I was part of the hype when it became cool to own a ‘sweet fixie’. You have to start some where right?! And in some cases this is where I actually admire the whole fixed gear scene past and present.
Looking back I can see myself as that totally hipsterized ‘sweet fixeh’ student rolling around on a bright blue bike with deep section rims etc (photo below for pure cringe chuckles)… I even had the whole ‘Oh just locking my bike up at art school’ thing too… I know, Cringeeeee.
From my perspective it seems that a lot of fixed gear riders that used to be in for the scene are now doing big miles in full lycra and even racing fixed track criteriums.
The Red Hook Crit has a big part to play in that, going strong for 2 years now and continuely growing in size. All of a sudden fixed gear got serious. The usual fixie skiddah in full lycra warming up on rollers? What happened?!
Well to some degree yes it did get serious. But it’s always been serious! Racing at the Velodromes has existed longer then the ‘sweet fixie culture’… This is just part of the evolution though. Alley cats were/are great but the ‘true’ messenger’s kicked up a fuss because every tom dick and harry wanted to play along so something else had to give. With the likes of Kinoko’s Hunt race and the London Nocturne track crit event these fixed crit races have become quite popular in the last year.
Again looking back in retrospect from what type of cyclist I used to be to what kind of cyclist I am know it’s almost unimaginable to see the change. I still remember my longest ride out of Glasgow to Wheel Craft, 13 milesof pain… How times change aye?
I don’t think the scene will ever die nor do I think it will quieten down – it simply changes within time, whether you’re on board, just boarding or jumping ship – it’ll still be here.
Fixed gear got me into cycling, it started a passion that sits with me day in, day out. It gave me the appreciation for my own athletic ability which I believe so many of us take for granted these days.