Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - fixies, image, poseurs
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12-05-03, 09:52 AM
I pulled out an old CD today. G-Love and Special Sauce and was just hanging out and rembering when I saw them at a show 3 years ago. You could almost tell the difference between the kids that were fans, that knew there stuff, and those that just wanted to go drink some beer and listen to some band they'd never heard. There was a vibe, a split between those people who were supposed to be there and those who were just filling space in the place.
Then that got me thinking about those ******s I see around Houston on Harleys. They're on $30K bike, in leather jackets, a bandana around their finely cut hair, too cool to wear a helmet. They pull out of the garages of their $500K houses and drive 6 miles to a 'biker' bar where they order $7 beers and talk **** with the rest of the ******s from their neighborhood about how manly they are because they ride a Harley and think they are living the freedom of easy rider. They they go back home and drive their $70K mercedes into the office the next day.
Then I got to thinking about fixies. I keep thinking of these beautiful bikes I've seen pictures of. Old track bikes used by messengers. Converted road bikes that gutter punks ride as their only transport. Hard core urban commuters sick of replacing the drivetrain when it get's either ruined because of weather or just stolen. Beautiful images of strong men on simple bikes....purity.
Then I think of me. Approaching 30, a stay at home dad for two kids below two years old. I spend all morning reading cat in the hat to my daughter over and over. I'll pull my fixie out on Sunday and roll off 30 miles to recharge my soul for the week. I want to get out so much more. I almost wished I worked so I could commute on it. (but then again really, who actually wants to work)
I wonder if I'm as bad as those kids at the show with GAP shirts and $150 shoes. Or the Harley ****** who put a whole 300 miles on his motorcycle last year and talks about the freedom of the road. What the hell have I become........
12-05-03, 10:00 AM
nah your not trying to be something your not like those other dudes.
12-05-03, 10:04 AM
A) Don't be so damn hard on yourself. You're raising kids for f**k's sake!
B) I have made the same observation about those poseurs. In Chicago there is a place called The Twisted Spoke, which attracts the urban counter parts of your Texas locals. I love seeing a kid drive up on an old Vespa. I think to myself: Now, who's the bigger man here? Then I think to myself: The guy on the Vespa. Afterall, he's got to have bigger balls to pull up on his little putter right next to the cheeseballs with lots of money [er, something else] to prove. Then I think to myself: Who f***king cares! F**ck them all! and let myself off the hook. But yes, I do think of them and more than I care to.
C) I think your ride is pretty cool and honest and pure (if that is what we really need to be. But do we really need to be more pure, here in Puritanca, the land of the (somewhat) free?)
12-05-03, 10:13 AM
Stop thinking and start pedaling!
12-05-03, 10:20 AM
What's wrong with people who want to listen to music they haven't heard?
who cares what the elitist ******* think? oh yeah, you might like this:
Hey, I ride bikes partly because of the Harley posers with chaps and bandanas who turn out to be accountants.
I do recall a time, not too long ago, when a Harley rider actually was a grungy fringe undesirable in the remote desert town where I grew up.
I ride fixie because it's kinda fun. But I'm not a physical powerhouse, nor do I own sweet equipment. I think most of you would laugh if you saw my bike. I haven't the time, energy or money to do too much posing.
12-05-03, 11:03 AM
hmmm....many members of "The Mild Bunch" / Rubbies (rich urban bikers)out here in CA too, must drive the real bikers nuts...though I've heard reeducation sometimes occurs when the two types cross paths. Doesnt sound like that at all w/ your fixie though, thats still 1500 miles/yr (not 300)...long as you are not wearing messenger duds and washable tatoos while riding (just kidding)...that would be the equivalant of the too-new leathers the Rubbies wear.
12-05-03, 11:17 AM
everybody gotta die sometime. Do you want to do what others do so you are running as fast as the herd?
Own your pace, don't borrow it
As far as the over-readings of Cat in the Hat (good, but can grate the nerves), pick up a copy of "Messenger, Messenger" - I got one at Amazon.com for my 5 and 3 year old sons and they love it! It has become a bedtime favorite when they come visit their 35 year old, track bike riding father who commutes 24 miles a day on a bike.
12-05-03, 12:23 PM
People really still call each other 'poseur'? Haven't heard that one since I stopped skateboarding in high school. I dunno, but it was pretty funny to watch some of my friends fume about the kid who just liked to wear airwalks cause they looked cool, as if it made any difference in their life. Like the 'posuers' never thought twice about the brand of their clothes/shoes, but the 'real' ones sat and b!tched about it.
I guess I just never understood the criteria used to determine who is a 'real' biker, skater, snowboarder, harley rider, etc i.e. if you make over x thousand a year, in cerain profession, or don't have time to ride x thousand miles, land a particular trick, you aren't supposed to wear these brands of clothes or own these items?
12-05-03, 02:13 PM
It's all about petty turf wars. I give a ****...
12-05-03, 02:44 PM
BTW, Familyman, you're no Mayo in the story dept..
12-05-03, 03:31 PM
BTW, Familyman, you're no Mayo in the story dept..
hmmm...was he trying to be?
12-05-03, 05:46 PM
Wasn't telling a story Bill. Was being introspective. Probably happens too much when you're the only one in the house with the ability to form words for 12 hours a day.
It really doesn't matter what any other bicyclists think anyway. I seldom, very seldom, even see another on on the road. I think my chances of seing another fixe are significantly less than being offered a ride by an attractive woman in an italian sports car. Not gonna happen in this part of Texas.
Just thinking, just sharing.
12-05-03, 07:57 PM
Crap, I'm forty-two and ride whatever the heck I feel like. I must be a poseur. I've had the same bike for almost twenty five years now (the PF10) and have built up the rest of my collection over time, cheap-like.
My neighbours all think I'm completely nuts, puttering around on a thirty year old bike with one speed. I'm glad they're tolerant, that's all.
If you're having fun riding, then ride. You're okay. If you're riding for status, you're probably in an Escalade or Hummer anyway. And then you'd have to work. Yuck.
Teach your kids to ride when they're old enough. There's nothing more pure in all of cycling than that.
BTW, Familyman, you're no Mayo in the story dept..
Sweet Willie Karsten...the new Dave Stohler...
12-05-03, 08:57 PM
Think about the money thing for a moment. If you had it to spend, you would most likely do as you please regardless of what others think. (I know I would.) Being interested in something a little out of your price range allows you to do a lot of research while saving up. People who have the money can just go out and buy whatever someone says is the best, so in that sense they are kind of lame, but can you blame them? I see this applying to road bikes more than fixies though. In my mind there really is no qualification for riding fixed gear, just as long as you enjoy yourself. What pisses me off is the people who go out and get a track bike and then decide to quit after ten miles. It seems that the Cannondale CAAD5 track has a lot of owners like that. I see them on eBay, almost always with a description explaining how the person bought it and then decided it just wasn't for them. I find myself thinking it must be nice to be able to throw $1400 at something that you don't know anything about. Anyways, I guess the point is that I would rather see someone masqerading as a messenger or wearing full USPS tights or whatever as opposed to seeing them buy a bike and then let it sit. (If that is the case they should give it to me! :D)
12-06-03, 04:05 AM
here's my deal: i probably look like a messenger. i am not a messenger. i ride track bikes with phil hubs because i like track geometry, and i like phil hubs. i also wear black dickies that are cuffed to mid-shin. i do this because i don't want to get my pants caught in my chainring. i also have a messenger bag. i use a messenger bag because it's big, and it's comfortable. i'm also kinda dirty. i'm dirty because i don't shower very often because it disagrees with my temperment...
i ride bikes because it's fun to ride bikes. i ride BMX, i ride trials, i ride road, and i ride fixed. and i do it all, wearing my black dickies cuffed to mid-shin, while smelling bad, and carrying a "messenger bag."
i've wanted to be a messenger since i was in jr. high, but i grew up in a small town. then i moved to boston for school, and that took up most of my time, so i never got around to it, and i regret it, because pretty much everyone i know who does it loves it.
right now, i'd be a messenger if i thought i could take BART from berkeley to SF every day. but i doubt i could do it. so i'm stuck. (i doubt i could take BART everyday because i can't afford it).
12-06-03, 04:25 AM
[and so sparky enters the fray...]
...co-opt any culture and any society that has the possibility of being profitable, and if it gains the associated cool of subversion or anti-establishment, all the better.
think rock and roll music, or going back further, jazz. harley davidsons or muscle cars. all things that used to be [and still are to a certain - reduced - extent] symbols of anti-society, but are so marketed and sold and monopolised, that there is no choice to accept them as part of the mainstream.
capitalism will march on.
from sunny south birmingham
12-06-03, 01:42 PM
(unfortunately), this is true.
If you start wrapping your frame with Cinelli cork tape rather than electrical tape, you might be a poseur.
I'm also about to fix my old Tassajara w/road tires and bullhorn bars, so if poseurs love company keep me in mind
12-06-03, 02:41 PM
i think that people who ride fixed gears do so because they love riding bikes, and they need transportation more than anything. it may start out as an image thing, or an attempt to get "cool points," but in the end, they either stick with it because they love it, or they don't...but i think most people who try it, try it because they heard about it, and are into bikes enough to learn how to ride fixed...or they're the people who can easily afford to buy a bike, then realise they don't like it and eat the loss for breakfast.
12-06-03, 04:58 PM
I just think people who like riding bikes will ride bikes. You'll probably gravitate towards something specific that is comfortable for you and works in the environment in which you pedal, not necessarily a fixie or SS or anything else. If a beat-up old Ross three speed does the trick for you, so be it.
I use a variety of bikes for transport, and they all work. While I love the quiet effeciency of my fixie and even the rather harsh geometry of my fixie's frame, I like my other bikes as well. Sometimes it's just because I like finding the parts for them. Sometimes I just like riding them. I don't need my bikes; I actually own a car (or maybe that's I don't need my car, I own a bike. Heck if I know). I just don't drive it very often.
There will always be folks who buy high-end bike stuff for the wrong reasons, pedal a few Saturdays, and stick the bike in the garage for a few years. These folks are fine by me because their bikes and equipment eventually wind up at the thrift store, where I buy them cheap.
There will also be people who become radically serious about bikes, buy the highest end stuff, and then obsess over it and dismiss anyone who doesn't ride similar stuff. Such behaviour leads to hypertension and increasing debt loads, and ends up with me buying their bike cheap at an estate sale. With some luck, however, the act of riding will calm them down.
12-06-03, 05:05 PM
A poser is a guy who thinks he's the shiznit because he rides fix. If you worry that you might be a poser, you probably aren't one.
12-06-03, 05:19 PM
i am the shiznit. but not because i ride fixie...it's because i have an excellent personality, and because my mom says i'm cool. :)
...and because my mom says i'm cool. :)
yeh, your mom says i'm cool, too. ;)
12-06-03, 07:44 PM
<insert comment about bikes being fast and loose, just like my mom>
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