For all my bashing of the fixie trend I think a lot of good things have come out of it: the tire industry is thriving thanks to skip-stopping; there are lots of barely-ridden Bianchi Pistas on the used market; and cars now stop for me even when they have the light because they now just assume anyone with drop bars can't or won't be able to stop at an intersection.
For those of you who ride your bikes because you love to ride and don't care what everybody else is doing, you won't care about any of this. But if you're one of those people who rides them because it's important to for you to be cool, stop immediately and seek out a new trend. Because it's over for the fixie subculture in a biblical sense. Here are the seven signs that the end is nigh:
1) This. Spinning, as we all know, is "the hottest, hippest aerobic group workout to hit the nation since jazzercise." It's nothing new. And it's fixed. This place owns the URL "fixedgear.com" and is in Orange County, CA. Remember break dancing? People started doing that in gyms too.
2) Specialized special city edition Langsters. I haven't seen mention of these online yet, but I have seen them at my LBS. They are limited edition Langsters, each one honoring a certain city. The NYC one is taxi cab yellow and has chopped flat bars. The Seattle (or was it Portland?) one has wooden fenders. The London one is painted in a Union Jack motif. They're actually cool as a style exercise, but as far as fixed-gear riding being "underground" this isn't even the final nail in the coffin--the fixie coffin is already buried and this is the penultimate nail in the coffin that will be buried next to the fixie coffin. Just wait until you see one--you'll see what I mean.
3) Building a fixie and learning a track stand as life goals. Building your own house by hand is a life goal. Building a fixie is an entertaining diversion. And learning a track stand is a skill you acquire as a natural consequence of riding a bicycle in traffic, or off-road, or at a velodrome. It should not be an end goal in and of itself. One commenter suggests practicing on grass. I can't wait to see people practicing trackstands in McCarren park, like a bunch of trendy garden gnomes that occasionally fall over. Next alleycat competition category: freestyle tire wiping.
4) That New York Times article. I know everybody in the world has seen this already, but when the Times finally gets wind of your subculture, it's already a memory. Forthcoming hot trends you can expect the Times culture desk to report on soon: Williamsburg is trendy; white kids starting to adopt black culture in the suburbs; and Apple just may have a hit on its hands with this "iPod" thing.
5) That Intersection magazine feature. I saw this at Barnes and Noble awhile back, and was just reminded of it while visiting the excellent blog bobkestrut.com. He's already said just about all that needs to be said here, but I'll add that if you're one of those people who race well on the power and adrenaline of raw anger, get yourself a copy of this issue and read it at the start line of your next race. You'll wake up on the podium.
6) "I want one. What is it?" If you're anything like me, you're the person all your non-cycling friends and family come to if they have any questions about bikes or cycling. Lately a lot of these people have been coming to me saying, in essence, "I'm intersted in getting a fixed gear bike. What are they exactly?" In that order. Sign #4 in this list might have a lot to do with this. I should submit my own article to the Times: "Putting the Cart Way the Hell in Front of the Horse."
7) That court case in Portland with the guy who didn't use a brake. This "controversy" got a lot ot attention. When the "brake or no brake" debate has its own Roe v. Wade test case, I think the writing is on the wall.