Purim 2014 is right around the corner, and you know what that means, right?
(Walz "Urban Wool" cap with BSNYC logo hand-embroidered by artisanal seamstresses.)
Just think of how dashing you'll look when you roll into the cool part of town in this hat, lock up your bike with too many locks, and duck into the local café for a $10 latte and some hamantaschen.
("Mmmm! Did somebody say 'prune filling?'" Hamantaschen poised to become the new "cronut.")
Apart from being the World's Most Lamest Pastry, the hamantaschen is also modeled after Haman's three-cornered hat, and by next Purim I hope to offer a BSNYC tricorne:
(There was a moment back in 2009 when it looked like the tricorne might make a comeback, but it never materialized.)
Speaking of urban "collabo" hats, yesterday I totally "flipped the script" and did something game-changing that will totally shift the paradigm of cycling forever:
I rode a fixie.
"A fixie?," you're no doubt asking. "What's that?"
Well, a fixie is a bike where there's only one gear and but you can't coast because when you stop pedaling the pedals keep turning anyway, so if you stop pedaling you die--unless you're wearing a helment, in which case nothing bad can happen to you. It sounds crazy, but all bikes used to be like that, and even in the Tour de France they rode fixies until the 1970s when in-decks shifting was invented. Also, in the olden days, fixie racing was really popular, even more than football, and in the 1860s they even used to have this thing called "sick day racing" in the Barclays Center! Fixie bikes then made a comeback in the early 21st century, when a sort of mania took over and people's eyes would dilate as they looked at any bike, no matter how ill-suited, and contemplated how best to make it into a fixie. Then, after awhile, they realized that fixie conversions were stupid and started riding regular bicycles with gears and coasting and stuff (or else turned their conversions back into regular bikes if they hadn't sawed off all the hangers and stuff) and the fixie was once again forgotten--until yesterday, when I singlehandedly rediscovered it.
It's been a hard winter. The trails are still snowed and iced in, so for those of us without fat bikes the only option is slogging away on the open road in 19 degrees American. So, desperate for any sort of variety, I entered my bike harem, selected my Ironic Orange Julius Bike, flipped the wheel around to the fixie side, and off I went.
Words cannot adequately express the sensation of riding a fixie. Sure, people have tried, but they've failed. See, it's a zen thing. You're like totally connected to the bike. You're thinking five moves ahead instead of three moves ahead, and other clichés. I only wish my Fly6 had been working so I could share the ride with you, but in the meantime this will have to suffice:
State Bicycle Co. - Galaxy Series from State Bicycle Co. on Vimeo.
By the way, that video comes via State Bicycle Co., who are sponsors of this blog and would like you to know the following:
We just released a “Galaxy” series that features iridescent cranks and hubs. These are available in our “standard” models for $519 (included Galaxy Holdfast Straps) and a 6061 “Black Label” Model for $659.
The only thing better than Zen is Iridescent Zen, and the only thing that looks better than riding an Iridescent fixie is doing so while wearing a BSNYC hat and eating a hamantaschen.
Also, regarding the Fly6, I emailed them and it turns out the reason the camera wasn't working was that the microSD card had popped out. I popped it back in, and now it seems to be works again, though I have not tested it.
ANYWAY, yeah, so there I am riding a fixie for the first time in quite awhile, and I was immediately transported to circa 2005--in fact, I was so deeply moved that I had to photograph the fixie in front of a gritty urban backdrop à la the Fixed Gear Gallery:
Dear Fixed Gear Gallery,
This is my Ironic Orange Julius Bike. It's 100% NJS. Skid patches, gear inches, skidding. I vibe hella and it's my classic peep during Art History. Plan to lose the breaks when I get more confident because breaks are for woosies. Three-cross laced to flip-flop rotofix 15mm wrenches that also open beer bottles hooray bike culture Chrome bags spoke cards Swobo shants.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
PS: Sheldon Brown Reference
Oh, and how could I forget the chainline shot?
(Clean drivetrains are for "woosies.")
I never really understood the point of the chainline shot. Presumably it was to show off how straight your chainline is, but if you point the camera along the chain then it's going to look straight no matter what. Or was it just to revel in the fixie-ness of the fixie, so that people looking at it would pop fixie boners? Alas, the whole fixie trend is dead, so we may never know.
Also, remember fixie blogs?
And what fixie bike shoot would be complete without an "artsy" shot? Here's the bike preparing to hurl itself into the icy river because it's so freaking ugly:
Lastly, all fixies should have at least one (1) ironic element, and mine has two, those being ultra-high-performance crabon headtube spacers on an otherwise haphazardly cobbled-together bicycle, as well as a completely pointless cable rub protector since the frame is already ruined:
(Weight savings of crabon spacers makes up for added weight of pointless rubber thing.)
Consider it my mini-homage to the top-tube pad. Remember top-tube pads? Those were hysterical:
Really, the whole thing was hysterical. Probably the most hysterical thing about it was that it was all bound up in trying to make the bikes look fast, until everybody realized they could go much faster on bikes that could shift and coast. If anything, it occurred to me on my ride yesterday that the fixie is really the ideal old person's bike, since you kind of twiddle along, and when you get back on the bike after emptying your bladder for the nineteenth time (you know, because you're old) you don't just jump onto the saddle and crank away. Instead, you slowly get the thing up to speed, like winding up an old phonograph.
Also, it's supposed to be bad for your knees after awhile, but I don't buy that, because my knees were fine--though my shark saddle was hurting my ass like a motherfucker:
If only they had launched this back in 2007 the fixie scene would have been all over it.
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a SHORT quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right then big deal, and if you're wrong you'll see how to put on a shitload of clothes.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and jump the shark but don't jump on the Shark, if you know what I mean.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) The Pee-Wee Herman bike on eBay ultimately sold for:
--"It's not for sale, Fran-cis."
2) What is this?
--The "Top-Tube Boner"
3) The inventor of this bike share power assist kit has been arrested for reckless endangerment.
4) The new $1,599 American Classic magnesium wheelset features a 200lb weight limit, a surface coating that requires the use of special brake pads, and complete tubeless incompatibility because the sealant will eat the metal.
(Playing an invisible harmonica.)
5) What is he doing?
--Eating an invisible corn-on-the-cob
--Rolling an invisible joint
--Using invisible dental floss
--All of the above
***Special "Fuck It, I'm Getting a Bricycle"--Themed Bonus Video***