can I rent your track bike?
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2009-02-03, 6:02PM EST
I am not selling anything. I have posted in the bicycle section because I am in New York until the 13th of February. I am looking to rent a track bike. I ride a 50 or 51 but I can ride up to a 53 or 54. I regularly ride brakeless but I am happy to borrow any track bike with brakes as long as it is fixed.
I am willing to pay about eight dollars a day. And I can assure you that I will not leave the bike alone or in an unsafe place. I do not have a lock, so unless I can borrow one, I will not even leave the bike outside.
Please give me a call 646.244.[deleted]. or email me.
As the architect of "Take A Pista, Leave A Pista," I've long seen the potential for a track bike-sharing program. The fixter is a nomadic breed, often moving from city to city for years before finally choosing one that offers the perfect combination of trendiness and low cost of living. This is why so many Craigslist posts incorporate the familiar "Moving--Must Sell!" sales pitch. Furthermore, this is also why people try to sell their bicycles at close to full MSRP, since as soon as they arrive in, say, Portland, they will be forced to purchase a duplicate of the bike they just sold in, say, Brooklyn. "Take A Pista, Leave A Pista" would obviate the need for this formality. Instead, just leave your Pista or similar in the tray at JFK and grab another when you arrive at PDX.
However, "Take A Pista, Leave A Pista" has two shortcomings. Firstly, while creating a communal Pista supply is altruistic and a worthy social endeavor, there's little potential for revenue. Secondly, it is not designed with the fixter tourist in mind. Fixter tourists do not want to give up their highly-customized "whips" if they're only leaving town for a week or two, yet they also want full "street cred" in the town they're visiting, even if it's only for a few days. After all, how will anybody know they rock/run/rub a fixed-gear if they can only borrow or rent a geared bike? Remember--many of these people have taken lifelong fixed-gear vows, promising to be "fixed forever" (kind of like a neutered cat). This is not a vow that's undertaken lightly.
So until some fixed-gear boutique catches on to the need for a fixter service that combines elements of Echappe Equipment and Netflix (perhaps it could be called "Netfixed") you can make big money "turning out" your own fixed-gear. Okay, well maybe not big money--judging from the above it looks like the going rate for "street cred rental" is only $8 a day--but these days every cent counts. And 10 days at $8 a day is $80. (Or twice what it would cost to just buy this thing.) I'd actually consider renting this person my own personal Empire State Courier, but he does specify "track" and I'm sure the slightly more relaxed angles of the Perscattante would be a deal-breaker.
But what if you don't have a spare track bike to pimp? Well, a reader forwarded me the following post, which proves that a German luxury car will do just as well:
IM DRIVING TOUR OF CALIFORNIA IN MY NICE BENZ, HELP WITH GAS! (Bay Area TOUR OF CALIFORNIA)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [?]
Date: 2009-02-02, 10:57AM PST
HI, I'm working as a photo-journalist during the Tour of Cali and will be most likely following the whole tour, so if you want to see part or most of it, or just want a ride from A to b, take a look at where it is going and if it works out, we can be travel companeros.
My 4 door MB 190e has a/c sunroof, all electric, stereo CD/MP3 and tinted back windows, its a 4 cylinder 2.3 liter and rides very well.
BTW: I'll be taking two people max, I want it to be comfy, asking $25/person/day for gas, oil, maintanence--thank you! And please be a bit of a neat freak, no slobs in or during my ride ;) ;(
and you'll have to have modest luggage, sorry!
p.s. i sent the wrong link out to everyone and now anyone can edit this! yay!
p.p.s i like kittens!
I have a strong suspicion that the photography thing is simply a ruse and that this ad was posted by none other than Rock Racing owner, pants magnate, and pending has-been Michael Ball. Things have been tough over in the Rock camp--so tough, in fact, that the team is "rolling" Kestrels now. (Rock does not "rock" as that would be redundant, nor do they "run" or "rub." Rock "rolls.") If you're unfamiliar with Kestrel, it is a brand that was once a mere notch or two lower than Serotta in the dentist-bike hierarchy, but has since tumbled from grace and is now available from both bikesdirect and Performance. I'm sorry to see Rock Racing didn't take my Windsor suggestion, but it is good to see they're being budget-minded. Most likely, though, Ball's reckless decision to opt for the Dura Ace-equipped Kestrel over the Ultegra SL-equipped Windsor has torn a sizeable hole in his budget, and he's now being forced to take on passengers so he can follow his own team.
And Ball isn't the only "celebrity" feeling the pinch. Actor, singer, filmmaker, and all-around renaissance douche Vincent Gallo is also looking to make a few bucks wherever he can. Another reader informs me that he's put his personal Brooklyn Machine Works on eBay. Sadly, moreover, it failed to find a buyer:
This may have been due at least in part to the fact that Gallo has taken the opportunity to re-tell the entire story of his life in the item's description:
For Sale: Brand new, un-ridden Brooklyn Machine Works handmade 5 speed road bike. Brooklyn Machine Works is a spectacular boutique high-level bicycle manufacturer in Brooklyn, New York. Its owner, president and designer Joe Avedisian has been a friend of mine since he was a young teenager growing up in lower Manhattan. During that period, I was racing Formula II Grand Prix motorcycles and Joe and his young buddies were BMX maniacs terrorizing New York City on their bicycles. Joe and a few of his friends got into BMX on the competitive level. Joe is a fantastic bicyclist. During my motorcycle racing days I was doing a lot of work with metal, including welding, fabricating, and finish work. As Joe got older he got more and more interested in the engineering and construction of bicycles and sometime in the early 90’s he hand built his first bicycle. It was incredible. He brought it to my apartment on Elizabeth Street and asked me to do a custom finish and invent a logo for his company, which he decided would be called Brooklyn Machine Works. The bike was called “The Central Park” and Joe and many of his friends frequently went on bike rides in Central Park after dark, riding crazy free style through a very dimly lit Central Park. My concept for painting his first frame was to finish the bike in glow in the dark white. In the daytime, the color was a beautiful pearl white and in the nighttime it would glow fluorescent green. I mixed a highly concentrated level of fluorescent powder in an Imron base coat and achieved a spectacular finish. By hand, in black enamel, in a script font I painted Brooklyn Machine Works onto the frame. Joe rode this bike for many years and when he finally got his company off the ground and was doing well he gave this first prototype bike that we worked on together to me as a gift. About a year ago I decided to have Joe build me a new bike. I was quite detailed and specific about what I wanted. Basically I wanted a high tech lock up bike that I could ride around New York City and lock up without the bike drawing too much attention from thieves. This bike would be super engineered and be fitted with some of the finest parts but I would have everything as minimal as possible and have it finished in flat black powder coating to dull down its charisma while still expressing a sophisticated aesthetic. During the period of designing and manufacturing this masterpiece I moved permanently to Los Angeles in an industrial neighborhood downtown. I had the bike shipped here and since having it here for several months, I have never ridden it. In New York City I rode a bicycle every day, but in LA I’m just not into it, and thus this masterpiece has never left my house and has never been ridden by anyone. Rather than move it around my house like a piece of furniture, I have decided to sell it. Joe Avedisian has learned a lot from me and though the bike should have been given to me as a gift out of respect the way folks gave gifts to Don Corleone, Joe decided to charge me a hefty fee for the bike. I won’t go into details about how high Judas Joe’s price was. I’ll simply say that I think of it as a gesture of charity, keeping an engineering fanatic and his wonderful company afloat. In any case, my loss is your gain because no bicycle in the world that is in current production is better, cooler, or more beautiful than one built by Brooklyn Machine Works. The bike is set up with : *** Sram 5-speed rear coaster hub****, *** kick brake only*****. frame size is 52.cm***. ****68 mil bottom bracket****. ****Front hub is a Paul's Precision****. Thomson seat post***. *****Crank Brothers pedals****. *****Brooklyn Stem*****. *** Steel frame***. ***170 Sugino crank***. ***700 x 23 Vittoria tires ZAFFIRO***. ***Seat SDG*** .............. PICK UP IN LA IS ACCEPTABLE. ALL OTHERS TO PAY FOR ALL BOXING AND SHIPPING FEES. GOOD LUCK.
It must sadden Gallo terribly that not only did he not receive any money for his bicycle, but he also didn't receive any recognition. It would appear from the Q&A that the only person even remotely interested in the bike had absolutely no clue who he was:
Q: hey, i was just wondering how tall you are? just need to see if the size 52 would fit me. what year is this? and why is called the GALLO? isn't it a gangsta track? are there are any dings, scratches, rust etc. on the frame? thanks!
A: I am 5 feet 10 1/2 inches. The bike was built one year ago and has never been ridden and is 100% mint without any issues.
At least Gallo answered the question sincerely instead of going all Christian Bale on him.
And what of Brooklyn Machine works? Not only is Gallo struggling to sell his, but noted fixed-gear freestyler and streetwear enthusiast Prolly has also defected in favor of a giant purple hybrid from Milwaukee. Worst of all, the most famous of all BMW owners, Kanye West, has publicly admitted that he can't even ride his Gangsta Track:
Yes, braking can be difficult on a brakeless bike. Personally, I think Kanye would be much more comfortable astride a Specialized Vienna Deluxe, though I suppose the fact that the bike sports a "street cred" factor in the negative double digits means that's probably not going to happen.
Fortunately, some members of the hip hop nation aren't afraid to embrace practical dork bikes. Take Mr. Theo, for example. A reader has forwarded me this video in which he teaches people how to ride the buses of Louisville, KY with their bicycles, and I think you'll agree that it quite literally raises the bar:
If there's one thing our community needs, it's more cycling-themed instructional videos in rap form.