B: What’s interesting is that we have anniversary every 5 years. And in August we have our 10th anniversary in China. And all the participants showed up, every time we have more and more people show up because it’s changing everyone’s life.

Z: Did you come to China in 2000? Because you said you traveled to 6 continents and more than 40 countries in that year.

B: Yes, because we spent 3 weeks in China. We were in Hong Kong. Then we took fair long trip to China. And we went directly to Singapore. It was only 3 weeks in China. I have 5 favorite countries, and China is one of them

Z: What are the other four?

B: For bicycling: China, Brazil, South Africa, Norway and New Zealand.

Z: In your email, you wrote one of the reasons why you don’t want to leave China is you don’t want to leave the fantastic food. So how about your favorite countries in terms of food?

B: Well it’s quite interesting. My favorite food is here in China.

Z: Noodles?

B: Everything! You know, this is the problem with which one. Everything’s really good. The noodles, dumplings… you name it. And in different countries in Europe, France has my favorite food. I’m thinking about the food… oh, that’s China! Definitely!(laughs)

Z: Let’s get back on adventure. Do you have any plan for future adventures? Forgive me first please. You are 62 years old.

B: Yes.

Z: But you look like 26 years old. So do you have any plan for traveling in many countries on your bicycle.

B: Yes, you know I will go across Paris this year. And I will bring my Chinese friend Hans to be qualifies. After Across Paris in Paris I will go back to USA, where I have events every year. Last year I had 400×8 race. When I go back in 2012. It’s either one of two things: either race across America, which is quite incredible. I cannot just solo, even if I was just 20. It’s too difficult. I’d like to do with a man. So it will be a 60+ team. You just don’t stop. You keep driving from California all the way to the east coast and you just keep going and keep changing.

Z: I’m curious that you have to ride continuously like 18 hours or even more. So what do you eat on the way

B: That’s really interesting. Most of my food is powder. You just put them into the water and it gives everything that you need. But you know, there are things that you like to have. So I have Sneaker bars, things that I like. Sometimes you never know what you are going to eat.

Z: You do set a brave example for people how to stay young, how to stay fit.

B: One of the things in China that I’m trying to get women to understand, it’s so important in my gym, is that do not think you are old when you turn 50. Stay working on in the gym. Don’t stop. You body feels: I’m stronger, I’m 62, but it feels stronger than I was 30. Because I was not exercising. You know I could pick you up, no problem.(laughters)

B: Want me to tell you?(smiles) Your brain systems stay working. Retiring is one thing, retiring is fine. But when you retire, make sure you are doing something, with your brain. See I’m retired, but I’m raising money for Giving Hand every where and I’m working harder than I ever have in my life. It keeps me alive and young.

Z:  Now let’s focus on to something diferent from Giving Hand. I was told that you adopted a child in Africa on line. I’m curious about the young boy.

B: It was so funny. It’s a website that teaches you different languages, where people from all over the world come on and help each other. This one young man from Africa said, I really feel very happy that you help me with my English with certain topic. It’s amazing. His English is wonderful. It turns out he’s a high school student. And he has no mum. He was brought up by his grandfather, who is quite old. He’s so smart and he’s going to school, which is not so good. So I said, I want to help him. Oh my god, it’s so much fun. He was sick and I sent a little bit of money for recovering his health, and I paid for his education, paid for his school, and he emails me everyday. He calls me mummy. It’s so much fun.

Z: So have you ever met this young man in person?(very curious)

B: Haven’t met yet. (laughters) But we send pictures back and forth about what he is doing. He sends me when he’s taking tests. He shows me his meeting and everything from school, his reports. And it’s truly wonderful. His English so…oh, I cannot believe it. So I want to make sure he go to college, and receive good education. And eventually, you know, he will be in China or I will go to Africa.

Z: You have been called mother and mummy, and also you are mummy of a cat, a Chinese cat.

B: (laughters)Her name is Chinar. I adopt her. She was rescued but she was two month old here in Chengdu. It’s a lady gave her to me. She didn’t speak English so I have no idea. But I know her mummy is a cat, but I think her daddy is a tiger.(laughters) She is wild and she is so much fun. I’ve never seen anything with so much energy. She jumps up… oh my god in my kitchen on the top.

Z: Thank Bobbi for coming to Ace Interview, I feel really inspired because of your stories, your ideas. And you showed us how important love is, love nature and cycling, and love animals, whether it’s big as a horse, or small as a cat. And help children whether in Africa or in China. And most importantly we have to love our life and enjoy it. Thank you!

Bobbi Fisher

Director of Giving Hand, a charity organization committed to corporate social responsibility in Asia. In 1996 became an ultra-distance bicyclist and began to live for adventure. In the year 2000 she rode her bicycle around the world. In one year she covered 19,750 miles, 46 countries and 6 continents. It changed her life as she became fascinated by local culture, people and their environment. In 2008 she set 2 twenty-four hour race records and 2 five hundred mile race records. Adventure. Physical fitness and the improvement of human life is what she lives for. When there is a goal in her life, she reaches it. Thirty-five year track record in the entertainment industry in the US. Senior Executive for Universal Television for 17 years and founded Tailwind Entertainment in 1996, producing movies and managing talent. Graduate of Barnard College, and attended Columbia University for an MBA and MIA.