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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 02-16-06, 12:54 PM   #1
danish
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Neat story from the Philly Italian Market

Last week or so I was walking my bike down 9th St in the Philadelphia Italian Market (an open air fruit, veggie, meat, fish, etc market that spans a few city blocks if you don't know) looking for diiner ingredients when a tallish somewhat unkempt African American looking gentleman walked up next to me and asked in terribly broken English, "How much does a bike like that cost?" A litte sketched out I answered, "I dunno. I bought the parts separately and put it together myself." He replied, "That's fixed gear, huh?" Surprised I said "Yes." He said "I acan tell.. a bike like that.. no brakes... I'm from Jamaica. We used to ride fixed gear all over the place." I was pleasantly amused. "We would stop like this," he said as he made a motion of pulling up on his top tube. "By pulling up on your top tube?" I asked incredulously. He confirmed. From there we just sort of smiled, said goodbye and parted ways.
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Old 02-16-06, 01:00 PM   #2
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Huh.. I wonder if that was a way of unweighting the rear wheel a little when skipping. Putting a little weight into the pull..

*insert obligatory brakeless riding and huge spliffs don't mix joke here*
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Old 02-16-06, 01:03 PM   #3
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Thats my guess. I forgot the epilogue: I tried to skip by pulling up on my toptube all the way home and couldnt even get close.
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Old 02-16-06, 01:35 PM   #4
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ha. i'm going to miss the italian market when I move.
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Old 02-16-06, 01:37 PM   #5
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Maybe he meant that is how he used to fly. Back when they had flying bikes.
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Old 02-16-06, 01:39 PM   #6
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OP: the ppretzel in your avatar is totally the wrong shape
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Old 02-16-06, 01:40 PM   #7
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a jamaican dude asked me about my bike on 9th and washington the other night. i was suprised he knew about fixed gears. prolly the same guy.
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Old 02-16-06, 01:42 PM   #8
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ah, the italian market...haven't been there in years. i loved that place...i remember a little spice store on the corner of....well, a corner. but it was good stuff.

anyway. crazy. i always wonder if and when someone i really didn't expect to care about fixed gear will comment on mine. but since i think about it, that makes it less unexpected, which is probably why it hasn't happened yet. now, if i stop thinking about it, then maybe then it'll happen. then again, premeditated thinking cessation is hard, and even if i succeed, that'll take away the element of surprise....gah.

well, anyway. congratulations on your random encounter. they always sound like fun.
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Old 02-16-06, 02:03 PM   #9
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a jamaican or any west indian person knowing alot about fixed gear bikes wouldn't surprise me a bit. they practically brought that style of biking to the streets of NY back before it was "cool".
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Old 02-16-06, 02:26 PM   #10
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OP: the ppretzel in your avatar is totally the wrong shape
guh?
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Old 02-16-06, 03:46 PM   #11
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if you live in philly your pretzel is the wrong shape, there's really no two ways about it
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Old 02-16-06, 03:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rodny71
a jamaican or any west indian person knowing alot about fixed gear bikes wouldn't surprise me a bit. they practically brought that style of biking to the streets of NY back before it was "cool".
+1 the troof. they rule the 'drome, too.
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Old 02-16-06, 04:47 PM   #13
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Old 02-16-06, 04:52 PM   #14
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the only people who ever talk to me about my bike, other than total bike nerds, are random black folks around the city. it's awesome. they're all like "that's one of those fixed gear bikes right? your crazy. you gotta be good to ride one of those." always a nice little ego boost
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Old 02-16-06, 05:20 PM   #15
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9th & Washington (the Italian Market), 1970-something:

I bump into a body and turn and say "excuse me" before I realize I'm talking to a pig carcas hanging upside down by a hook--and now gently swaying.

Stupid drivers who park so close to the line that their mirrors got clipped by the trolley car. Mirror clipping is a hobby of some trolley drivers--they will admit it to their friends but not to their employer. It takes a deal of skill to judge the clearance so it's possible to clip the mirror without 'noticing' without actual contact with another vehicle. Any bikers now want to apply for work with SEPTA?
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Old 02-16-06, 09:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skelly
while i agree that the pretzel in your photo there is most likely more delicious, how badass would it look to have a smushed up dough twist such as that paired up with some crossbones? probably not very.
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Old 02-17-06, 08:48 AM   #17
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Here's my revelation from last night: If dude rode a fixed back in the day, he could have only had platform pedals. With no way to apply upward force with his feet, he must have pulled up on the top tube in order to skip.

Mystery solved.
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