Firstly, you may recall I recently mentioned 3T's carbon fiber Funda road fork, mostly because I couldn't figure out what the name meant and it provided me with an opportunity to make a juvenile pun. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a friendly email from 3T Chairman and CEO Rene Wiertz, who not only touted the reasonable price, racing pedigree, and ride quality of his product like a proud parent, but also informed me that "Funda" actually means "slingshot," as in David and Goliath. I was especially grateful for that bit of information, since in that context it's quite a sensible name for a fork, and I only wish more CEOs would email me and clue me in on their nomenclature. Maybe next Ernesto Colnago can tell me why the CX-1 is a road bike and not a cyclocross bike.
Secondly, after yesterday's post, I was also pleased to hear from none other than fixed-gear freestyle impresario Prolly, who made a couple of noteworthy points. One of these is that he feels a fixed-gear drivetrain is a "driver for tricks" that he says would not be possible on a BMX. Another is that he likes the fact that he can use a single bike for tricks, commuting, alleycat racing, and riding to the store to purchase new flat-brim caps (I made that last one up), whereas a small-wheeled trick bike is pretty much only suited to being a trick bike.
Though I'm generally a proponent of the "right tool for the right job" philosophy, I must admit his second point about simplification is a good one. Why have a whole bunch of bikes with highly specific uses when you can have all different types of fun on just one? In fact, I was so inspired I decided to attempt some tricks on one of my own non-trick bikes yesterday. I thought about using my fixed-gear, but I ride a Tokyo edition Langster and I was afraid to scratch it. So I surveyed my vast stable and narrowed it down to my two Trek Madones, ultimately choosing my Madone 6.9 over my Madone 6.9 Pro because the regular 6.9 has the "performance fit," and I figured the taller headtube would be better for stunting. Confident I'd made a wise choice, I suited up in my vintage Linda McCartney kit and headed to Prospect Park for some "sessioning."
I decided to warm up by doing something easy. Of course, when it comes to tricks my play book is pretty old, so I locked up my front SRAM Red brake (awesome stopping power and modulation, by the way), popped a little endo, then rocked onto the back wheel where I planned to stand on my rear pegs and just kind of hop around giddily for awhile. Unfortunately, I forgot that while my Madone 6.9 is equipped with an OCLV carbon frame, a SRAM Red 10-speed component group, and a pair of Bontrager XXX Lite carbon fiber wheels, it is not equipped with rear pegs. Instead, my right foot found my SRAM Red rear derailleur, and my left foot found my quick release lever, and neither was able to support my weight. Consequently, I simultaneously opened my quick release and sent my rear derailleur right into my paired spokes. For the first time in my life, I wished I had had a pie plate. However, in retrospect it may be a good thing I didn't since the derailleur was the only thing that kept the rear wheel from ejecting completely. At any rate, it was pretty sick, and even though I didn't land the trick I plan to post a video as soon as I pick the right Obituary song and figure out how to use Vimeo.
I can only speculate as to whether I'd have been more successful on a fixed-gear, or if my trick would have been any more impressive. But in response to my remark yesterday that I have yet to see a fixed-gear trick that truly impressed me, a reader forwarded me the following video which he feels is impressive regardless of what kind of bike it's performed on:
He also points out that this video dates all the way back to 2006, and that the rider is conservatively attired and not surrounded by a bunch of hip spectators, which he feels makes the trick all the more endearing in that it's somewhat outside the context of the current fixed-gear freestyle trend. I see his point, and I'm sure by now with skills like this the rider has left the urban fixed-gear world behind and has since joined the heady world of "artistic cycling." My guess is he's moved to Europe where he's being mentored by some heavyset, chainsmoking, eastern European coach and that he's become a member of the fabled "sequined peloton." Either that, or he's touring the world with a one-man stage show, like this guy:
In a sense Serge Huercio is the ultimate expression of the "fixster" in that his clothes and his tricks are an ultra-refined version of "fixter" culture. Kind of like what "Hair" was to dirty hippies, or what "Rent" was to grunge or Gen-Xers or proto-hipsters or whatever the hell they were. When a fixed-gear freestyle musical finally comes to Broadway, I think we know who will star. In the spirit of one-word titles, I hope it's called "Pants."
Of course, fans of small-wheeled stunting bicycles may take offense to Prolly's assertion that they are not useful as transportation. Another reader informs me that someone is currently riding backwards across the United States in order to raise awareness of homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and medical marijuana. And as you can see, he appears to be doing it on a BMX:
Between fixed-gear freestyling and this, it just goes to show that simply riding straight ahead in a forward fashion is totally over. Moreover, it also proves that when you have a just cause, a BMX bike, and some potent medical marijuana you can accomplish anything.