Saturday, 6 June 2009

A help line letter on style


Grinding my gears

What is with these fixed wheel kids cramming up the streets? Coloured wheels and tight trousers… what happens when they try and go up one of those high gradients eh? Or when a squirrel runs out into the road and there are no brakes to pull?

Wondering more about these spindly chumps, I forfeited one of my three carbon evil Google searches of the day and had a butchers at what the crack actually is. How far had this gone? I couldn’t believe the phenomenal outcome. Galleries dedicated to the yearning and salivating of potential ‘cool’ upgrades. Forums for the hill struggling riders. Sites and sites of the trading of these bikes. These ‘fixies’ have spread like melted butter. Oily mess.

Historically, couriers used to use them in the 1980s in New York. They are the most simplistic bikes, and back then they were cheap as fries, and (due to the fact you have to ‘commit’ to every bump and swerve in the road) they are quick. The couriers in London started to use them a bit later. And then they began to slowly acquire the trend ace card. So now they’re bloody expensive, the cool factor whacking up the pricing (just like they did with Casio watches. Sick.). They are also now massive in Germany (see film: Fixed City), so we’re talking a Global mania, infiltrating all aspects of modern life. The ‘fixie’ kid, is the new capitalism pick up. But still…so bloody cool. Best thing I saw as testament to this credential, the ‘Shoreditch Bike Polo Invitational’, sponsored by Brooks. My god.

However, amongst this, I saw a backlash to ‘we’re so different, we’re so unique, are you…?’ thing. Namely someone shooting fixed wheel bikes with bazookas. I mean, I just don’t know how to take the whole movement. In Bristol, I am sad to report, I have had many a bike stolen from my clutches, swiftly taken and sold for glue in the meaner streets, I presume. If I was to indulge in this trend, I think the tough kids would twist its dainty metal into oblivion. I may go to a man in Bristol and get one of the original ‘fixies’ of the 80s before they quadruple in price… Do you think that’s the right decision? I mean when it comes down to it, I’m all for a trend me (although I do live up a hill).

Yours,

Bertie

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