With the Westminster Bicycle Swap Meet fast approaching I finally got around to converting two old road bikes into fixed gears to sell at the event. I always enjoy doing these conversions. I love the simplicity of a fixed gear bicycle. I also love the nostalgic throw back to the early years of cycling, both historically and personally (after all my Big Wheel was technically a fixed gear). Gradually, riding fixed gear bikes has become a cool thing to do. More recently it has morphed into the "ultra-hip-indie-rocker-high-school-kid- in-tight-jeans" way to separate from the crowd. Aspects of this are great. Few elements of cycling find their way into pop-culture. Other factors however, are less appealing. A select number of these youths recently latched onto the term "Critical Mass Ride" and altered the meaning to fit their musings. They somehow believe the intent is to ride 4,5,6… abreast through downtown Frederick on epoxy-made fixed gear bicycles as a prank on the community. Now I enjoy pranks and have done my fair share of joking around especially in my teen years. My two concerns are that the actions of a few will paint cyclists in a negative light and these few young people will never fully respect the bicycle in all of its glory.
Here is a video about the fixed gear craze.