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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 08-21-07, 06:40 PM   #1
Gordiep
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Fixed Gear 911

A friend of mine just moved to Seattle (I have no idea what neighborhood/section...), and has been emailing me various observations on the local cycling culture. He'd been living in Nevada, and he does mostly long-distance road cycling and loaded touring, so the whole urban cycling thing is kind of new to him. We'd been having a conversation about the fixie/brakeless/PBR/hipster fad, and this gem was in his latest email:
"When we first moved here, I was kinda fascinated with the whole urban fixie hipster thing (having absolutely nothing resembling it in the Great Basin), but I'm getting more and more annoyed with it, too. We saw a really unfortunate crash the other day, and I'm pretty certain it was because the rider was trying to go down a steep block without brakes. The dude ended up riding into a parked car to stop himself, and then went down headfirst into the street. Unconscious. But the ambulance came right away, which was good to see."
A couple of threads have popped up recently about jagoff motorists and their run-ins with cyclists, but I sometimes like to remind myself that-- statistically-- just as many idiots are running around on bicycles giving responsible cyclists a bad name.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:44 PM   #2
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Some of the larger group rides I go to have turned into a chance to show off your brake-less, platform-clad conversion, and invariably someone ends up wrecking in a situation which would have easily been averted with a brake.

Like someone said elsewhere, "It's a fixie dude! You don't need brakes."
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Old 08-21-07, 06:51 PM   #3
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I don't get it, if you ask me. I know I haven't been riding fixie that long, but I couldn't survive in this town without a brake. I don't care how good you can skid, or how strong of a rider you are, some of these hills in town are just not ridable without a brake. I've seen guys riding down Pine into downtown with no brakes, no clips and no hands and I always think Jesus, if you want to show off your fixie, learn some flatground and go dance in Westlake, don't be that ****** that proves his coolness by showing how close he can get to dying.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:11 PM   #4
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I don't get it, if you ask me. I know I haven't been riding fixie that long, but I couldn't survive in this town without a brake.
I actually run two brakes around here. This place is hilly as hell.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:22 PM   #5
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I actually run two brakes around here. This place is hilly as hell.
Yeah, I'm planning on putting another cog on the SS side of my flip flop so I'm going to throw another brake on there anyway. But honestly I'll be glad to have second brake even for the fixed side.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:23 PM   #6
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The key is experience. Newbies shouldn't ride hills brakeless......................
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Old 08-21-07, 07:29 PM   #7
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I too thought fixed city riding was cool before I realized how many clueless idiots had jumped on the bandwagon. As a matter of fact, I just sold both my fixed gears the other day.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:56 PM   #8
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I too thought fixed city riding was cool before I realized how many clueless idiots had jumped on the bandwagon. As a matter of fact, I just sold both my fixed gears the other day.
wrong thread


I ride brakeless here, the most trouble I've been in was commuting through Belltown trafic(flat). The taxis here are *****es.
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Old 08-21-07, 08:15 PM   #9
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wrong thread
Eh, wrong forum. I'm sure I'll get flamed if enough people read this thread.

There are a lot of cool people riding fixed too though. I shouldn't let a few ruin the whole scene for me, but I just don't want to be associated with it. I'll probably pick it up again once the craze dies.
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Old 08-21-07, 08:15 PM   #10
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A couple of threads have popped up recently about jagoff motorists and their run-ins with cyclists, but I sometimes like to remind myself that-- statistically-- just as many idiots are running around on bicycles giving responsible cyclists a bad name.

i got hit by a car today on my now-deceased road bike... i was going straight through a YELLOW LIGHT (not smart on my part) and he was in the oncoming lanes turning left through the yellow light, which i'm pretty sure was red by the time he entered the intersection...

he should have yielded... he didn't see in time, he hit me. i had the right of way, but it probably could have been avoided if i had stopped (tried to stop) for the yellow. i may have ended up in cross traffic, but i probably could have avoided a collision. i'll change it in the future, but the fault of the collision isn't mine, even though the injuries (minor that i know of) are.

i totally get your sentiment, but when you're in a car you need to handle it responsibly, and do everything in your power to see cyclists. i think most of the fixed gear riders giving cyclists a bad name by riding aggressively are just trying to speed their way out of bad situations... which isn't always bad, but the worst they can do is hit a pedestrian or dent a body panel, or injure themselves. not a high chance of fatality. cars, on the other hand... demand a much more serious situation.

after the accident however, i think motorists are more responsible for taking responsible action... fleeing the scene of an accident when able is something i would think more ******* bikers do rather than ******* motorists.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:42 PM   #11
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i totally get your sentiment, but when you're in a car you need to handle it responsibly, and do everything in your power to see cyclists. i think most of the fixed gear riders giving cyclists a bad name by riding aggressively are just trying to speed their way out of bad situations... which isn't always bad, but the worst they can do is hit a pedestrian or dent a body panel, or injure themselves. not a high chance of fatality. cars, on the other hand... demand a much more serious situation.
Wow-- I really hope that you are okay. I've seen your posts in another forum: I'm sorry that your bike was smashed before you could sell it. I never like to hear of a cyclist (or any other person) being hurt. I totally agree that motorists should be responsible for their actions, and should be more careful of cyclists [and other motorists, and pedestrians].

That said, I've seen literally hundreds of cyclists break traffic laws whenever they feel like. If we want to be taken seriously as vehicles, we need to act like serious vehicles. Every time a biker blows through a red light, or scares a ped, or skitches off a car, whatever-- it drains the legitimacy from the argument that cyclists are responsible operators who deserve to share the road with cars. Folks can flame me for this, but it's true.

I think it sucks that you got hit, but I also think you shouldn't have tried to rush a light. I wouldn't do that in my car, so I wouldn't do it on a bike. Maybe my tune will change if I'm ever hit unexpectedly by a driver, but [so far] every cycling accident I've ever been in has been due to my own stupidity (or drunkenness, which is much the same, isn't it?). I've been in two severe automobile accidents-- one of them fatal for another driver; cars are dangerous to everyone, not just cyclists. The imbalance of deadliness between cars and bikes is unfortunate, but it's life, and doesn't give us license to act like *******.

However, I totally disagree that most cyclists who act stupidly are doing it to escape dangerous situations. Acting stupid is acting stupid-- period. As much as it is a driver's responsibility to watch for vulnerable traffic, it is a cyclist's responsibility to ride carefully and always in control. No one will ever be able to convince me that riding without brakes is as safe as with, and anyone who genuinely believes such a thing is an idiot, however skillful a rider they may be. Physics and logic back me up on this. It's unfortunate that such stupidity has become fashionable...not only for the people hurt, but for the collateral effect it has on the cycling community.

EDIT-- I was just re-reading your post...if that guy ran off without stopping to see if you were okay, then he deserves no mercy. Hit-and-run is one of the most vile crimes I can think of. What a chickentsh*t.

Last edited by Gordiep; 08-21-07 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:04 PM   #12
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like any city there are people that are cool and there are the stuck up *******s. just the other day i was riding and pulled up to a fellow enthusiast at a light..i said whats up and i get silence....
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Old 08-22-07, 01:27 AM   #13
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That said, I've seen literally hundreds of cyclists break traffic laws whenever they feel like. If we want to be taken seriously as vehicles, we need to act like serious vehicles. Every time a biker blows through a red light, or scares a ped, or skitches off a car, whatever-- it drains the legitimacy from the argument that cyclists are responsible operators who deserve to share the road with cars. Folks can flame me for this, but it's true.

...

However, I totally disagree that most cyclists who act stupidly are doing it to escape dangerous situations. Acting stupid is acting stupid-- period.
too right! I say this even though I often do these things, well at least light running. maybe I should change my ways.

maybe you could phrase it as taking advantage of the ambiguous status of bicycles as half car half pedestrian but whenever I do I feel I am merely trying to justify myself (whcih is true of course).

oh well.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:59 AM   #14
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I actually run two brakes around here. This place is hilly as hell.
My next fixed ride will have two brakes as well.
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Old 08-22-07, 02:00 AM   #15
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The taxis here are *****es.
Taxi drivers everywhere are *****es.
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Old 08-22-07, 03:50 AM   #16
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I have been riding fixed two years straight brakeless and will not go to sf without a brake even now sacto is flat and I love it here anywhere else I don't know the streets I don't know the traffic I don't ride brakeless
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Old 08-22-07, 04:13 AM   #17
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Taxi drivers everywhere are *****es.
Goes without saying.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:26 AM   #18
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too right! I say this even though I often do these things, well at least light running. maybe I should change my ways.

maybe you could phrase it as taking advantage of the ambiguous status of bicycles as half car half pedestrian but whenever I do I feel I am merely trying to justify myself (whcih is true of course).

oh well.
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Old 08-22-07, 10:23 AM   #19
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oh i was just off on a tangent when i was talking about hit and run, the guy who hit me stopped and made sure i was okay, he never left the accident until after the cop issued him a ticket and the EMTs bandaged me up.

i also think stupid things and aggressive things are different. skitching is stupid, cutting across lanes so you aren't where people won't expect you is aggressive. so is running a yellow. running a red, however, is just stupid.

and i shouldn't have ran the yellow, but both cars and bicyclists need to pay more attention to what their actions are and how those actions can affect others. i could have made a better decision when i saw the yellow, but i did have the right of way, so legally, at least, i'm not at fault. running reds and running yellows are very different.

i'm not going after the guy for a new bike or anything like that because i think he did everything he could to avoid the accident once he saw me, but if one of the three cars in front of him had yielded to me, like they should have, i'd still be walking without crutches.
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Old 08-22-07, 10:36 AM   #20
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i could have made a better decision when i saw the yellow, but i did have the right of way, so legally, at least, i'm not at fault. running reds and running yellows are very different.
Well according to your account you were in the intersection after it turned red so you didn't.... but neither did the guy who hit you.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:11 AM   #21
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sure i was in the intersection after it turned red, when i was hit and on the pavement.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:20 PM   #22
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Just a quick vote of admiration for cc700's attitude! And best wishes for restored body and ride.

George
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Old 08-22-07, 12:35 PM   #23
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thanks. everyone just be safe and don't get yourself in a situation where people don't take the time to look and see you, like a yellow- even if you have right of way.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:39 PM   #24
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sure i was in the intersection after it turned red, when i was hit and on the pavement.
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which i'm pretty sure was red by the time he entered the intersection...
and before you were hit too apparently.

He clearly is more at fault but just because he didn't have the right of way doesn't mean you did.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:44 PM   #25
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Even without hills, high speeds on flat streets are out of the question without a brake.

Trying to resist or skid isn't going to do much at 30MPH.

Gainesville is no Seattle in terms of hilliness, but i wouldn't be caught dead riding and drafting in traffic without brakes.
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