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  1. #1
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    I finally understand what the whole crackdown on fixies is all about.

    I got stuck behind some crazy fixie kid on my way in to work today. He was fairly fit and a good rider strengthwise, but pretty damn brainless. Massive skids across multiple lanes every time he had to adjust his speed even slightly, randomly cutting across traffic whenever he felt like and a complete inability to choose a good line through traffic. Basically he was riding real hard, but instead of finding a flow he would skid real hard each time traffic got a bit dense in front of him.
    All this with bars barely as wide as his grips. I't took me 4 blocks to pass him safely, and then a couple blocks later he was in front of me again. It was actually pretty damn scary to be behind him.
    At a certain point we were riding next to each other, me in the left lane, and him blocking all passing traffic in the right lane. (we drive on the left here) So a cab decides to cut in between us! Me-thinks this kid has seen too many MASH videos. He must have done about 30 skids in a 10 block distance.
    You know how people sometimes insist that bad cycling can cause accidents, as though cyclists are running red lights and leaving 5 car pile-ups in their wake? Well, no one crashed but I saw about 4 very near car crashes happen in his wake. Never seen that before. Thats how erratic his riding was. I'm a pretty aggressive rider and I'm amazed he was able to get away with riding the way he did without getting run over.
    I'm sure most people on this forum aren't "that guy".
    But please let me say it, DON'T BE "THAT GUY".

  2. #2
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    Also, he had a complete inability to move ahead through traffic. For someone trying emulate messenger-chic, maybe he should learn to ride a bit better!

  3. #3
    GONE~
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    I wonder how many sets of tires he go through in a month, or even a week...

  4. #4
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    Oh he was a pretty big stereotype too. Cut-off sleeveless shirt, full arm tattoos, bike covered in stickers, no brakes, little dangly bit that says "**** emos" hanging off his saddle and a designer haircut. He looked like he was trying the whole MASH SF thing but only able to pull it off by the grace of God. What I was watching was not skill but pure blind luck.

  5. #5
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    It was also quite annoying to be behind him because he just wouldn't move to the front through traffic. As soon as traffic slowed he would throw a huge skid and then just track stand between the lanes, with me behind him really wanting to move to the front. Hell, NSW law even allows for us to move to the front. And there was plenty of space, I ride regular road drops and I could have gotten through. He was riding bars about half as wide as mine.

  6. #6
    Gentlemen. ADSR's Avatar
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    If he was so bad how did he end up back in front of you? Sounds like skills to me.
    The bums will always lose.

  7. #7
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    I ride into work slow so I can warm up a bit. (I courier and sometimes do pedicab work) He was also fairly fast as long as there was no traffic to negotiate. Also, he caught me on an uphill which I was taking slow(again just warming up) and in a very low gear. He was hammering. He was moving fast and I just decided to let him pass figuring at the rate he's moving I wont get stuck behind him again. But sure enough, at the top of the hill he was track standing in between traffic. I tried to go around him but right then he started moving again. It was pretty frustrating. I just backed off, told myself work hasn't started yet and I'm in no rush. I used to ride fixed, and would still if I had a fixed gear bike, I just don't at the moment.
    Seriously, there was no "skills" to be seen here. I did say he seemed like a strong enough rider right from the beginning.

  8. #8
    Hella Raw spcialzdspksman's Avatar
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    Still gotta give him props for riding fast brakeless though. Hard to make yourself go fast brakeless unless you're really confident you can stop in time, or in his case, skid a lot and go around stopped cars.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, he was pretty good at stopping I suppose. Although he was also all over the place while stopping. I realise it's hard not to throw the tail around a little bit when skidding but I really do mean he was all over the place when skidding. I know how to ride brakeless and I know how to skid and can stop pretty fast, and this just is not I how I do it, that's for sure.
    And he had no idea how traffic moved. I mean, even if I'm being lazy and don't feel like cutting through traffic, I know when it's gonna slow down. I don't have to come to a sudden skidding stop every time the bus in front of me slows down a bit.
    To be fair I guess he was good enough at slowing down reaaaaal fast(albeit for no apparent reason and he needed about two meters of wiggle room on both sides) to be almost faster than I could slowdown on a roadbike with 2 brakes.
    I mean, he could have just resisted the pedals for a few strokes, to match speed with the bus. In fact, he could have done that a lot of times in those 10 blocks.
    Trust me, being stuck in traffic near this guy sucked.
    Mad skinny bars too. Wouldn't lane split. Why the skinny bars then?

  10. #10
    Antarctica awaits WoundedKnee's Avatar
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    Everyone argues that they can stop just fine by skidding or whatever, but the funny thing is you never see anyone from Mash or Macaframa stop in their videos at all.

  11. #11
    Pedantic Antics antiaverage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spcialzdspksman View Post
    Still gotta give him props for riding fast brakeless though.
    No. Idiots do not get props. Riding brakeless in traffic does not get props, ever. It's stupid, it puts you in danger, and it more importantly it puts others in danger.

  12. #12
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    Well, I'm not against riding brakeless. I did for a bit, in Amsterdam where it was super flat, but in hilly places I still prefer knowing I also have a brake. I know a lot of people who ride brakeless. They stop about as quickly and as in control as I do with front and rear brakes on a roadbike. When we ride side by side we stop at the same time. I also know a lot of people who ride with a front brake. Some who have years of experience. Some who were riding before I was born. But this was my first encounter with someone who really needs a brake and to not ride like an antisocial idiot. I ride all day and cars don't have to swerve around me. I'm not talking about giving room while passing but literally swerving as he jumped in front of them or skidded out of the lane.

    I'm sure in an emergency situation I could stop faster than my brakeless friends but not by all that much.

  13. #13
    Pedantic Antics antiaverage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertv View Post
    When we ride side by side we stop at the same time.
    That's because you're both doing slow stops at your leisure. In an emergency, the guy with the brake is going to stop significantly faster. There is no argument for riding brakeless in traffic. The only reason to do it is to score "cool" points, but putting other people in danger does not earn you any in my book. However, this thread isn't a debate about brakes. Also, none of this is a comment on you, just this guy you're posting about. No worries.

  14. #14
    Antarctica awaits WoundedKnee's Avatar
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    I know what you're sayin, I was just sayin. Terrain makes a difference.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoundedKnee View Post
    Everyone argues that they can stop just fine by skidding or whatever, but the funny thing is you never see anyone from Mash or Macaframa stop in their videos at all.
    Cause who wants to see videos of bicycles not moving? Skids are cool and all, but once you stop seems like the funs over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Braden1550 View Post
    Monocoque unicycles with internal gear hubs, ridden by extortionists with an excellent sense of balance.

    You'll see. Unless you drilled out your eyes because they were too heavy.

  16. #16
    Antarctica awaits WoundedKnee's Avatar
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    Well, people need to stop thinking they're going to be videotaped every time they ride.

  17. #17
    Pedantic Antics antiaverage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoundedKnee View Post
    Well, people need to stop think they're going to be videotaped every time they ______.
    Fill in the blank with pretty much any daily activity, really.

  18. #18
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    Seriously!

    God, what is with me and typos sometimes..

  19. #19
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    I was talking to a cool guy at a local pub last night who was from Philly (I live about an hour away). Biking came up and I told him I rode a fixed gear. He told me he thinks they are fun but hates the majority of the people in Philly that ride them. According to him, two people were seriously injured/killed in Philly by fixed gear riders without brakes. Like previously stated in this thread, it's not the fixed gear riders that are harmed by not riding with brakes, but it is the innocent pedestrians. Whether this story was true or not, it made me very upset to know that careless riding is harming the lives of innocent people. The guy also told me they are soon making it mandatory to have a brake on bikes in Philly. Good for them.

  20. #20
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    Oh I was just a bit defensive about my friends who ride brakeless to help further my point. I know people who ride brakeless in what I feel is a safe and responsible manner. I do believe it is possible to ride brakeless safely. I generally don;t care if people ride brakeless. This is the first time I've actually seen some crazy reckless brakeless person. Whenever I've read articles about crackdowns on brakeless fixies I've always felt like it was a bit stupid. If a guy knows how to ride his bike it shouldn't really matter was my thinking. I had no idea anyone was riding like this though. Bit of an eye opener.

  21. #21
    Pedantic Antics antiaverage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertv View Post
    I do believe it is possible to ride brakeless safely.
    Yep, but not as safely and certainly not safe enough for a crowded city.

    Physics always wins this argument.

  22. #22
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    It's just like when I am driving behind someone who is swerving (I usually assume they are drunk), I keep my distance and try to take an alternate route if possible.

  23. #23
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    Like I said, I know people who do it all day everyday. I probably wouldn't, but it seems to work just fine for them. I know a guy who's been riding brakeless for 8 years, all day, everyday. I'm not about to tell him how to do anything.
    Last edited by robertv; 04-12-10 at 01:52 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkowa092 View Post
    It's just like when I am driving behind someone who is swerving (I usually assume they are drunk), I keep my distance and try to take an alternate route if possible.
    THIS!!! It was exactly like driving behind a drunk person who is having trouble staying on the road.

  25. #25
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    The vast majority of bad riders in my area are riding dept. store mountain bikes... they have brakes, full suspension, and 58 gears, yet they ride on the sidewalk and then cut across 4 lanes of traffic in the middle of the road to cross, and their bikes look so poorly maintained that I doubt their loose, rusted calipers would even do any good... guess we should start cracking down on mountain bikes, right? Cause it's the type of bike (not the rider) that's the problem.

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