yeah I know there have been threads about this, but mostly complaining about the hipsterization and how cheap bikes are gonna abound once the fad passes... yeah right.
I actually think that what is happening right now is quite interesting, and that we're witnessing the birth of a new trick-based sport. MASH will be fondly remembered in 20 years, like the Bones Brigade videos now.
a few obvious common points between skateboarding and fixed-gear riding:
In both you navigate the city, making the most of an environment that wasn't designed for you. Obstacles (cars, pedestrians, other 2-wheelers) become part of a skill game.
- MINIMAL / CUSTOM.
Both are simple machines, held together by a few nuts and bolts, and both are best built from separate pieces. No self-respecting skateboarder would ever buy a complete board.
- DANGEROUS / NEEDS SKILL.
You can get hurt. Reluctance to wear helmets is common in both, and brakeless riding uses a similar technique to skateboarding (skidding=sliding in a way).
None are that easy to master (although I must say that skateboarding is way more difficult).
That "rebel" aspect which has long vanished from the skateboarding world, that feeling of being part of something that the masses don't understand, is still there in FG riding (at least in Europe).
I still try to nod or at least look (smile if it's a girl) at other fixed riders I see in London. In Paris if I'd see another person on a fixed I know we'd both (skid to a) stop and talk!
Wait for the X-games to catch up though... as someone mentioned in another thread.
I've yet to meet a rider or skateboarder who doesn't care how his bike or board looks. FGG, velospace anyone?
Don't even get me started on fashion. I'm sure the Marc Jacobs messenger bag is coming soon, as he did some ltd. edition Vans before..
Skateboarding is still forbidden in many places (esp in the US), and the brakeless factor is known to be a problem in some places. The other day I was in NYC, paying bike polo in the LES, when we had an experience that reminded me countless arguments with security guards : a NYC Parks guy tried to stop us using some traffic cone as a goal post, resulting in a shouting match and the kidnapping of a polo mallet in retaliation...
Sorry to FGG forum members - I posted a similar link there months ago..
And here's one for all the skateboarders here:
my trip to Shanghai Skatepark (the biggest in the world) in nov 2005:
Beats ANY velodrome anytime.