Fixed-Gear Hooligans in CT,
Editor's note: Culture clash in the burbs! Fixers dressed gnarly street clothes riding their primer-coated fixed iron! Sneered at by suburban cycling snobs in neon-color-spandex! So Steven's going on a revenge campaign. It's starting with an attitude, followed by some cool CAD design work. Here's how he tells it....
I ride my pista on long rides with road buddies, errands, and especially commuting to-from work(21 mile round trip), basically ALL the time... I prefer fixed over f/w, ESPECIALLY in traffic. In fact, freewheels make me uncomfortable: I love the braking leg control with a fix. I bought my pista from a guy who was running it with a bmx freewheel on it, and when I first took it for a spin with the freewheel on it, I rode about 6 feet and I couldn't ride it another inch. I scrounged up a 14t 3/32 track cog and got it on there, and *then* I could ride it. so, I'm running 44x14 now and I can lay the smackdown on geared folks if and when they 'jump up to get beat down'.
When i'm riding and a road person pulls up they're in amazement that somebody's got a pista on the roads! they say: "I thought those things were only for the velodrome" ... or "wow, I've never seen a track bike outside of the track," if they say anything at all. I guess folks out here in the suburbs get freaked out easily by anything outside of the status quo. In CT, fixes ride with pride! I still wave to other cyclists, and I'm always friendly to folks on bikes; even if they recoil in horror when they see the primer-black track attack!
The feel I'm going for with the artwork: an Old Skool outlaw MC club-type feel. People up here look at any maniac on a fix or, worse yet, a track like we're "1%'ers" as it is, so we'll give it right back! There's many mtn bike and road clubs and group rides (all in the snobb-tastic, 'refuse-to-wave-to-the-guy-with-tattoos-on-the-primer-black-pista-with-bullh orns), but we're trying to hook up something 'street level' and fun. Thanks to you and your site for continuing inspiration! That's where the idea for the 'revenge' logo came from: being tired of no cycling unity. If ya can't join 'em, beat 'em! I'd be stoked if folks wanted to take the art and use it for their own selves or their own group of 2-wheeled, fixgear misfits.
© Steven Karp, 2003
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