Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last Call for Identities: Fixed-Gear Culture No Longer Accepting New Members

Yesterday, a number of readers forwarded me the following mass email:






Hey guys!

We are casting for a television documentary series about bicycle messengers. It's for a popular youth oriented cable network (we cannot disclose this information at this time, but PROMISE you know the network).

We are searching for the fastest, smartest, coolest, and funniest bicycle messengers in NYC (but other cities are welcome as well) who are 25 years old or younger. We're looking for ALL types of messengers, but especially those who are deep into messenger culture. This is a paid gig if you're chosen. Hell, it's paid even if you're not chosen — we're giving $25 in cash if you come down and do a 15 minute interview on either Friday, March 13th or Saturday, March 14th in Tompkins Sq. Park.

If you are from outside NYC we will arrange transportation for you.

So, if you are a bike messenger (who is 25 years old or younger and can prove it) and are interested in being involved in this project please send us a picture of yourself and a phone number and we'll schedule a time for you to do a quick and fun interview.

Compensation: $25 for a 15 minute interview. More to come if you are selected for the project.

Best,

Courtney Sommers
631. [deleted]

Courtney is obviously casting a wide net, because there's a Craigslist ad as well. She is certainly not the first television producer to be seduced by the outlaw appeal of the bike messenger, nor will she be the last. And whether or not this production actually comes to fruition and we all get to laugh at the finished product, I'm sure plenty of willing people will show up to audition.

After all, each and every one of us is a celebrity, right? All we need is a camera pointed at us and the rest will follow. Many of us even have our own endorsement deals as well--we love nothing more than to cover ourselves with logos and flaunt our purchases. Sure, our endorsement deals aren't all that great--we don't get paid and we have to pay full retail for the product--but certainly these deals will be restructured in our favor as soon as someone decides to train a camera (or some other form of media attention) on us and the inevitable fame follows.

Of course, if you're a celebrity you need an identity, right? Fortunately, our popular culture is deep and rich, and there are plenty of pre-owned identities and ideas to appropriate. After all, popular culture is a renewable resource. The fun never stops, right? To reassure myself of this comforting fact, I checked in over at Trackasaurus Rex, where I watched a little promotional video for "Feetbelts":



The video immediately makes it clear who the target market is.



It also makes it clear that the people who make Feetbelts are part of the target market.




And, most importantly, it shows the Feetbelts in action.

You may be thinking you've seen Feetbelts before, and of course you have:




But that wasn't the only thing that was familiar about the Feetbelts video. Even the music sounded like something I'd heard before. So I pulled a candlestick off my mantlepiece, which caused the entire fireplace to move aside and reveal the secret cave in my home I like to call the "Pit of Embarrassment." We all have old outfits, writings, photographs, albums and so forth of which we're now duly ashamed yet cannot bring ourselves to throw out, and the "Pit of Embarrassment" is where I keep mine. Anyway, I went to the music section of the Pit and found this:



I was pretty sure the music from the Feetbelts video was almost identical to something on this old CD. So I checked the track list:



I then blew the dust off the jewel case and played the CD. Sure enough, the intro to the song in the Feetbelts video was almost identical to the intro on the very first song on the CD:




By the way, this CD is what in the olden days was called a "sampler." Basically, record labels would make what was essentially a "mix tape" in order to promote their bands. And if you wanted to reach one of the bands, you had to "write" them a "letter":



It all seems so ridiculous now. I mean, some of those countries don't even exist anymore!

Anyway, I wondered if it was a coincidence that Feetbelts was using a recycled song to sell a recycled idea. Granted, Cathedral themselves were just a recycled version of Black Sabbath, but there's a difference between stylistic similarity and lawsuit similarity. And granted, Powergrips themselves are just a simplified take on the toe clip, and Feetbelts probably fulfill a need for fixed-gear riders that Powergrips do not.

I decided to simply take this as yet another sign that pop cultural currency is not only still trading briskly, but is also still completely unregulated. That is, until I headed over to Prolly's site.

When I visit Prolly's site, I expect to see plenty of unregulated pop cultural appropriation. Moreover, I also expect the tone to be upbeat, since Prolly (to his credit) tends to keep things positive rather than traffic in sarcasm and cynicism like I do. I know if Prolly does speak negatively about something he must be really irritated by it. So I was surprised to see what appeared to be yet another run-of-the-mill fixed-gear video called "TRAkTION," followed by these words from Prolly:


You serious? Poseurs? Wrong choice of words. Classic example of the narcissism of small differences... Why be negative in a film project? Especially when you're a new jack yourself. Shame. Have at it kiddies.

Whoa, if Prolly was upset enough by this video to sic his readers on it, the video must be very negative indeed! And "have at it" the "kiddies" did, as there were many angry comments on the post as well. In fact, TRAkTION made people so angry that the filmmaker redacted the video:




TRAkTION Aftermath

For those of you that regularly read the blog you’ll know that Saturday I posted the trailer for my new video, TRAkTION. Never in my wildest dreams would I anticipate the attention the video has gotten since I put it up. In the last 24-hours, I’ve managed to offend the fixed gear community and for that, I’m sorry. My intent was create an investigative video on a culture I’ve witnessed grow over the past few years. I’m new to the scene and should make it very clear that I’m a filmmaker, not a rider, so my approach was to make a video about the exploration of a culture that is unfamiliar to most, including myself. I decided to take the video down from the internet out of respect for Eric and LBFG, it was never my intent to bring bad press to their shop. I’ll be reediting the trailer within the next day or so and I still plan to complete this project. For those who have supported it, thank you. For those who hated it, I can only impact those opinions with the final product.


It's unfortunate that the video's been removed so you can't experience it for yourself, but I did see it before it got yanked so I can summarize it for you:



First, this guy with the mustache talks about how he's been riding a fixed-gear for four years and that he's running a bike shop.




Then, this guy talks about how he's been riding a fixed-gear for seven months.



Then he displays his skillz.




Then this person says he rides a fixed-gear because he loves to ride his bike, and he wishes the "poseurs" would stay away.



There are also clips of people riding their fixed-gears, occasionally with goofy hand positions.

That is all.

The internet is dripping with videos of people on fixed-gears doing tricks. So why did people get so upset over this one, which is really no different from any of the others? Well, the filmmaker made a big mistake. As you can tell from his apology, he thought there was a "fixed gear community," which of course there isn't.

See, there was never a "community." There was just a fixed-gear cultural gold rush. The bikes got popular, and as people discovered them they created identities for themselves. They made videos of themselves. There were tons of cool cultural images from the past just lying around unused--old death metal logos, old punk logos, old cycling product logos, old cyclists. All you had to do was put those logos on t-shirts in various configurations. "Awesome, it's a t-shirt with Eddy Merckx doing a skid on a fixie with an Aerospoke, with the World Champion stripes in the background and my new clothing company's brand name in the same lettering as the Celtic Frost logo!" Sure, go ahead and use an anarchist collective to promote yourself. Go ahead, sell Major Taylor as a flat brim cap. It's perfectly fine. After all, we're creating a "scene."

If you're the filmmaker, you're probably asking, "So what happened? When did this end? Where's my piece of the pie?" Well, conveniently it seems to have ended as soon as you came along. You may have been hearing a lot about how bad the economy is lately. Well, it looks like that's finally affecting the pop cultural economy too. Sure, it was completely unregulated before, and if you wanted to be an arbiter of fixed-gear culture you didn't need anyone's approval. But now there's less money around, and more people selling reappropriated logos and ideas means less return for the people who were there "first." So the fixed-gear "culture" is regulating itself. They're raising the gang plank. There's no more room on the boat. You're too late.

So what you can do the same goofy tricks as these other guys after only half a year? You haven't been riding long enough to make a video. Here's a diagram just in case you don't get it:



Acceptable/Unacceptable


A newbie like you probably thinks these two riders are doing the exact same thing. Well, they are. But there's a crucial difference. The rider on the left is in Macaframa, so he's been "grandfathered in." The rider on the right missed the boat.

Yes, I know it's unfair. I know there was a time when people who had only been riding for a short time could form teams and promote streetwear with recycled album art on it. But you don't get that privilege. You only get to buy the products they now design. And you don't get to make movies. You only get to wear the clothing designed by the people who made the movies by which you were inspired.

As for the "fixed gear culture," I'd like to personally welcome you to the high ground. Just breathe in that air! Nice and rarified, isn't it?

158 comments:

Del & Sarah Wislocki said...

first?

gastonomicus fantz crazznapper said...

Ahh yeah, Mofos!!

SATANIC SLAYER FAN said...

ALL YOU HATERS, BOW DOWN TO SLAYTAN

that guy said...

Top ten!

Jim said...

(we cannot disclose this information at this time, but PROMISE you know the network).

I'm guessing it's either LOGO, or possibly Lifetime.

mono_vs_stereo said...

Top ten?

Anonymous said...

I used to scorn the podium hogs...but shit I'm top 10 today.

Jim said...

Oh, how wierd is that? Two relatively substantive comments landing on the podium. The Fristers are definitely losing a step; McEwen and Petacchi to the more voluble bloviators' Cavanaugh. And where's Ant1? We could use some of his solipsistic goodness here.

TQuid said...

Sure, you feel safe now. Just wait till they start the cull--anyone with even a front brake, anyone over 25 or under 19.

At first they came for the ones with brakes, and I said nothing, for I had no brakes . . .

mono_vs_stereo said...

Well, holy crap. Thank you, afternoon job for allowing me to place higher each day.

I'd also like to thank PBR for allowing me to attempt to sleep late, and my fat hungry cat for waking me up at eight in the morning anyway. At least the trails are usually empty that early. Thanks, fat hungry cat.

Anonymous said...

Read the post and still top ten! I love the cultural commentary RTMS. You really cut right through to the core of it.

Anonymous said...

Nuts... top 11

mono_vs_stereo said...

TQuid,

Let's not forget the riders that either still have drop bars or haven't cut their flat bars to scarcely the width of their hands.

And also the ones who fork out hundreds of dollars for customized bags when they only work for a week as a messenger before they realize that it's actually work and not just riding around looking pretty.

Lucho Metales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Critical Ass said...

What about the crusty 40-year-old messenger? Not enough street cred to be on MTV? And who knew St. Vitus was still around in 1991? And the short-timer IS acceptable...there is a "diversity" loophole in the regulations concerning "noobs" if you read the fine print.

I'm just a little cranky this morning because the roads here in Denver are icy and I had top DRIVE to work today in my Buick Park Ave. with the left hand turn signal on the entire time.

Anonymous said...

Top 20!

Anonymous said...

cuts like a knife

grog said...

The fixed-gear "culture" is a science experiment.

ez said...

Documenting a "scene" is the worst thing you can do... especially if it's so short into its life.

Imagine if someone tried to make American Hardcore during the eighties... or watch "Another State of Mind" again. It seems so contrived. Somehow, it's less offensive (or maybe it isn't) when that type of "scene" introspection is done years later (like Dogtown and Z-Boys).

It's not just the guys comments, it's the whole thing about his shop (well, the shop he is running for a friend), the crazy (boring) details about the new guy's bike... and elephant trunk skids are, oddly enough, out of favor anyway. It just seems like it's trying to hard to be cool.

Ultimately it was trite and masturbatory... all things that feel cheap.

This should go in the trash bin next to River City Fixed.

el presidente bicisport said...

Damn! I could have made top ten! I actually read the article first. How easily cultural giants fall apart once you start to pick at them.... Ben Affleck, Catholicism, Bob and Doug McKenzie all had their time in the sun and now where are they? Soon fixed gear bikes will be releated to dusty library shelves. In fact, here is a picture on someone putting one away right now!

https://secure.freemantransport.com/index.php

Anonymous said...

I never got it, the whole fixed thing. I love mine, but I don't feel the need to video every little thing I do, or follow the ol' punk/skateboarding trend of rebranding using another co's logos, or taking a horribly ugly painted part and making an outfit to go with it. The scene we had was the same one we always had, folks who rode and those who didn't, no ego stroking or self grandizing. you know, simply living. Good thing is in time, they'll look back at themselves just like the pioneering skateboarders and BMXers did and wonder what the hell they were thinking. I also wonder if the kids making films/documentaries about the messenger scene will one day film the new avant garde industry of office services? Those paralegals and secretaries throw down hard.

Anonymous said...

TQuid - man, im a donfor with my brake, backpack and old carcass. Good thing the lynch posse cant break 11mph.

Anonymous said...

RTMS:

Fantastic post. It provides a good overview of the lifecycle of any trend, and is a great commentary on what consumerism does to activities that were once considered niche before they became widely accepted as "cool."

I did notice a small error: "privelege," in the second to last paragraph should be "privilege." I'm not sayin' . . . I'm just sayin'.

Prolly said...

I seriously am in love with today's post. Here I thought you lost your spark....

Good job.

Anonymous said...

At least we haven't raised the gang plank, or shut the stall door, on urine culture. Everybody into the pool!

anonymous is hating said...

Do they make the feetbelts in clear or is the guy in the video not actually using them?

brighton velo said...

Incredible.

Thank you Zarathustra. Thank you.

ken e. said...

another scathing post, brought to you by Elsinore Brewing! American Hardcore and Bob and Doug! yay team!

Smellvin said...

Fixed gear culture, the culmination of 200000 years of human evolution or another neanderthal like dead end? Now the the FGC gene pool is official closed time will only tell.

Matt said...

I have to say, one of the advantages of being an old bugger is that back in my youthful days it was much harder and more expensive to do lip-synced filming and editing so that, fortunately, many of my youthful enthusiasms slipped quietly away unrecorded for posterity. It makes for a smaller Pit of Embarrassment even if the Dan Fogelberg LPs are physically larger. Mostly what I have to explain to the children is my big 70s hair and those houndstooth polyester trousers I used to wear to school. That, and commuting on sew-ups.

Daniel! said...

Imagine if someone tried to make American Hardcore during the eighties...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Decline_of_Western_Civilization

Anonymous said...

I find it IRONIC that the cast call for cool bike messengers required them to be 25 and under. I don't know any bike messengers under the age of 25

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ant1 said...

ant1st!

Zach Bossington said...

don't say grandfather around Steve B. haha!

Nouveau Arriviste said...

Methinks they do protest too much.
But that's what me always thinks.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Street cred is such a thin veneer. I don't get it. I ride everywhere and all I get is street crud.

jolene said...

to bad my armhurt is at it agin ors i would show you about my life it was on the local news about a nutria hunter and how he done slayed as they say in new york sitty a few hunnert and i made the best stew withit and zema to boot too bad cops is made it was the only time i was celeberty

Anonymous said...

Boom! Nice to see Snob removing his Rapha Mitts for that post!

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Anonymous said...

Snob, what do I get if I send you 70 Pence and a large S.A.E.? I went down to the S.A.E. house by campus, but they only had small and medium-sized brothers available today. They were already out of larges.

Bobby said...

Just saw this video and it is awesome.

Fixed gear dodgeball.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPWAL06pDds

ant1 said...

Sorry for being late Jim, I was busy looking up solipsistic.

Nicole said...

ah, let those fixed scenesters (kiddies) have at it, it/they will be as laughable as the video, "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" 20 years from now.

Slappy said...

Well stated and meaningful, you've done good today Snob!





Boner!!

Anonymous said...

Fixie fans are the bike equivalent of snowboarders. To wit: Snowboarding was a fringe activity once upon a time. At this point, however, nothing could be more mainstream. Shit, twelve year old girls snowboard, which is pretty much the definition of mainstream. Yet snowboarders dress up in their costumes so that they look like every other snowboarder and they persist in believing that they are members of some exclusive club consisting of counter-cultural revolutionaries. Snowboarders and the companies that market to them will nurse the illusion of counter-culturalism until hell freezes over.

Likewise, riding a fixie was once a fringe activity. Nowadays, however, riding a fixie is very much a mainstream thing to do. And just like snowboarders, fixie fans will continue to believe that they are on the vanguard in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore!

When it's over it's over, drink up. said...

In ’75 I was a skate punk poser, real dog town wanna be. We built vert ramps and half pipes and did what made us feel cool. Then I got a car, got laid and got over it. For everything that attracts pop culture posers like me there is always someone that contributes to the evolutionary growth with the sport. I look at what skating is today as compared to what my peers did and thought was rad 30+ years ago. It’s like walking on the fucking moon as compared to hang gliding at Kitty Hawk. Fixgear Free Style is here to stay but just like Punk Rock it will have to live through many years of New Wave.

Pontius Pilate said...

Once again you NAILED IT LIKE CHRIST TO THE CROSS.



Hail Caesar!!

RiceDaddy said...

Did Courtney really say that if you live outside NYC, transportation will be arranged for you? Twenty-five bones and a free trip to NYC!

shmaltz herring said...

Freilichen Purim!

Jim said...

Sorry for being late Jim, I was busy looking up solipsistic.

See, there you go with the self references again.

Ryan said...

So the guy made an "investigative video," the people he was "investigating" didn't like it, so now he's apologizing and changing it?

That has about the amount of intellectual integrity I'd expect. But at least maybe they'll let him join their club now.

Anonymous said...

Hell, fixie culture was over by the time Bianchi came out with the dreaded Pista, everybody and their mother coopted the now ubiquitous Formula track hubs, and all the washed over track bikes hanging in the cellar/attic of every shop anywhere near a velodrome went from $200 to a grand. The tots slapping on Aerospokes and donning flat brims and neon trinkets just firmly slapped the nail in the proverbial coffin. I love the new uniform, complete with flat brims and bangs. The new spandex is cotton.

Bill said...

damn there are a lot of videos on youtube about hipsters!

well said, matt, ditto, and good point, ryan.

man, even the comments are good today.

i'm not a fan of snowboarding culture either, but at least that is difficult, and offers up different options or something....i don't know, i know fuckall about skiing.

ant1 said...

Jim - I am what I am, and that's all that I am. Plus, if I don't talk about myself, who will?

Seanywonton said...

The song from the Footies video sounds exactly like Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath! So I guess it is a rip-off of a rip off.

Here's the video, albeit lacking Ozzie. But the intro is at 2:27

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLoasK-uahE&feature=related

Wrench Monkey said...

There is rampant negativism in the comment section today. Whatever happened to the free exchange of intelligent, well thought ideas amongst kindred souls in the cycling community? I say we need more discourse and less discord, you freakin' idiots!

Der Blaue Reiter said...

yeah, bikesnob, you kick a whole lot of ass. This is the one I'll show my grandchildren when they find pictures of me on a dorky bike looking satisfied with myself.

Fierce Peritoneum said...

To the "film maker" of TRAkTION,

Probably, when Prolly talks shit about you then know that you've done something good in life and there's no need to apologize.

You could apologize for the title of your film. I liken it to TOYSrUS.

Welcome to the cycling community, you're off to a fine start.

himlipsistic said...

Ant1 is what he is, and that's all that he is.

Someone had to do it.

Bored.

bikesgonewild said...

..."Last Call For Identities: Fixed-Gear Culture No Longer Accepting New Members"...

...oh great...after much deliberation & fiscal number crunching in these down turned economic times, i had just sent in my cashiers check so that i too could be a card carrying member of the 'fixed gear culture' only to learn that they're "no longer accepting new members"...damn !!!...

...guess i'll just have to wait for "the next big thing" to come along & invest in that...

Johnny Sprocket said...

"...but just like Punk Rock it will have to live through many years of New Wave."

Rapha just need to come up with a puffy, pirate shirt..!

Strayhorn said...

The time when the media types start scanning your culture is a good time to get out.

I can remember when TV and film crews started showing up on beaches to film surfer culture in the late 70s. Pretty soon parking lots were filled with posers wearing Quicksilver and blasting Jimmy Buffet at full volume. The price of boards doubled in a year or so and most surf shops found it was more profitable to sell T-shirts to tourists than to actually stock surfboards and such.

Bah. I'll stick with being a roadie. Our ugly clothing and spendy bikes will reinforce the idea that we're all just lawyers and dentists, and nobody likes lawyers or dentists.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Wrench Monkey, what we need is more intercourse and less discourse.

Fierce Panties said...

You don't have to be a dentist to be hated in the cycling community.
All you have to do is ride a bicycle. Any bicycle will do, and wear anything you like. You will be hated, and hated most deeply by other cyclist.

kale said...

Anon 1:31:

You couldn't float a turd in that shallow comment.

Any student of Adbusters (née Vice) can tell you that we live in a consumerist society where every profitable aspect of culture is going to be co-opted by The Corporations. This is often true when participation in an activity affords the opportunity for conspicuous consumption. There is a spurious correlation between snowboarding and cycling, but check out downhill and freeriding before jumping to fixed gears.

This is bound to happen with anything remotely entertaining, or where the purchase itself is the entertainment.

Too bad surfing, snowboarding, cycling (in any form), skateboarding, kayaking, typesetting, and other fads are so much fun...

Camus anyone?

Anonymous said...

Fixgear Free Style is here to stay but just like Punk Rock it will have to live through many years of New Wave.

New Wave? Televison, PIL, Gang of Four? FGF isn't that progressive.

I'd say it's future is LiveAid/We are the World.

Morgan said...

Hell, fixie culture was over by the time Bianchi came out with the dreaded Pista

In 1981?

Or perhaps in 1985? [0:07-0:09]

People have been riding track bikes on the streets for a long time.

Test Tickle said...

Hey BS,

You ever have the Pentagram album? Pretty sweet, at least the 1st song was. As for you "compilation," totally sweet. St. Vitus was on an comp I have titled "The Blasting Concept," an album with many good bands (Minutemen, Saccharine Trust, Black Flag, etc.), but unfortunately they picked the absolute worst song by each band. Anyway, it's always good to read your posts because you seem to have a handle on the "old school" music we grew up with (i am assuming you are near my age simply from the music references).

Oh, and satanic fan ... when did you hop on the Slayer bandwagon? Oh, I know, you've been listening to Slayer since when ... I am guessing 2000, maybe even the '90s.

Just curious if you are a fixie Slayer fan, you know "I've ridden a fix gear for months now."

I think a battle will soon ensue after this post. If you have been a fan since the '80s, I will apologize now : ).

kale said...

Who's Slayer?

libertyonbikes! said...

"another scathing post, brought to you by Elsinore Brewing! American Hardcore and Bob and Doug! yay team!"

I believe Bob & Doug and the fine
folks at Elsinore are still under
contract with CommieCanuk. With
the American economy all that it
isn't , doubtful they will change
anytime soon.

Hoser, the dog did relocate to
Winsconsin for a stint as the great bike company mascot.

BikeSnobNYC said...

libertyonbikes!,

I think the dog's name was "Hosehead"--which I am appropriating for my new line of fixed-gear stocking caps.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Strayhorn and Fierce Panties have hit the nail squarely on its circular head.

Because I am a maligned, road-biking lawyer (I know I'm much maligned because I've been hit by cars twice while riding my bike and I've been sanctioned by judges), I can unequivocably claim, "I am Counter-Culture!"

We're still accepting membership applications. The line starts to the right.

jolene said...

i herd that that frilley was getting hot trying to shack up with red well it aint hapning beside he got the drip on his leg and so there

ant1 said...

Frilly and Jolene - the only way to settle this is a good ol' fashioned jello wrestling match. I'll offer up my referee-ing services. Winner gets Red.

drmarcj said...

That settles it - I'm gonna go fixed gear, just to see the pissy look on the hipsters' faces when a thirtysomething father of two rolls (rubs?) by.

CommieCanuck said...

We are searching for the [blah...blah..] who are 25 years old or younger. We're looking for ALL types of messengers, but especially those who are deep into messenger culture.

ALL types, but not over 25 , because no one rides a bike over 25, and wrinkles look like shit in HD.

Not accepting new members? Shit. I just bought my $650 "Members only" jacket from Rapha.

It may be a typo, it should say "not accepting anyone with members".

CommieCanuck said...

shit

Anonymous said...

Many of us will get red over that jello wrestling.

Fierce Panties said...

Hey Dr Marc J.,

Pull a BOB trailer with your fixed gear with both of your offspring in it and then still no one will be impressed.

You'll get the pissy look from the fixters no matter what you're riding unless you are desired for a fuck. Then you'll get a smile and a "nice bike" comment, even if you're riding a Novaro Mia.

Luck E. said...

Whatever. Be everything. Be nothing. Aren't you the only one who really cares what you do and what you call it?

Shut up and go ride a bike, any bike.


A

Fierce Panties said...

Lucky,

I wasn't speaking. I'm just quietly sitting here typing.

Do I have to ride my bike? I can't take it out there anymore.

Matt! said...

NUFF SAID

kale said...

I've been commenting on this blog for like 7 months now. You're all posers.

Bill said...

i'm making a hardhitting,no holds barred, take no prisoners documentary (and i'm not even a filmmaker!!) about the comments on this blog, i just hope i do it right

d. fofonov said...

I am pleased to be stopping on my Ride Across Siberia cycling the Trans-Siberian Railway to arouse conscientiousness in perfectly safe and should be legal nutritional supplements for enhancement of performance and hardening of erections.

I am not to be so pleased reading post for today in that Americans are making grand negotiations on bicycling instead of just doing it actually. We beat oxen and drink vodka. You beat dead horses and drink horse piss. Each nationality is to do what passes for organic in many respects.

I am also not pleasing to read in Pravada very humorous accounts of Hillary Clinton endearing herself to Russian capitalists by mispelling simple Russian words. Since it is evident that no one in American State Department knows any Russian I am offering my services as translator. I am using large block figures to teach Mrs. Clinton Cyrillic alphabet. AS she is smartest woman in America it is taking only two or three months for teaching her what Russian schoolchild can learn in two hours.

I am not liking to think if Mrs. Clinton prints "frumundia" on stupid box with red button and giving it to Mr. Putin. Anyone with partial brain knows that is meaning "go fuck yourself and goat that raised you as her own".

Unless she is meaning to say it. You are not knowing with Americans.

libertyonbikes! said...

snob,
you're the Cliff Clavin of pop culture.
you can have your stool back.

Doug said...

my 35 year old fixed gear riding butt doesn't have much cred when I bring my 11 year old daughter to critical mass on her beach cruiser, but what ever......it's dead now anyways.

broomie said...

Anon 1:31

Yes, except snowboarding is sometimes entertaining.

broomie said...

Kale,

Sorry, since you didn't discover snob before Bicycling magaziine did you're a poseur, too. But its okay, if you notice, the psoeurs are ones who actually have futures. Unless you're a 52 y.o. fgf with knuckle tattoos, in which case I tip my hat to you.

Anonymous said...

"Did a lil trick on my freestyle fix
And i was right beside the girl, she was all on the tip"
Krs One - Criminal Minded 1987

frilly said...

Um, have to ask, what does the loser get?

Oh and don't get me started on that Bicycling Magazine cover picture of Snob. *sigh* Snobby, if you're going to embrace anything from fixed culture, please, please let it be skinny jeans.

I'm the O.P. said...

I was a 12 year old poseur with a Steve Caballero deck and pink shorts who couldn't ollie. Birth of the Pose.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, great work.

B. Russell said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only solipsist around.

Anonymous said...

Remember rollerblades? I wonder what the old pros are upto...kinda sad. They would have loved ceramic bearing upgrade kits @ $500 per foot

bikesgonewild said...

...apropos of nothing regarding today's blog but as cyclists, this should be interesting none the less...

..."LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) – The scientist responsible for the implementation of cycling's biological passport system says some sports are 10 years behind cycling when it comes to anti-doping procedures."...

...ya, so there...

kale said...

broomie-

Well, Bicycling is the only source I get bike news and tech advice from...

Anonymous said...

100!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess that means that it is way too late for me to start a snarky, sarcastic, ironic ranting blog about fixed gear "culture"? Um yeah, I thought so...

ant1 said...

Frilly - a crack full of jello. Which, some might say, is better than buckshot.

Gaudy Olde Testy Bicycle Convention said...

Doug,

If you want street cred then lie about your age, you're 42 and your were a messenger for Rough Riders in the mid 80's. You even have the same fixed gear work bike in a glass case.

And btw, you're too old for critical mass, you don't want your daughter getting tackled by a 3rd generation Queens cop.

3rd gen. Queens cop said...

I resent that!

Free Baller said...

Silly question - Am I the only one here who thinks running singlespeed is way better than fixed?

I just think fixers look like complete dorks anytime the road has more than a one percent grade downhill.

Anonymous said...

It's days like this that make me wish for a Zombie Sheldon Brown.

Josh said...

Is this person:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wb8bAl1P-N0/SbZkqXKrVbI/AAAAAAAAGcs/_rOmXIeenYk/s1600-h/TRAkTION+Official+Trailer+on+Vimeo-3.jpg

really a he?

Anonymous said...

To Josh:
Are you really an asshole?

Zombie Sheldon Brown said...

BRAINS!!!

João Soares Vieira said...

you sir, are a genious.

Anonymous said...

First, let's not call Television, PIL and Gang of Four 'new wave' - they transcend that label.

Second - the network is MTV. no joke.

Anonymous said...

Everything that's fun becomes a 'fad' once the general public latch onto it. Surfing, skateboarding, tattoos, punk rock, snowboarding, fixed gear etc...

We all got it right with rollerblades though! Retarded and always will be.

Oh, and lycra mixed with carbon fibre isn't too far away on the 'retardo' scale either. It's a step above wearing blue denim jeans with white sneakers.

Pulverized Concepts said...

Fixed gear bikes are so yesterday. The real purists are rockin' boneshakers now. No dirty chain, just the pure cycling experience. It's almost spiritual. Soon they'll have their own page on velospace.

Pulverized Concepts said...

http://www.hollywoodsgarage.ca/images/body/large/boneshaker.jpg

broomie said...

Kale 5:00

My first LOL of the day!

Rickrise said...

Way old fart here, way past fifty and riding fixed five or six hundred miles a month. Love to hang out with the kids even when they're posers, because we all were at some age, and some get over it, some don't.

Half the real transportation and commuter types I see here on the chaotic streets of LA, yeah, the Ground Zero of Carmageddon, are riding fixed, riding hard, riding every day.

So what if they dress funny? Everybody dresses funny to someone....

Luck E. said...

Type down, FP! You're lucky that I like you cuz yer panties are so fierce. That means you can take it. Give em hell.

Free Baller, you are not alone. Love my SS in a hilly city.

Frilly, why is your ass crack full of jello? Have you been doing it with Cosby again? Love ya grrrl!


A

Andy Pandy said...

Damn it now I have to give up skiing and surfing and riding as its is all passé . I think I will use my newly found spare time to invent the 44mm tall V rim with 44h, that will send shock waves through the fixed scene.

Ps Frills, your D comment of yesterday did not go un-noticed and scores a very respectable 98265768 Fr on the flirting scale

Anonymous said...

How dare anyone question my individuality.

toast ghost said...

brilliant post. for the last few years i've been trying to figure out whether fixed gear culture has been about using fashion to sell bikes or bikes to sell fashion. i'm still not sure which it is.

however, all those who missed the ladder up to fixed gear culture should get over to franco-retro touring culture right away. if you don't have honjo fenders and a berthoud bag (one that goes on your handlebars, btw) by now, you might as well go straight to recumbents. but at least with the french retro, even if you don't make it in, you might still end up with a usable bike.

big whiny bitch. said...

anyone remember what it was like to not be a jealous baby and whine that your chosen part of the cycling spectrum isn't the "cool" one?(i`m lookin at you cyclo-cross,recumbents and spandex wearing goofs)


yeah yeah yeah...the cool kids made fun of you in high school...we know.it`s ok.you're accepted now.amongst friends...relax that sphincter and breath......at least your mom thinks your cool.

:: smo :: said...

so basically you're saying that fixed gear "culture" is basically the same as emo "culture" was in the late 90's? heh

MJ Klein said...

if only i'd have known, i would have kept my Sears bike from when i was in elementary school.

frilly said...

7--Everybody should have a little jiggle in their wiggle at some time. Don'tcha think?

And, AP, geez, what do I have to do to break a 100k Fr on the flirtometer? Hey and you weren't doing so bad yourself yesterday with that 'going down well' comment. And don't give us any of that puritanistic bs about being misunderstood.

Andy Pandy said...

Thought that one had slid into first base un-noticed

saddle.soar.... said...

Hmm. Unfair to compare this to Skateboarding,punk etc. Those things took time before they sold out (tony hawk) and took the low road. The fixed scene sold out right away,didn't look back. No one gave me shit for skating a crappy board.

The " Look at me, i am the scene" and absolute mindless production/consumption of product after product is WORSE than nike could ever do.$250 for a back pack??

Film after film,but the logo means it has street cred so please pay up.

I love Cycling and bikes with all my heart and it is r-e-a-l-l-y sad to see how many just want that buck and piss on a good thing.

Incredible post BSNY!!

john said...

I blame it all on Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon is to bicycle messengers
as
Gidget is to surfing

mcbstrd said...

a better exposition of the perils and power of the postmodern have I never experienced ... and that Nietzschean twist at the end ... pure genius

Anonymous said...

Critical Ass, what a mangina, ooh, the roads were icy so I had to drive, WTF? I rode on the same icy roads in the snow to the docs with a herniated disk in my back, you Sir are a poseur.

agent detroit said...

for all those left out, here's a chance to be on the vanguard...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agentdetroit/3329277708/

agent detroit said...

i've got an appropriated logo, too...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agentdetroit/3347085150/

CommieCanuck said...

libertyonbikes! said...
snob,
you're the Cliff Clavin of pop culture.
you can have your stool back.


Define "stool" exactly.

I agree, fuck Kevin Bacon, first he ruins footloose dancing in empty warehouses, then fixed gear culture. I can't even eat bacon bits any more.

Of course, as mentioned, what fixed gear culture lacks is the "Tony Hawk", the "Kurt Cobain", the talented person who ultimately sells out and waters down his shit for bucks.

If RTMS starts writing for Cigar Affectionado, I'm canceling my subscription. No me gusto.

Luck E. said...

I thought Prolly was the Tony Hawk of FG culture.

drinky crow said...

i'm sure it's been mentioned, but i love how the rider in the feetbelts promo video isn't actually wearing feetbelts. great endorsement!

Juan Valdez said...

It's "no me gusta" you stupid fuck.

libertyonbikes! said...

CC i forgot about canadian tv. it was a reference to a show popular in the 80's about a bar. I would
expect it to be syndicated soon up there.

Anonymous said...

Prolly you and your brain make my penis soft!

I once was cool now I just hate the rookies.

I listen to slayer in the 80's in Indiana to boot. My neighbors used to crank Hell Awaits and some other really crazy thrash/metal? from the day. At first I was really scared of Slayer and all of those crazy Thrash/Metal? bands. Then in 7th or 8th grade I heard the guitar solo in "fight for your right to party" by the Beastie Boys and thought "if Kerry King doesn't suck the life's blood out of 3 white boys from NYC then I bet can do it to. I even took up skateboarding until I broke my wrist and decided that skateboarding might get in the way of my guitar playing. " Before I knew it I went to see Ozzy and Metallica on the Ultimate Sin/Master of puppets tour! I even met Cliff after the show! I don't listen to any of those bands anymore(I do still own the vinyl)
Now I make it a point to wear lycra everytime/5x's a week I commute on my 2braked fixie.
I laugh at those morons with the cut down bars and poor apparel choices as they get left in the dust. Their knee high tube socks and flat brimmed hats are to me what a 21st century version Vision Street Wear and the early 80's freestylin' BMXers did to something I really enjoyed. They took a great thing and made it lame.

As much as I hate Fixie kids and I do hate the fixie scene. I must admit that every scene has something to loathe and everyone has to start somewhere.

The fixie scene is extra hate-able
the snowboard comparison is a great comparison. I would also equate the fixie scene to what happened to grunge when Pearl Jam formed. Maybe its just what happens when ever you add Hip Hop to anything? It's just becomes as annoying and white bred as possible.

P.S. most punk rock sucks and you can quote me on that one!
Cheers, KEEPEATING!

ADVANCE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECTS said...

Am I the only one that recognizes the Electric Wizard song?

Sadly, it appears that this band has gotten sucked into the black mire of "fixed gear culture".

It's too bad because they're good.

Anonymous said...

Is there a Lanterne Rouge in fixed gear culture?

Anonymous said...

'08 Tricks on Fixed-Gears= '96 Tricks on Rollerblades

Anonymous said...

The guy in the Feetbelts ad isn't even using them!

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Tony Bullard said...

Son of a bitch.

I use to buy Chuck Taylors cause they were 20 bucks. They they got "cool" and they started charging 40 and 50 bucks for canvas and rubber.

So then I found Feiyue's which are 15 bucks on Amazon, and I love them. I swear, if Feiyue's become cool and they start over charging, I'm gonna be pissed.

nick said...

uhh yeah that cathedral song sounds nothing like the one from that video
http://www.myspace.com/cathedral

hi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm a fixie rider in London and I've been a messenger since I was 7 years old and I am only 15 now but you Americans need to stop calling each other posuers cause if some one fixie they can have it, like it just making you cooler, it make us like you Americans say Original Gangsters, and if they whant to document messengers then they need real riders like us in London cause we deliver for money not to be cool, I started beacause I needed money to help out with my parents not to be cool like most Americans.

Michael said...

why does it matter if it becomes mainstream? Everything is mainstream if you think about it.

I want to hear someone agree that fixed gear people and hipsters are different.

One loves to ride. which is the point. and the other wishes the public would hold up mirrors so the hip could become more in love with their own a--hole.

also to the top ten commentors try commenting on something relevant than looking cool (your prolly a hipster too) and read other peoples comments.

All the people that love cycling to ride arent here to comment on blogs like this anyway. They are out ridding like I should be.

done.

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ederton said...

I knew Griff back in the 80s. Anyone know what he is doing now?

Anonymous said...

Marwin Ou is a great rider. Shit, he's sponsored now. This blog is just hating.

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ablejack said...

"No New Members?" who cares, nobody interesting rides fixies anymore.

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