Thanks to Ludwig for cheering me up after the the Cycling Messenger World Championship with this one. Too funny. Both sides.
Eingeordnet unter 2009, Mob
David M. of Assos/RGT fame forwarded this one to me last week:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOur8qXvpnk&feature=PlayList&p=2726027FA7111B
Yes it is good and made me laugh…. I work in Akasaka and the Messenger Freaks are everywhere!
I thought I should mention that this was … filmed in my hometown, Portland, Oregon, the most bicycle friendly city in the U.S. of A. The "Stumptown Coffee Roasters" a few seconds in is the best clue, plus the Bagdad Theater as the rider goes down SE Hawthorne a few miles from my Mom's house in a neighborhood full of coffee houses and aspiring novelists, and where I rented a road bike in summer of 2007.Check out the list of over 30 bike builders … at the Bike Portland website. not to mention the B-Smart system for "bike safety monitoring and reporting tool" so that cyclists report collisions and close calls to build a data base of problem locations, and job listings … customer service rep for Chris King anyone?
Love the blonde pumping on the right, she does it with the right amount of panache. She surely could soothe away Michael's messenger blues!
The counterargument for the fixie, eloquently stated in today's Washington Post … which I was NOT reading with the intent of adding to my way-too-many posts of this Monday. Let the record show that I've been commuting on one for almost 5 years, so I'm on the bleeding edge of the trend of middle-aged professionals who ride them trying to fit in with the stylish messengers. It is harder work to ride it than the road bike, but it feels alive, is very, very low maintenance, and sometimes in Tokyo one must sacrifice for bike fashion.
Thanks for alerting us to that great article. I don't see it making an argument for the fixie – on the contrary, it shows nicely what a stupid idea it is to ride such an unsafe bike!
If you love bikes, you love fixies. Until you've ridden fixed, preferably on the track, but on the road too, you can't truly understand the fun of riding – or the history for that matter. Its a bike, dude – chill out. How can riding a bike be stupid? Manfred seems to be at least a long days ride away from the Zeitgeist.
I love fixies.Manfred is clearly coming at this from a different direction … so to paraphase his most famous quotation: Captain Rumpelstoss: But… how will I learn to ride a bicycle, Herr Colonel? Colonel Manfred von Holstein: The way we do everything in the German army: from the book of instructions.
Hahaha, glad to be contributing to the entertainment on this blog with my nickname…In all seriousness, everybody is entitled to their opinion and preferences. I was partly reacting to the treatment MOB and David had to endure when trying to participate in the recent world championships in Tokyo, which didn't seem to show this was a particularly inclusive community. But maybe this was just bad luck.In any case, I would quite like to try out riding a track bike on a track. Surely must be fun. But I do think that it is a bad idea to ride these bikes on normal roads, putting to risk the lives and livelihood of not only the riders but also innocent others. I just don't see any defence in this regard – love for something does not condole any kind of behaviour.
Surprinsingly many comments.Honestly, when I watched the video I thought that there was made fun of boths sides, the hipster as well as the performance obsessed roadie. But then again, definitely more about the hipster.I was surprised how many fixie followers we have on the blog, I wasn't aware of one and we have hardly anything to offer in writing for them.Ludwig had some strong points in his last response.First, just as him, I have nothing against fixies, but I stil have not the warmest feelings for the unsympathic guys organizing the CMWC in Tokyo this month.Second, if at all, fixies are something for the urban areas and not for the roads we normally ride out. It is hard to believe that riding up Matsuhime pass will offer the same amount of fun. Not even thinking about the ride down. So our riding interests do no necessarily match with the fixie culture.And third, it is maybe OK to ignore the general technical progress in terms of comfort. Otherwise we should all have upgraded to Shimano Di2 already.Yes, the pure old thing might offer a better experience. We go to the theatre despite TV and the movies and we go to watch concerts despite ipods and multi media full surround dolby sound centers.Convenience and comfort are not everything that counts.But it is hard to recognise compromises on personal safety, in particular if they seem so unneccesary. Why is it considered uncool to have a brake on a bike?Just because, as the article suggests, it destroys the pure design line of the bike?I was drafting behind a (brakeless) fixie in town and when he started to skid I was just horrified.Certain minimum requirements must be met. "But it was the fastest passenger airplane on the planet …"Yes, but the Concorde wasn't safe. That is called a minimum requirement despite all beauty and speed.Pure track bikes were made for tracks. And there they are fun.
well well well… so much theory… what happened to my happy boyz?!Sure enough one will be unhappy if one is denied participation in the CMWC, however, how can one seriously intent to enter the Cycle Messenger World Championship – the clue is in the name! – with anything other than a messenger bike (and possibly being a messenger him/herself – and knowing how to get off it 'in style' 😉 ? How about wanting to do it on roller blades? Or better yet, on a power assisted shopping bike? (not that she might like to lend it to you anyways) ;-)It is unfortunate that in turn people riding fixies are being labeled as "unsympathetic guys", rants are published on related websites, and the whole discussion in this blog here is lopsided and bitter.Fixies – fun or not, safe or not… whatever. They are bikes. And they make you happy.Look up Sheldon "Coasting is bad for you" Brown! Not only to read even more about fixies (I will have to start committing myself to thinking about buying one myself) but to admire some proper mustache!And watch this: http://eightyfoureightyfive.com/2009/07/16/anima-dacciaio-frame-builder/Simply beautiful. (and what a bike he rides! ;-)Miss Yello
Hi Miss Yello,Now that you have identified yourself as the expert, may I use the opportunity to get some expert advice. Why it is that fixies are called messenger bikes and why messenger bike championships demand fixies? Where I live (Tokyo) and where I often work (Osaka), I see a lot of messengers and their bikes, and I have a lot of admiration and respect for them, but somehow none of them rides on a fixie… They all ride very normal road racers…A puzzled Manfred
Dear puzzled Manfred,I am sure this is not an unfamiliar condition for you as this is quite a simple concept to grasp. Here are my pearls of wisdom.Why is it that fixies are called messenger bikes?Not all bikes that messengers ride are fixed, and not all fixed bikes are ridden by messengers. However, messengers have largely (re-)introduced fixed gear bikes to the streets and they are for now identified with messengers.Why does the messenger bike championship require fixies? Because this was a track race, and those races are ridden on track bikes – the clue is in the name! A track bike is a fixed gear bike with no brakes by definition. This is different to a messenger bike which could come with at least a front brake, and that, together with the rear gear brake, makes it as safe as any other bike. (refer to a recently won court case by a guy on a fixie+front brake in your fatherland)The Yello Expert
Thanks. I guess I would have never been able to reach such conclusions myself. I'm still puzzled as to why despite its great advantages and super coolness, there don't seem to be any (?) (many?) messengers using these bikes, at least not in Japan. And why there are track races with gear bikes, e.g. JCRC… These clues in the names are truly confusing…
Hi Manfred, Hi Yello Expert:I just wanted to thank both of you for the very entertaining discourse on fixies / messenger culture.Fixies are really catching on in Tokyo too and I'd guess that 4 out of 10 messengers operating in the neighborhood of my office ride one (mostly with a front brake though). I certainly don't have an instinctive aversion to them (and the people riding them), on the contrary, I really like the simple and elegant looks of a fixie and would love to try and perhaps own one for my more "urban rides" (probably not for breaking togebaka records!). The other day, I witnessed 2 keirin pros (with round helmet and all!) practice on Yamabushi-toge…they sure were pedaling fast going down!!As to track racing, I understand that, as a rule, one must ride a single-speed track bike (at least for competitions). Nevertheless, some track course operators (Kawasaki, etc) allow normal road bikes on certain days, as MOB knows all too well. Next time, I plan to join MOB and Hiroshi to give this a try as well!My grandma used to tell me not to turn up my nose at foods without trying them… maybe that is why I love all this stinky food!
Nice concluding note to this thread! Thanks, Tom.
My pleasure Manfred. In Japanese, it's called: KUWAZUGIRAI".
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