Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From the BSNYC Culture Desk: Trickery

Recently I was watching TV (while duly clad in my lounging smock, of course) when I came upon "Rising Son," a documentarty about the skater Christian Hosoi:


Now, I must confess that there was a period in my youth when I did ride the wheeled board. Furthermore, it was during a time when Hosoi and his contemporaries were at their most popular, and while they were pushing the limits of just how high you could go on a skateboard (and, it turns out, just how high you could get while off of one), the companies they promoted were pushing the limits of how much crap they could sell you. A skateboard is pretty much just a wooden deck with a pair of trucks and some wheels on it, and you'd think it would be hard to convince people to buy accessories for the skateboard itself. But somehow they also managed to sell people things like plastic rails and tail protectors and nose protectors and truck protectors and multicolored risers to bold under the trucks and even little plastic covers for the rear truck designed to allow you to ride up curbs more easily. If you were foolish and dorky enough to put all of these things on your board at once your skateboard was vastly more protected than you were and looked like the board itself was ready to enter a roller derby.

In any case, firmly in nostalgia's grip, I kept watching. If you don't know what happened to Christian Hosoi I'd hate to spoil the ending, but I'll just say that he had it all, then he lost it all, then he went to jail, and then that thing that happens to everybody in jail happened to him. (No, not that thing--I mean he got religious.) I recognized many of the people interviewed from the magazines of my youth, when I'd stare at pictures of people like Natas Kaupas ollying over life-sized plastic cows or whatever, and I'd imagine California as this endless landscape of backyards with empty pools (apparently nobody in California put water in their pools), and palm trees, and banked walls, and ramps, and life-sized plastic cows begging to be ollied. I on the other hand lived in New York, where the sidewalks were covered with ice half the year, and by the time I went to Washington Square Park to skate on those asphalt mounds the city had covered them in some kind of rubbery material and I looked and felt like I was trying to trudge through a flood of maple syrup.

But while I may have blamed my environment for making skating difficult, the truth is I wasn't very good at it. The same went for freestyle BMX, which I also wasn't especially good at. The people in the magazines always seemed to be floating, but I never felt like I was floating when I was doing tricks on skateboards or bikes. I always felt kind of stuck to the ground (even when it wasn't covered with rubber), and especially when it came to freestyle BMX I was also very concerned about hurting my crotch. (Which is why I could never do a cherrypicker.) On the other hand, racing BMX did give me that sensation of flight, and that's the direction I ultimately went, though I have no intention of purchasing either of the PK Rippers currently on offer on Craigslist here in New York City (not least of which because "PK Ripper" sounds like the name of a villain in a horror movie about a killer plastic surgeon or something):




Obviously people still do tricks on skateboards and on bikes--in fact it's probably more popular than ever--though it's been awhile since I've concerned myself with it.  However, I was perusing trackosaurusrex recently (where the tricks are usually performed on "track" bikes) and unexpectedly came upon this video:




After all those videos of fixed-gear freestyling I forgot that bike tricks can actually seem kind of fluid and graceful when performed on bikes with small wheels that coast.  Even if you're not particularly interested in that type of riding nor the sneakers and t-shirts that type of riding is often used to promote, you've probably been impressed by something someone did on a BMX at least once.  In any case, it's in stark contrast, to, say, this (also from trackosaurusrex):

The Hammer from Laali on Vimeo.

I realize the practitioners of fixed-gear freestyling feel as though they are pioneering a new sport, and I certainly acknowledge the fact they can do a lot of stuff I can't do.  However, companies are already selling pre-built fixed-gear freestylers but I have yet to see anybody do anything on a fixed-gear bike that made me say, "Holy crap!"  And believe me, I'm waiting.  Sure, I know they're still working on it, and sure, someone may very well have that "I think I'll ride a skateboard in an empty pool" moment of brilliance.  But right now it just seems like people are doing tricks on bikes very poorly suited for tricks (even with the advent of things like this), and that strikes me as being recalcitrant rather than innovative.  Even noted fixed-gear freestyler and architect Prolly, the Malcolm McLaren of fixed-gear freestyling, has yet to make it seem exciting:




Perhaps I'm just jaded, but when I turn down the loud guitar music I just see some guys riding in circles.  Sure, they can handle their bikes, but watching them they look the way I used to feel when I used to do tricks--stuck to the ground.  There's just not that speed and fluidity that made skating and BMX seem exciting to me, and that I can still see when I watch it today.

Apocalyptic rumblings aside, it will be interesting to see where all this goes.  The trendiness of fixed-gear bicycles is bound to wane eventually, but as a means of transport they'll obviously stick around.  Even if people stop buying stuff like this:








As for tricks on fixed-gear bikes, though, that's harder to say.  I suppose that depends on some degree on innovation.  At present, fixed-gear freestylers seem to be mining the past--they're doing BMX-based tricks while wearing clothes from skateboarding's heyday.  There's also a "meh" factor--while certain tricks may be impressive because the rider pulled them off on a fixed-gear with 700c wheels, they're not intrinsically impressive.  Then again, I suppose they have made some progress, as you can see here:



After all, they're filming themselves in color now.


164 comments:

Anonymous said...

FIRST

Kevan said...

Potty-um.

Anonymous said...

NOME RCKX

ernie said...

Podium, bitches!

ernie said...

I stand corrected, bitches!

Dale said...

top ten!

Anonymous said...

summer of '86!!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Eudocimus albus said...

YABAI orlando

Mark said...

Top 10?

ice cube said...

Christ Air!!

Cool The Kid said...

The no handed wheelie is cool, but of course, the character of a fixed gear is one of sacrifice... to be able to wheelie, you have to run a stupid low gear ratio (prob. close to 2-2.5:1) which would mean to have a bike you could actually ride, you'd either need to always change wheels or buy another bike. What a waste. I am gonna get another bike.

Anonymous said...

Natas Kaupas! what a great skater...

tex said...

That picture of the Roller Derby scares me!

ant1 said...

That last video is awesome. Gotta love progress.

Bod said...

Sheeeet, closest I've come to top ten!
Quick, say something witty!
Dead dog's womb!

mr suck said...

Oh man, you took my comment from a few days ago about sucking at skating and actually made it funny. Youe spelled your stuff right too. Man, I suck.

duppy f said...

I am glad that people are finally acknowledging that fixed freestyling is not very impressive, at least when compared to, say, this:

http://www.vimeo.com/1227995

And I would also note that the fact that the people in the Edison films were doing those same tricks on bikes that probably weighed around 50 pounds....

Il Pirata said...

first

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember a video called "SKATEVISIONS"...opening scene: Mark 'Gator' Rogowski responds to his mom's question "have you finished your homework yet?" by skipping out the front door muttering "ya ya whatever" straight to an acid drop off the curb - that had a profound influence on my choice to do homework or practice grinds...
The BMX riding is RAD
Fixed gear wankin' is SAD

Prolly said...

so late... on everything.

Anonymous said...

The Vans are pretty lame. They are like Sperry deck shoes meets skate shoes.

Sheesh.

chiggins said...

This woman's comin' after the singer in that Prolly video. And then, she's going to kill him, as she has many, many times before.

jay2179 said...

what's old is new again, eh.

ain't any of these young seen Quicksilver?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIwMGkqa6Sw

Mark said...

Snobby, never thought of you as a BMXican but that might explain why you ride MTB.

I'd like to see some more butt pedaling, only in color! Now that's mad skillz!

mr.complaint said...

Summer of 1886!

http://tinyurl.com/5zr9a8

Critical Ass said...

Prolly should keep in mind that while McLaren brought us the Sex Pistols, he also brought us Bow Wow Wow.

Astreet said...

to the anon who said the vans looks like sperry deck shoes meets a skate shoe?? Vans WERE the first skate shoe, and that model in particular. But yes, it was just a deck shoe.

bike snob, bravo, bravo. Excellent post! riding a bike has flow, so can skating and bmx.. freestyle fix gearing.. not yet.

Polygraf said...

I left bmx when i got my license, right after learning the 'vanderspeck'. When i see some video of a kid doing a 720 tailspin off a pipe I'm amazed, when i see a hipster pull a rockwalk or 360 bunny hop I'm amazed but think how good that rider would be if he got a bike that enhanced his riding versus hindering it.
Although i find it pointless I do admire the skill it takes to do some of the crap prolly and his goons pull off.

ant1 said...

polygraf - agreed. The tricks might not look as cool as some BMX ones, but they're the best I've seen with a fixed gear. Lot better than I'll ever attempt to do. And if it weren't for "Prolly and his goons," we'd be missing out on some priceless snobbie-ness.

Flatman said...

DUDE! I just bought a 24" Haro cruiser this weekend...back to BMX I say!!

Roadie no more. (j/k, but I did buy a cruiser...) It is fun as hell.

Maybe I'll get a skateboard next.

Anonymous said...

i used to love bmx, and everytime i see one of these bmx guys flyin, i miss it and love it more. what i don't love, is bmx bars on a track bike, or any and all of this track bike bastardization that prolly and his ilk perpetuate as cool, cutting edge, street, difficult, skilled, etc...lets see some freaking air, and by air i mean getting launched. not dropping of a park bench or loading dock. really, anyone w/nominal bike handling skills could ride their bike off a loading dock and land it more often than not. and the appropriation of the language, skate, snowboard, bmx etc...i think we could all survive w/o hearing the word session again. so stupid. and what is the connection w/track bikes and talking street? skillz, and rollin, props, and killin, and all that shit. most of these guys are white geeks, not ballers. it sucks to see really cool bikes ruined, and i am anxious for the fad to peter out, and pass.

ant1 said...

anon: when you say "most of these guys are white geeks, not ballers," what exaclty do you mean by ballers, and could you give me an example of cycling ballers?

Anonymous said...

Is it safe to assume you're aware of how incredibly awesome fixed-gear freestylin' is compared to to UCI-approved Artistic Cycling?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWYemEeLTTE&feature=related

ant1 said...

and I'm afraid that cycling is 99.9% white geeks, although I'm sure we all think we're the epitome of cool, most non-cyclists would beg to differ.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:31
Gator Rogowski pleaded guilty to rape and murder, and received a 31-year prison sentence back in '91. Makes Christian Hosoi look like the altar boy of the bunch.

Ahab said...

Wallride down the stairset. Burly.

Speaking of BMX, how about helping out a downed rider and his family.

http://mikeaitken.com/blog/

Daddo said...

yeah the bmx stuff is pretty cool when the tricks are happening but evrytome isee one of those bikes rolling up the street i can't help but wonder what adult in his right mind would ride one

any word on smock purchasing?

broomie said...

The video at the end brought it all together. Brilliant! My only question is: is an 1899 mustache ironic?

Anon 2:15,

you mean paintballer, right?

bikesgonewild said...

...the bmx freestyle infrastructure riding in sf shows great mad, mad skillz & plenty a' huevos...

...props to those cats...

...fix gear freestyle, while skilled is like european circus stuff...

dmitri fofonov said...

Is nothing wrong with being white person.

Anonymous said...

baller, as in gangstah yo. signin and shit, throwin gang symbols
a-ight??!! as in check out the spinners on my corolla yo. that shit be buggin on the chronic sippin forties and shit. yo. a-aight??!!

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:21

I think the skills in artistic cycling dominate those in fixed-gear freestyling, but since the latter is done in a streetscape, and not as regulated, I find it more appealing.

But neither one do I want to watch for more than a minute or two.

I've always liked riding on ramps and banking. It's fun. But I'm old and there's no way I have time to practice or the healing properties of youth or the necessary physical capabilities.

And yes the wallride down the stairset was good. I liked the nose-wheelie a lot too.

Wait! I really don't even care about this stuff. But it's fun to watch kids practice during lunch.

So many failures for a couple (if any) successes.
I admire their tenacity and willingness to get laughed at by their colleagues. That counts for a lot. Wrecking architecural features on historic buildings?
Not so great. But that's why we have pepper spray.

Johnny Sprocket said...

I gotta agree with you there Snob. My sentiments exactly.

Anonymous said...

Dood doing the burly wallride is MIKE HODER. It is suprising he doesn't have any knuck tats. Ideas?

Commiecanuk said...

TommyEEE rules! Stuntin' and electricitay!!

Clearly, the future is bright for America when youths can stunt at this level of fixies. I now have no concerns about heading out of this recession, as any one of those guys looks like they may discover electricity.

"anyone who says America has lost its ability to innovate has obviously never tasted Oreo pizza"
--Stephen Colbert

Morgan said...

Is it safe to assume you're aware of how incredibly awesome fixed-gear freestylin' is compared to to UCI-approved Artistic Cycling?

That example of Artistic Cycling isn't so great. This one blows away every street fixie-trick vid I've seen.

CC said...

Seeing a grown man applauded for his ability to ride backwards on a playground makes me sad on the insides.
On a positive note, fixed-gear "free styling" makes fixie bike polo look infinitely more interesting.

wade said...

Please do not put any Apocalyptic rumblings aside.

Jim said...

FG Freestyling - low speed stunt riding on bikes manifestly unsuitable for anything of the sort - reminds me of other freakish misfit mashups of the wheeled world, things that are interesting only because the mismatch of the vehicle and the mission are just so wrong. This includes:

- Lawnmower drag races
- Arena swamp buggy racing
- Lance Armstrong racing 'cross.

kale said...

I still wonder where the dirt comes from for that kicker in McCarren Park... co-opting it from the diamond maybe?

It's true though, I got by fixed gear so I didn't have to do tricks and true wheels every week... Now it feels like I have to start practicing my shit on it to keep up. It's gonna look stupid if I do it on my "Urban Assault" MTB... Unless I get a top tube pad, that is.

Oh well. Thanks for the history - it always puts things in perspective. Pretty soon we're all going to be seeing fixies in the X-Games doing Trials, or something.

Commiecanuk said...

Any idiot can freestyle, but I await with nervous, girlish anticipation of mixed pairs fixie freestyle, or dare I dream, synchronized freestyle.

Don't shatter my dreams, you Jeff Gilloolies.

Anonimo said...

You want Ballin'....google-fu "scraper bike"

ice cube said...

I can't wait for freestyle-velo competions with 8 feet of trans and 3' of vert with pool coping. X-treme skid stops, X-treme posing, X-treme smoking and coffee, X-treme shit talking...The list goes on and on. X-treme checking on their bikes out front of the bar...

kale said...

Thizz iz whatitiz

Commiecanuk said...

Jim..you've never been to the Durham 500?...500 yards of the best competitive mowing in NC. It used to be cool, but now people just go to watch mowers crash and penises get severed.

Matty Formaldehyde said...

You are the man snob...no doubt!

ice cube said...

I remember when Jason Lee did a kickflip back side tail slide...that was amazing!! Fixie tricks are, lets say compared to skating, somewhere before the ollie. Exciting and there's a buzz about it but someone NEEDS to ollie.

Anonymous said...

anon1st!
What, I was working and stuff.

Matt! said...

Punk? BMX? Is there anything BSNYC has not been through or at least knows more about than most?
How long can you go on impressing and inciting laughter? Most blogs do neither.

Lucky 7 said...

Whatevah. Roller Derby is hot!


A

Rodney Mullen's Brother said...

All skaters needed were a bunch of older brothers to tell them how gay they were on banana boards to move to a higher plane. It's the dualism that forces progress. fuckin' faggits

libertyonbikes! said...

fixed gear freestyling
is to cycling,
what MINI COOPERS are
to automoblies.

buy your checkered mirrors
or top tube pads,

and go do some 'tricks'.

leroy said...

BSNYC --

Interesting and informative as always.

But we all want to know when Prolly's "Billyburg Throw Down" for the Xbox 360 will drop.

Word is the Pentagon has been working with a prototype to train an elite bicycle strike force.

ice cube said...

You can't tell kids that they're fags or that they suck anymore. All the kids are on Xanex or some damn thing and nothing effects them anymore!!

Anonymous said...

FREE BALL

XTRM BALL

Anonymous said...

Snob,

Maybe the key to fixedgear trickery is for the bike not to leave the ground.

Check this out
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8867862777896510907

Anonymous said...

Mad Wheelie skillz

Anonymous said...

could be worse...

Anonymous said...

I shall now dedicate my life to riser bar darksliding the oscar meyer weinermobile, just to make you eat your words.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

I never was too interested in all the "tricks", though that seems to be the direction everything takes.

Freeriding used to be people riding their bikes off incredibly high cliffs. Now if they don't spin around a couple times on the way down they're not worth looking at, I guess.

I prefer trials. Ryan Leech has better bike skills than anyone I've ever seen. Trials is cool because a good trials rider can actually ride over anything in his way as opposed to just posing at ground level.

Chris said...

Those two videos at the end were awesome. I felt bad watching the charlie chaplin-esque guy in the second one because that is exactly what I looked like trying to figure out how to go up and down curbs on my fixed gear a couple of months ago. Ha ha.

Troy LaFleur said...

I think it's more than a coincidence that fixed-gear tricks occur on tennis courts.

Not like there's anything wrong with tennis...

Chris said...

I heard Natas Kaupas is way into fixed gear now. I actually read that in that Ride magazine that they sent you.

ice cube said...

There is only one thing to do, the Pista is getting some pegs tonight.

JPB said...

LBC-

I have to agree about Ryan Leech. His bike skills are inhuman!

I have nothing against tricking on track bikes. I can't do it and it does require some skill and dedication. It does strike me as kind of amusing that fixie tricksters are so smug about not having brakes or a freewheel, yet the addition of those components could add a lot to their bag of freestylin' tricks. Watch any Trials rider and see how they use their brakes.

I also like coasting.

Tom Mosher said...

Just give it time, the people who are most committed and dedicated have only been at it a few years.

Nobody even knows what will ultimately be possible, but you can be sure that the momentum of progress will barrel on forwards.

And really, it's all just a bunch of fun, ask anyone that does it. Nobody is trying to change the world or make some statement declaring this type of riding to be superior. It's just fun!

hugs!

ps I believe this is my first bsnyc post ever!

Prolly said...

You guys haven't seen us ride the Brooklyn banks. [that video was shot in a parking lot for a photoshoot]

Not much to do there...

Anonymous said...

jpb I like coasting too. Pedaling downhill seems counter-productive.

ant1 you are right about cyclists seeming uncool to non-cyclists. My friends don't get the obsession, however they all now know who Alberto and Tom Boonen are. And, they all want to come over for ToC next year so I can explain what's happening. So, next up an intro to Phil & Paul. New converts on the way.

btw, those shoes look like girl's Keds which would make sense considering the whole skinny jeans thing.

JPB said...

Prolly,

When can we see Brooklyn banks vid?

Link?

streepo said...

meh

Anonymous said...

Wow, freestylers have not evolved in 100 years. That video of the BMX'r Colt someone posted is fucking amazing, the fixie videos are indeed just meh.

Anonymous said...

Everyone gangs up on prolly and his scene, but when snob hopped a curb is his little race, everyone swooned and oohed and ahhhed.

ant1 said...

good point anon 4:31, but snobbie's curb hop was done to win a race, not as a trick. By the way, did anyone see Michael Rogers (i think) hop the curb during the Giro di Lombardia?

Anonymous said...

haters ---> balls, you know what to do...

hot funk said...

the NYC fixers got "sonned" by the SF bmxers.

How long before the fixed gear freestyle bike turns into a 24" BMX with a fixed? Guys are riding smaller frames, smaller wheels in front, bigger risers. You're almost there.

red neckerson said...

this is some crazy shit if you slow down the old style film in about four of the frames you can see a ghost face its freaking fucking weird.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ant1,

I agree with you 100%, and wasn't intending to discount Bike Snobs victory, racing in NYC-no thanks! Just commenting on how irritating it is when the comments board turns into negative snob-lemming land.

-anon 4:31

Jorg da pluumer said...

Varning: Denna produkt innehller naturgummi som kan orsaka allergiska reaktioner.

bikesgonewild said...

...ya wanna see curb hopping when it counts ???...

..check out saturday's giro di lombardia wherein mick rogers of team columbia comes screaming around a blind left hand corner in a little village w/ his three breakaway companions...they almost all overcook it & are right up against the curb & fucking rogers has the wherewithal to hop the curb sideways, to not high-side against it & just quickly but casually rides back into line & down the road w/ his mates...

...now THAT was curb hopping & i'd call it honestly impressive...great reactions...

ant1 said...

Funny negative comments are hard to come up with, as I've proven again and again. But lemmings are so cute.

Caaah said...

HAND BALL

Anonymous said...

anon 4:31-that's the first time I've actually watched Prolly & his crew. I hafta admit I'm sorta impressed. Maybe I need to redirect some of my roadie lust?!?

Anonymous said...

Actually I think that the quicksilver kids pretty famously freestyled in color in 1986. a unicycle would maybe be the proper tool the majority of these fixter "tricks."
-MTS

geetus said...

Thanks for the loop-dee-loop clip -- always irritates me when some EXRTEEEEME athlete claims to be doing something more EXTREEEEME than anyone's done before. When people started racing motorcycles there was a death a week -- all this new shit is safe in comparison. Unfortunately the clip will undoubtedly inspire some hipster to grow a handlebar mustache, grease his pate and part the catastrophe down the middle Alphalpha style, all in the name of "old school."

BikeSnobNYC said...

Tom M.,

Well said--good to hear from you and thanks for the comment.

--BSNYC

bikesgonewild said...

...& w/ all the talk about "balls" on this site, if you're gonna also talk skateboards, raise a toast to tony alva...

...that cat raged back then & is still raggin' from what i've heard...

...in a time when any skateboarder was considered RAD just because they rode, alva was totally mad rad...pure, sweet aggression & balls to the wall...

...props where props are deserved...

Charles said...

"Prolly said...
You guys haven't seen us ride the Brooklyn banks. [that video was shot in a parking lot for a photoshoot]

Not much to do there..."

No, there's not much to do with a fixed gear. Please continue entertaining real riders with your ridiculous videos. Ever think that some of us realise the only reason you do this comical crap is because you've failed at real cycling? It's not hard to throw bars on a bike when it's wedged under you and the wheel, fork and bars weigh 3 ounces.

Keep on posing, "bro"!

Anonymous said...

please clarify what "real cycling" consists of.

yonk said...

Now, who wants to go session the tennis court?

Prolly said...

charles...

Please, enlighten us all how one could "fail" at cycling.

It's douchebags like you who act like riding a bike is some sacred activity that only certain people are allowed to partake in.

I "really" cycle everyday "bro".

I "really" cycle and "fail" cycle on the same bike. Sure I have a road bike and a track bike that are used for their appropriate activities, but I log the most hours on my Brooklyn machine works.

It's the best bike for the kind of riding that I "fail" at daily.

This whole argument is so tired and boring. If people didn't inappropriately ride bikes in the first place, there would be no MTB, BMX or Trials bikes.

gaahl said...

Was that Cannibal Corpse in the Prolly video? Could be arsed with seeing the whole thing, but man! that Corpsegrinder sure has a sweet tenor. Didn't like the music in the black and white movie, never been a fan of techno.

Anonymous said...

New boy in the neighborhood
Lives downstairs and it is understood.
He’s there just to take good care of me,
Like he’s one of the family.

Charles in Charge
Of our days and our nights
Charles in Charge
Of our wrongs and our rights

And I sing, I want,
I want Charge in Charge of me.

Charles in Charge
Of our days and our nights
Charles in Charge
Of our wrongs and our rights

And I sing, I want,
I want Charge in Charge of me.

apropos.funmachine said...

quite a thoughtful post today.

nobody got sonned,
and a bonus scraper bike mention in the comments.

Andy Pandy said...

I want to see Lance on a Trek craybon BMX in full Nike gear pulling big air giving the crowd a big all Texan yahooooooo a la bull riding. Perhaps extreme bull riding could be the next rad thing for the bored crew

And not a top tube pad to been seen made those stunts a tad to dangerous for me and the likelihood of personal injury and blood made me look away, or perhaps deep down I was just a little envious.

Got ya Anon 4.23. Out of line stuff yesterday

Anonymous said...

AP, mean people suck.

And you know, curiously, the more snob post about fixed gear, the more interesting it becomes. Yeah, with my "awesome" bike handling skills, I'm about one step removed from these guys but only by sheer accident on my part.

Anonymous said...

And, not to be stupid, cuz I really don't know, how do they ride backwards like that?

Charles said...

Failing at cycling means that in areas of cycling that make sense, you failed. Using fixed gears for tricks is like using ice skates in gravel or riding housecats.

I am saying that it seems you failed in a specific area of cycling. Such as BMX. It was BMX wasn't it? Couldn't handle putting real work in? Don't like bruises? Spend too much money on "streetwear" to fall down in it?

Cycling = not a sacred activity! I would never try to prevent anyone from doing it, but I would wholeheartedly hate to see a friend of mine fall into the idiocy of fixed gear freestylin' (TM)(Or is it not trademarked yet? You "track" guys already sold yourselves out to Nike, correct?)

In terms of riding "innapropriate bikes" (I added more quotation marks since you enjoyed them so much the first time 'round), people adapted these bikes so that they would work for these particular disciplines. This led them to small wheels and frames with high bars (BMX), regular sized frames with 24 or larger wheels, suspension and disc brakes (Offroad/MTB) or even TRACK/VELODROME bikes which are designed for VELODROMES, you putz.

If you wanted to build a house, would you go out and buy a tape measure to hit nails with and use drywall as your floor? Maybe carpet the house with potting soil?

Charles said...

To Anonymous, I am not new in my neighborhood, and I live on the top floor. I also want Charge in charge of my day.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. BSNYC,

The so-called Prolly is probably no more an Licensed Architect than was George Costanza. I would guess that the correct term for Mr. Prolly's status is Architectural Designer. Please observe this distinction in the future.

Regards.
BDG

red neckerson said...

i never road housecats even tho in eastern kentucky they make them plenty big enough what i really like to do is go tree riding. climb to the top of a tree and have a buddy chop it down. ride that sucker. its a rush. you gotta be sure your on the right side of the tree when they chop it down or your fucked over real good and it takes more balls than the pussy shit you boys is talking about.

Anonymous said...

The only person doing "tricks" on a fixed gear ever to impress me is John Cardiel (skateboarder). He got paralyzed and has been making a comeback from it and because one side of his body is weaker than the other, he has to ride a fixed gear. He used to be really good at dirt jumping a BMX before his injury. Look for the series about him on vbs.com The part showing him on fixed gear comes in the late episodes, maybe the last one.

Anonymous said...

FG freestyle has to be some of the lamest-ass shit I've ever seen. The 20" street riding, on the other hand, rocks all day long.

Anonymous said...

This series is worth watching: http://www.vbs.tv/shows.php?search=john+cardiel

Skateboarders and BMX guys need to start doing the fixed thing or it will always be lame.

kale said...

Prolly-

I think you just came up with Brooklyn Machine Works' new advertisement campaign slogan:

"...Brooklyn machine works[:]

It's the best bike for the kind of riding that I "fail" at daily."


Just make sure you let them know it was your idea so they comp you one of their sick ass Race-Link framesets.

I already made a few magazine inserts:

One for BSNYC fans.

And one for N 5th.

AnnaZed said...

Jeez Charles, take a pill or something.

Anonymous said...

Finally something we can agree on Annazed. And I thought you were a little high strung.

Anonymous said...

Charles - Who made you the arbiter of what constitutes real cycling? What enormous insecurity are you laboring under that you both watch Prolly's videos and need to tell him that he's failed?

ill Contention said...

There is no other word for what fixed-gear freestylers do other than: Dainty.

See video below for another example of extreme fixed-gear (read: dainty) riding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiE1Qm7HSd8

Anonymous said...

your videos are not loading for me. could u stick to text content?

Anonymous said...

your html isn't working for me. could you stick to BBS?

Charles said...

"Charles - Who made you the arbiter of what constitutes real cycling? What enormous insecurity are you laboring under that you both watch Prolly's videos and need to tell him that he's failed?"

I ain't no arbiter. I watched the video to put what BSNYC was writing into context, and then I said Prolly failed because...well, he did. Did you watch it? Were you in awe? Is there anything in there that any BMXer couldn't do? No.

I'm not labouring under any insecurity, because I'm not out spending gobs of money on shitty clothing, outdated, mildly dangerous and admittedly poorly-designed front wheels, and overpriced track frames so I can do heinous 180s off curbs.

Twirl, twirl, twirl towards freedom you brightly coloured nimrods.

AskReamer said...

One of my 8th graders came to school on his brand new fixie today. It's a wrap folks.

Anonymous said...

this blog is more played out than metallica. Must have missed the fixie 180 tommy guererro shark jump. nighty night, flaccid minions. zzzz.

that guys music is incredible, by the way..

leroy said...

Charles --

Lorazapam, 10 MGs STAT.

In other words: "Ditto what Annazed said."

Seriously, the great thing about cycling is that you do it however you like.

Heck, if that weren't the case, there wouldn't be a whole lot to make fun of.

Prolly a failure? Not hardly.

And you'll be singing a different tune if you find yourself in a post Soviet invasion concentration camp waiting to be rescued by a rag tag, yet oddly fashion coordinated, elite bicycle strike force riding backwards slowly in circles to confuse your captors.

Until then, yeesh, take a pill.

wishiwasmerckx said...

There's only one way to resolve this. Prolly and Charles -- bike jousting. Last man "standing" wins. Let's make it happen. Then we'll see who "fails."

Ed said...

"This whole argument is so tired and boring. If people didn't inappropriately ride bikes in the first place, there would be no MTB, BMX or Trials bikes."

Enough said.

Ed G.

Anonymous said...

Charles - My singlespeed commuter is equipped with f/r breaks [sic] so I can't twirl towards freedom as you have suggested.

The point we're trying to make is that doing dumbass stuff and being a failure are slightly different categories, and the judgment to which you're subjecting Prolly is out of proportion with his crime.

And yeah, the whole point about BSNYC is to laugh at everyone's pretensions (and as a recumbent-rider and kickbiker me and my ilk get our share of deserved mockery). Being a mean SOB misses the point.

kale said...

It's nice that we can all agree (again) that it's just as important to notice our own hypocrisy and pretentiousness rather than get overly upset at what we have in common (hatred of Minis). If this weren't the case, cyclists would still only ride on weekends, in bike lanes, or at races.

Charles needs to use his Wednesday Pretentiousness Kit.

This blog would get really old if it was just hating on fixed gears all the time, just as it would be to point out all the stupid shit that drivers do.

In my opinion, the reason fixed gear stuff gets more attention on this blog is because it's ostentatious, and there are a hell of a lot more fixed-gear bikes on the road than BMXers and MTBers.

Here's to actually riding a bike. It's just sad to see so many bikes on craigslist that are "ridden a few times".

And never in the rain.
(yes that's a metaphor)

kjw509 said...

Hey Snob, long time reader, first time commenter. . . .

I just wanted to compliment Prolly on how much class he shows when faced with criticism, some of it respectful, much of it not (what's up charles?), of his style of riding.

I pretty much agree with Snob that most fixed-gear freestyling is rather hard to watch when compared to the insanity that goes on with freestyle BMX, but I do give props to guys like Prolly who really are trying to do something creative and different, while keeping things totally positive and upbeat. Keep it up Prolly, and I, like Snob, look forward to the day when you or one of your colleagues shows us something really amazing on a fixed gear.

xallhopelstx said...

To COOL THE KID
your not so smart
i run a 46X17.
not an easy gearing for wheelies maybe you should pay attention a lil closer.

sure i could run a 50X11 but it would be impossible go up the hills in seattle. so maybe before being a judgemental person who doesnt know what hes talking about you should maybe pay a little attention.


thanks.

tyler j.

ani said...

The best fix gear trick riding is done by that eastern european chick who wears the shiny spandex pants.
No Lie. I can't remember her name but she's bad ass.
I can't believe no one mentioned her.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnLVURBLG7w
Her names Ines Brunn.
She will beat any fix gear trick rider in a game of horse.
This guy is bad ass too. Serge Huercio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhjYQFDNXps&feature=related
But what they do is called, "artistic cycling".
And it's so unabashedly gay... that it's not.

michael said...

I would be more impressed if the Vans had an extra thick sole, that shit hurts after a couple months. plus, they have leather.

Robert Carr said...

Does the PK Ripper bear any connection to the PK-7 brand sold at wal mart ?

ZillertalerHaderlumpen said...

@ ani

Here's Ani Brunn taking it to the streets:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiE1Qm7HSd8

what kind of tyres do the artistic cyclists use for grip on those gymnasium floors???

Anonymous said...

did nobody else spot the (massive) fullpipe on a fixed at the end of that video!?

WTF

Anonymous said...

The guys in the Edison clips sure have a much greater fashion sense than Prolly, that much I can say.

Nick said...

Foxed gear tricks. It's like the mtb street movement. If are half good at tricks on a bike not built for it, imagine how good you would be if you tyred it on a BMX. You may even be employable.

mariospants said...

"summer of '86!!" QFT.

We used to drag our 7.5' quarter pipe from my friend's house to our high school parking lot and ride it there. Girls used to hang out at the top and watch us ride all day.

Best summer, ever.

Thank you, Bike Snob, for reminding me of what passion felt like.

Charles said...

I would like to apologize for my behaviour yesterday. I still think that type of riding is pointless, but if fixed gear freestylin' is enjoyable for you, do the hell out of it.

Sorry, Prolly, for my out of line comments. I will refrain from being grumpy about bicycles and making personal attacks on the internet.

mariospants said...

I can still do cherry pickers to this day. Good ones, too.

wheeltags said...

I love the loop at the end of the last video and the dude crashes and they carry him off in a body bag!

~matt

www.wheeltags.com

Prolly said...

Ok guys... How's this?

http://vimeo.com/2029839

Mildly amusing? Come on, those wall rides are sick.

john said...

hey bikesnob, have you seen:

bmxmuseum.com

i could never do a cherrypicker either and often felt insecure skating at the brooklyn banks in the early 90s because i wasn't good enough.

kale said...

http://vimeo.com/1831788

More Trials tricks that are impressive. And the bike has a seat. Still, the argument could be made that you could do it all on a BMX. I'm tired with that argument.

thanks projekt-B for link

mrfrugal said...

latern rouge?

that women doing artistic cycling puts all the FG freestylers to shame. I see that the bike is modified to do what she needs it to do - flipped bars, low ratio gearing. hint..

I can watch freestyle BMX all day long - it's awesome...I got through less than 1 minute of the FG yawn-fest...sorry just not my thing.

Commiecanuk said...

Prolly said...
charles...
Please, enlighten us all how one could "fail" at cycling.


Fail1

Fail2

Epic German Bike Fail

kale said...

hahaha I love how that guy tried to stop his fall with the umbrella!

Anonymous said...

More fixie trickz from backin the day...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWem3frgCDU

Anonymous said...

You know, these bike tricks are all fine and dandy, but I'd like to see some video of something that I can relate to a little more. (I can barely stay upright, so these are WAAAAY over my head.) How about some video of someone holding two phone coversations while they type an e-mail at 150 words a minute without so much as a glance at the keyboard?

Anonymous said...

We'll call that move the "Goldbrick"

STA said...

"Ok guys... How's this?
http://vimeo.com/2029839
Mildly amusing? Come on, those wall rides are sick."

fixie tricks on a fixed? meh, to each his own

bmx tricks on a fixed? you are an idiot and a hypocrite

i love the 2 inch bunnyhop barspin-to-check-to-make-sure-my-wheel-is-straight. good job doing things any beginning bmx kid on a department store Haro can do.

yes, you are riding bikes in un-intended (sp?) ways, like you argued earlier. riding the wrong bike creates a line of evolution ending in a bike suitable for the use. from that video, that bike already exists: a bmx.

have fun, but fuck, get off your high horse.

oh and no, it wasn't even mildly amusing.

Johnny Sprocket said...

Back then we all had HOSOI Vans... which of course they have re-released.

Anonymous said...

Sperrys, Vans, Keds, Chucks. Shit, they're all just "sneakers." The rest is just marketing.

The important thing is that they feel connected to your feet. It's a Zen thing.

SF said...

If no one has said it yet, as I can't read another awful post:

AYHSMB

Anonymous said...

I've seen your kind at the banks. It is throughly uninteresting.

Buy a BMX bike.

Charles said...

"have fun, but fuck, get off your high horse.

oh and no, it wasn't even mildly amusing."

THANK you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymCiIOTlgpE

Etoro said...

In 1984 my father(an actor) was doing a show at La Jolla Playhouse on the UCSD campus, We lived in Del Mar, CA. The center of skateboarding at the time with it's intricate (for it's time) skatepark. With smooth concrete pools,half-pipes and a freesyle practice area.

I was 17 and for once I was the hot skater dude (NY girls hadn't learned to a apreciate me til a couple years later)

But here I was catnip and loving everything about my life.

I was in heaven dropping into the half-pipe on my Dogtown deck with Indie trucks and Green Krytpo 65's. I met Hawk, Hosoi, Rogowski, Ruff, Steadham,. Hawk, though shy, was the nices of all of them by far. Hosoi was the nastiest. He strutted around like a Brazilian supermodel during fashion week, but man did he have style. His "Christ (My previous deck was an Alva with the engraved flame with the name enscripted on the top)" was something to behold in person. Truly talented. Hope his "relationship with the lord" has humbled and chilled him a bit.

This is a picture I took of Hosoi in Del Mar that Summer.

http://photos-a.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v173/108/120/1035136871/s1035136871_17432_926.jpg

Etoro said...

In 1984 my father(an actor) was doing a show at La Jolla Playhouse on the UCSD campus, We lived in Del Mar, CA. The center of skateboarding at the time with it's intricate (for it's time) skatepark. With smooth concrete pools,half-pipes and a freesyle practice area.

I was 17 and for once I was the hot skater dude (NY girls hadn't learned to a apreciate me til a couple years later)

But here I was catnip and loving everything about my life.

I was in heaven dropping into the half-pipe on my Dogtown deck with Indie trucks and Green Krytpo 65's. I met Hawk, Hosoi, Rogowski, Ruff, Steadham,. Hawk, though shy, was the nices of all of them by far. Hosoi was the nastiest. He strutted around like a Brazilian supermodel during fashion week, but man did he have style. His "Christ Air" was something to behold in person. Truly talented. Hope his "relationship with the lord" has humbled and chilled him a bit.

This is a picture I took of Hosoi in Del Mar that Summer.

http://photos-a.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v173/108/120/1035136871/s1035136871_17432_926.jpg

Anonymous said...

as a bmx rider...


i really don't think you're very funny.

Anonymous said...

hahaha this is so funny to read, everyone is arguing about stupid ass shit again. I ride a fixed gear bike and I have trendy ass shit all over it, and I try stupid "non-amuzing" tricks all day long. And its fun!! I'm an older ex-skateboarder that still likes to feel like i'm doing tricks but they aren't as extreme so I won't get hurt! But I totally see sortof what Charles is saying, even tho he sounds like a bitter douche. I kinda feel like John Prolly and them dudes should basically buy a mountain bike and put slick tires on it, because eventually their bikes will evolve into JUST that. They are already putting bigger MTB forks and shit on their bikes. So in a way, its whatever, ride what you like, I think prolly and them shouldn't try to JUMP a ten speed, but who the fuck cares if they start a sport of it, ya know. Argue bout shit that matters like politics or something. Have fun you fucks

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