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  1. #1
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    fixed gear riding style

    A recent post asked the question ;"Fixed Gear Sightings".
    I ride in an area where there are no other fixed gear bikes being ridden that I am aware of. I guess my question is; Do you think of fixed gear riding as a "Group" activity or more of a "Solo" activity? I have noted the recent attempt to get up a group ride in Chicago that only produced 2 riders. Maybe the weather was a contributing factor in the low turnout. I know that when I rode multi gear bikes there were always a large number of group rides that I could have gone on if I desired. I know that NYC has the old skool track group in Central park and I wish that I was lucky enough to live in an area to take advantage of that type of gathering. For me, it is a solitary experience and I am guessing that most other people have the same situation. We have not achieved the mega numbers that exist in the largest cities that support the messenger scene, alley cat racing and whatnot. I would be interested in hearing others opinions.

    Fixedgearhead
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    What don't you understand?

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    i live in philadelphia. there is a venerable sh1tload of fixed gear bikes in this city. seems to me that people riding fixed gear are more solitary. not often seen in packs, and not always the nicest to meet at the stoplight. they by and large don't seem mean, just disinterested. i dunno. maybe i'm just not hip looking though (well, i'm definitly not hip looking; i'm just not sure if maybe this is why they don't talk to me). i rarely see anyone on a fixed gear outside of the city though. i've been going on a group ride w/ a bunch of roadies and their reaction to me being on the ride suggests they don't see many fixed gears out there either.

    dan

  3. #3
    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    It seems to me that there is a small (but growing) and extremely loyal "fix" subculture that is more prevailent in urban areas of major cities and college towns. They even have thier own clothing style (the messenger look) with wierd looking "knickers" I wouldn't be comfortable wearing. I ride fixed but I guess I'm not "with it" or I'm just too old.

    This reminds me of the hi-wheelers when I was on the Nite Ride in Indianapolis several years ago. They had thier own lingo, calling each other "wheel".

    Mainstream cyclists, even in clubs, just "don't get it", although a few do. One cyclist has a fix that he trains on, it's nothing more than an exercise machine. In the Midwest, most people wonder why anybody would want to ride a bike with just one gear. I really don't think riding fixed is for everybody.

  4. #4
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    I occasionally ride solo. But the often times when I ride with another individual or a small group, I'm always the only one on a fixed gear. I'm in the process of converting a couple riders.... but it's so hard convincing...

    George
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  5. #5
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    College towns? I wish that there was a subculture here that dealt with single speeding and fix riding, but I am the only one that i have ever seen riding a good single speed(in my opinion, rusty cruisers don't count, just because those that ride them here don't think twice about it or consciously choose to get rid of derailluers), much less a fixed gear bike. Im realitivly sure that cleveland has a few, but the whole reason for NYC's mega culture is that it is a mega population center, same with LA and Philly, and DC. Ohio cities may just not have the numbers to produce a lot of such a fringe(but awesome) activity.

  6. #6
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    i generally ride by myself. i'm not that into the huge pack of riders thing, sometimes even three can be too many. i usually like to ride with just one other person, maybe chat it up...but mostly just ride to places. riding fixed in a highly concentrated urban center with other people can be frustrating, but it's fun when you're by yourself. unless there's a crapload of traffic all bottled up, fixed gets boring for me. for some reason, i need to feel walled in by tall buildings when i'm on my track bike. for me it's a city bike, not a town bike, and i guess that mentality makes me less-inclined to ride it in groups...it's really hard for a group of more than three or four people on track bikes to successfully navigate a city and stay together. someone always gets left behind at a light or something, and that's no fun.

    that said, i've been riding my road bike around berkeley a lot more lately. i save the tracks for errands, or when i start to really miss it (i started to have dreams about riding in boston, through all the snowy sludge...all dressed up in my "winter" garb).

  7. #7
    ONE GEAR TO RULE THEM ALL hammye's Avatar
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    I feel the same way. I am in the process of building up a VD country road bob for the wife (and me). I have been thinking about the whole ss cross riding dealie. But as far as track bike riding, I loves the city.
    Doing card tricks for dogs

  8. #8
    killer goldfish svwagner's Avatar
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    although there's a relatively healthy number of fixies around here, there's only one semi-regular fixie group ride. doesn't often work with my schedule, but it's fun when it does, since it tends to stay urban and quick without being a race.

    otherwise, i mostly ride alone or with my wife (the latter is mostly transportation cycling, but i'm slowly getting her hooked on just riding for the sake of riding). once in a while, i'll ride with 3-4 others, and will join a big group ride about twice a year.

    even when i ride centuries (standard and metric) one the fixed, i rarely end up riding with anyone. it seems that if i ride them on the regular roadie, i almost always end up on a pack, small or large, or even a paceline. so maybe riding fixed does somehow tend toward the solitary, but it's hard for me to say, since i prefer to ride alone anyway.

    it's been that way since i started riding. when i was racing, i mostly trained alone. when i rode off-road a lot, it was almost always alone, or maybe with 1 or 2 other riders. i always liked time trials best, even though i was never really flexible enough to get into a good TT position and still be comfortable.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
    A recent post asked the question ;"Fixed Gear Sightings".
    I ride in an area where there are no other fixed gear bikes being ridden that I am aware of. I guess my question is; Do you think of fixed gear riding as a "Group" activity or more of a "Solo" activity? I have noted the recent attempt to get up a group ride in Chicago that only produced 2 riders. Maybe the weather was a contributing factor in the low turnout. I know that when I rode multi gear bikes there were always a large number of group rides that I could have gone on if I desired. I know that NYC has the old skool track group in Central park and I wish that I was lucky enough to live in an area to take advantage of that type of gathering. For me, it is a solitary experience and I am guessing that most other people have the same situation. We have not achieved the mega numbers that exist in the largest cities that support the messenger scene, alley cat racing and whatnot. I would be interested in hearing others opinions.

    Fixedgearhead
    I guess that settles it. We are all a bunch of anti-social freaks. Thank heavens that is out of the way and we can get on with the fun of riding fixed. I looked at the website of River City Cycles in Portland Ore. and they advertised a fixed ride one night a week or so. That is what got me to thinking about the situation in general. I do think that it is an urban thing in the main. Although, all you city slickers don't know the fun you are missing bombing down the country roads spraying the farm dogs with halt dog spray and flipping off the cowboys. Who say's the country ain't exciting?


    Fixedgearhead
    One gear in front,
    One gear in back,
    No coasting.
    What don't you understand?

  10. #10
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
    I guess that settles it. We are all a bunch of anti-social freaks. Thank heavens that is out of the way and we can get on with the fun of riding fixed. I looked at the website of River City Cycles in Portland Ore. and they advertised a fixed ride one night a week or so. That is what got me to thinking about the situation in general. I do think that it is an urban thing in the main. Although, all you city slickers don't know the fun you are missing bombing down the country roads spraying the farm dogs with halt dog spray and flipping off the cowboys. Who say's the country ain't exciting?


    Fixedgearhead

    I ride like I drink..........alone

  11. #11
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    I ride like I drink..........alone
    *whew*
    I thought you were going to say "out of the toilet" instead of "alone"...which would have made NO sense
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  12. #12
    Senior Member UNCLECHET's Avatar
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    I ride the fixie alone. I had a friend that had a fixed gear and we rode together all the time but he moved. I suppose there is some other fixed riders in Wichita but I don't know them. I've only ever seen one other person riding one here. Beats me why. I love em!

  13. #13
    legalize bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by hair07
    i live in philadelphia. there is a venerable sh1tload of fixed gear bikes in this city. seems to me that people riding fixed gear are more solitary. not often seen in packs, and not always the nicest to meet at the stoplight. they by and large don't seem mean, just disinterested. i dunno. maybe i'm just not hip looking though (well, i'm definitly not hip looking; i'm just not sure if maybe this is why they don't talk to me). i rarely see anyone on a fixed gear outside of the city though. i've been going on a group ride w/ a bunch of roadies and their reaction to me being on the ride suggests they don't see many fixed gears out there either.

    dan
    i live in philadelphia also, and i agree with your statement, but a lot of times ill get a nod from oncoming fixed riders. wanna ride sometime?

  14. #14
    Danger is my middle name. lucklust's Avatar
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    I've ridden with a grand total of 2 other fixed riders. OneTinSloth and BlastRadius. While it's ok tooling around town or going on a couple hour day ride, I much prefer to ride alone (no offense guys ).
    I had a good ride today with BlastRadius around the China Camp loop in Marin, but for commuting and most training rides, it's easier to worry about only one cadence... yours.
    Yeah, I'm still pretty.

  15. #15
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    I thought you were going to say "out of the toilet" instead of "alone"...which would have made NO sense
    LOL

  16. #16
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    I guess i like both group rides and te solitude of me alone out on a desolate road...so i am a little bit of both

  17. #17
    Senior Member auroch's Avatar
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    I disagree fixies ride in groups in chicago. jeff.

  18. #18
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickerguy
    I disagree fixies ride in groups in chicago. jeff.
    I have heard of said "Windy City Wolfpacks" and witnessed the terror first hand last July. It was beautiful.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  19. #19
    Slave of the road nuovorecord's Avatar
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    Portland has an active fixer population. There's a group ride in the winter time that attracts about a dozen or so riders, from what I hear. I've never been on it...I ride my fixer alone.
    "Ride lots." - E. Merckx

  20. #20
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    On thing about fixed is it requires a bit more concentration to just plain ride much less concentrate on holding a line in a Peloton.

  21. #21
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 165-48:17
    *whew*
    I thought you were going to say "out of the toilet" instead of "alone"...which would have made NO sense
    I pit stop at fire hydrants.

  22. #22
    Senior Member singlespeed's Avatar
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    I live right on the route that all the club rides take out of the city it seems. I always see a few groups going out every week. Every week this winter I have to say that I have seen atleast one or two fixed gears in there among all the geared bikes.

    Oh and I was half of that Chicago ride. I was just more than happy to get out and go for a ride, it is always nice to have someone to ride with for a change. Yes there is a whole culture thing here about each person diong their own thing, but sometimes it is nice to ride with others.

    Sooner or later the Chicago fixies will get together and atleast have a beer somewhere! There is a precedent that has been set, now how are we going to beat that record number of two? Free beer? I bet that would get everyone out.

  23. #23
    sVe Bikkhu's Avatar
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    Here in Helsinki, mostly messengers, ex-messengers and few old track guys ride fixies. With Surly Steamrollers now readily available, fixie cult has really taken off.
    I got nothing to do
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize_it
    i live in philadelphia also, and i agree with your statement, but a lot of times ill get a nod from oncoming fixed riders. wanna ride sometime?
    i'd definitely like to ride. any other philadelphians interested(not to disrail this thread)?

  25. #25
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikkhu
    Here in Helsinki, mostly messengers, ex-messengers and few old track guys ride fixies. With Surly Steamrollers now readily available, fixie cult has really taken off.
    Hey B-
    How big is the messer population (old timers and actively working messers) there?
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

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