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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-03-06, 07:10 PM   #1
Ready to Ruck
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habits of urban riders.

One day, my roomate, who rides his road bike everyday but isn't the most knowledgable, asked me to point out fixed gear bikes while we drive around. I noticed that those riders share the same qualities as me: they are assertive in their riding style, they most often only stop/trackstand because they HAVE to but if there is no crosstraffic they will ride through a red, they are the ones to wind through slow/stopped traffic. Essentially they occupy roadways but don't act too vehicular.
Then the average guy on a road bike will take their place in a lane but seem to act submissive; at a stop light they will stop. And if there are many cars they will take their place in a line of cars as if a car. They essentially are what I hear as "vehicular" riders. And of course you have those that aren't big on cycling so they ride the sidewalks (unless prohibited by law), and are essentially a walking pedestrian on two wheels.

I know this is a silly post but what do you guys think? Are your riding environments similar?
And if you think this post is lame or wanna post just to roll your eyes, don't bother posting.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:25 PM   #2
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ride in traffic.

took me a few weeks of sidewalk/road to get used to it, but I try to keep rolling no matter what... sometimes its just 2 stupid or dangerous to force my way through a red, but if its clear I go =)

when traffic backs up like you described, I wind through whatever space I can find... its fun to watch the peoples faces as I ride past them while they suffer the little children in their cars breathing in exhaust fumes =)
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Old 02-03-06, 07:30 PM   #3
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Thread the needle that is traffic. I had one of the execs at work pull after I had allready locked up. He jumps out of his car sayin.... Man I tried to keep up with you after you blasted past me on Yonge Street, but that move into oncoming at Wellington...I thought you were dead then I see you back in the lane half a block later.... cars are for suckers downtown. If I don't HAVE to stop I don't, it's more efficient that way, keeping in mind I do not hamper peds movement, nor will I buzz them unless they are jaywalking.

That strip of Yonge between Wellington and Front though reminds me of Montreal they way stream across the road there
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Old 02-03-06, 07:36 PM   #4
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i always wish people i knew could see me in traffic so they couild say things like that.

i see the same environment as the OP pretty often. portland's different in that more people ride, but there are still the shady/dui mtb riders, vc road riders, and the "**** it, i'm just gonna go for it" riders, though not all are fixed. well, most are. but not all.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:36 PM   #5
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I do the same thing as the OP, but I'm on a mtb. Lots of riders do no matter what they ride. Lots of others don't. Doesn't seem to be a trait of just fixed gear riders.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jyossarian
I do the same thing as the OP, but I'm on a mtb. Lots of riders do no matter what they ride. Lots of others don't. Doesn't seem to be a trait of just fixed gear riders.
+1.

also, to the OP, i wouldn't call stopping at stoplights submissive. i might call it "law-abiding" or "respectful" but not submissive.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
Thread the needle that is traffic.
I can't say how enjoyable it is. It's like actually demonstrating to the driver that a bike IS more practical than a car in an urban environment. Of course the driver probably isn't thinking that. I learned how to ride in traffic and weave through cars in a huffy cruiser. Man, now that takes work; you aren't as nimble as a road or track bike.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:48 PM   #8
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ugh, I used to do it on a Gary Fisher, front shock, seatpost shock, comfort bike, (feels like riding a jello bike) with some ridiculously wide handlebars, I feel like a snake on my Schwinn conversion compared to that thing...
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Old 02-03-06, 07:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryhood
+1.

also, to the OP, i wouldn't call stopping at stoplights submissive. i might call it "law-abiding" or "respectful" but not submissive.
submissive as in "I'm not here to disrupt traffic, excuse me cars while I edge towards the shoulder/curb". I see this locally in riders who ride solely for exercise and not believers in bicycles-as-transportation
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Old 02-03-06, 07:50 PM   #10
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I'm currently riding my TBL Onyx Pro... wide bars frnt shock. I love getting on the yellow line..... I feel so safe there. Hope to have a snaky rocket built for summer. The red light is a friendly reminder to look both ways
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Old 02-03-06, 07:55 PM   #11
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a friend of mine said, "red lights are merely suggestions"

have to agree on that one
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Old 02-03-06, 07:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready to Ruck
submissive as in "I'm not here to disrupt traffic, excuse me cars while I edge towards the shoulder/curb". I see this locally in riders who ride solely for exercise and not believers in bicycles-as-transportation
If I'm doin' 40km/hr ..... that's my lane baby.. Honk and I point to the lane to the left. Keep honking and I will slow down and stay in the middle of the lane. The choice becomes theirs
never be submissive with the cars, they will eat you alive if you give them the chance.
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Old 02-03-06, 08:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moximitre
a friend of mine said, "red lights are merely suggestions"

have to agree on that one
one of mine said "red is the new green".
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Old 02-03-06, 08:26 PM   #14
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I ride assertively and at a decent pace. I don't blow lights, and I'll usually at least slow down for stop signs. I share the lane when I can and take the lane if I need to. I'll split lanes if it's safe and more convenient to do so, but I usually plan my riding to avoid these kind of streets. I also signal and try to make eye contact with drivers as much as possible. I don't get any kind of thrill from near-misses with cars/peds/etc..., and usually I assume the worst from drivers.

I guess the short answer is I'm too old for the "urban cycling" *****.
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Old 02-03-06, 08:30 PM   #15
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Sometimes I get comfy in my trackstand at lights, and am reluctant to start rolling when the light turns.
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Old 02-03-06, 09:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popluhv
Sometimes I get comfy in my trackstand at lights, and am reluctant to start rolling when the light turns.
Doh! I know exactly how you feel. Once I groove the front wheel in, and start going no-handed, I feel sad that I have to end my potenial world record breaking stand. :-( My buddy and I usually cruise downtown Houston at night, but I recenlty went on a shop ride with some mtbers who seemed to like riding on the sidewalk. I never felt so uncomfortable, and the sidewalks were empty! I take up my lane and don't give cars room to share. I've gotten better at not getting upset when cars honk at me, I figure when they honk they can see me. I just wave and give them a big s-eatin' grin. Two-wheeled peds are pretty annoying, because they're unpredictable.
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Old 02-03-06, 09:04 PM   #17
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I usually stop at lights in town if I have nowhere to go; it helps me practice my no-handed track stands..
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Old 02-03-06, 09:21 PM   #18
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I usually stop at lights in town if I have nowhere to go; it helps me practice my no-handed track stands..
It is the best way to get blown kisses from girls on buses too.
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Old 02-03-06, 09:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by noriel
Doh! I know exactly how you feel. Once I groove the front wheel in, and start going no-handed, I feel sad that I have to end my potenial world record breaking stand. :-( My buddy and I usually cruise downtown Houston at night, but I recenlty went on a shop ride with some mtbers who seemed to like riding on the sidewalk. I never felt so uncomfortable, and the sidewalks were empty! I take up my lane and don't give cars room to share. I've gotten better at not getting upset when cars honk at me, I figure when they honk they can see me. I just wave and give them a big s-eatin' grin. Two-wheeled peds are pretty annoying, because they're unpredictable.
I love riding downtown Houston during the day. It's pretty pointless at night; I only did it because I had to get from west of downtown to Third Ward for shows and to see friends.
I remember getting in a fight because I was riding pointlessly in downtown, drunk and this guy, also drunk, was yelling at me "Hey buddy, I think it's too late for messengering!". good times.

Oh and I HATE HATE HATE the lightrail only because it bent by fork. On the north side of downtown, at the U of H downtown campus there are two lightrails that run, you know? And they crossed like a big X that involved four lower-than-ground-surface rails. I was in between the two sets of rails so I ended up falling into one, I endo, and my bike's fork gets bent. Big bummer. I guess it's my fault for venturing off the street.
to be honest, the only fixie I had seen in Houston(outside of the velo) was a gorgeous gold (i think?) one that was always locked up at Helio's (on westheimer).
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Old 02-03-06, 10:06 PM   #20
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To quote me:
"Stop signs with white borders are optional"
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Old 02-03-06, 11:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
never be submissive with the cars, they will eat you alive if you give them the chance.
so true. i like to think of cyclists as having all the rights of cars and pedestrians, while at the same time having none of the responsibility.

it's really easy to con cars into giving you the right of way, that is unless that car is a taxi. those ****ers won't cut you an inch
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Old 02-04-06, 12:41 AM   #22
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dont ride scared; itll show- they can smell fear and will nudge you- i ride fast when i can and use my brake when needed- scan ahead way ahead and become alive in the moment- listen and look- keep your eyes moving- if youre not sure slow down or stop-i wave when i blow thru intersections where i cut cars off and almost everyone is cool- quick quiet smart.
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Old 02-04-06, 01:42 AM   #23
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it really depends on the weather, time of day, and where i am. in richmond winding is mostly fine, around here in teh suberbzz i wait my turn. i'm not trying to sneak around super lifted trucks on 45mph roads
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Old 02-04-06, 01:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sers
so true. i like to think of cyclists as having all the rights of cars and pedestrians, while at the same time having none of the responsibility.

it's really easy to con cars into giving you the right of way, that is unless that car is a taxi. those ****ers won't cut you an inch
legally, in most states (most states i know the laws of, that is) you have all the responsibilities of cars.

that said, it's so easy to ride as though that doesn't apply that it's sad. bikes are so different from cars that i'm glad we have all the rights, but weaving through traffic--are you really going to signal every time you go past a car that's just sitting in gridlock? and that's just an example.
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Old 02-04-06, 07:40 AM   #25
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i think the reason that roadies just take their place submissively in line like cars and don't weave in and out to get to the front and blow redlights an' ***** is that all that stuff hangin' off their frames gets in the way. all those brakes and levers and derailleurrz and junk. that's why they don't.
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