I think I'm beginning to understand the fixed gear fad. It's BMX for big kids. The mentality is the same as the young kids who buy so-called BMX bikes -- you know, the boat-anchor 20-inch wheel bikes they use for just fooling around...jumping off library steps, wheelies on front or back wheel, sitting on while smokin' a cigarette, hangin' with their buds...that kind of stuff.
Time has passed. The same kids want to do the same stuff but they're too big for 20-inch bikes. So they've "invented" the fixed-gear 700c bike. Same devotion to fashion with the "in" parts versus stock ones. Same wheelies, jumping off curbs and smokin' cigarettes. Same stuff, different bike.
This idea came to me as Heather and I rode by a playground. Here was a hipster/fixter, all alone, practicing his wheelies and other BMX-inspired trickery. Reminded me of descriptions of Major Taylor in front of the bike shop in the old daze.
How long before the BMX brands come out with hipster/fixters? I think they already have them but not branded with the same name. Mongoose, owned by Pacific (the Sprawl-Mart brand) is probably having 'em cranked out by some Chinese factory as I type this.
Performance Bike Shop/Nashbar has 'em. Even some legit distributors have them now. I made a snarky comment to one of them them when I saw his newest contraption: "I hope you don't have too many of these in the pipeline; this fad isn't going to last much longer." But who knows what these kids will take up next...
At least they're OUTSIDE - not sitting on the couch playing video games! Perhaps one or two of 'em (just like with 20-inch bikes --- as in Robbie McEwen) might eventually take up "real" cycling.
In response to Larry's letter, I said that I wouldn't care about these guys - if they didn't look (to the public's eye) so much like me and my bikerider friends. Larry said that they DON'T look like him, meaning I believe that he wears lycra clothing and a helmet, not knickers and a tiny-billed "cycling" cap.
The fixters do look more like me than they do like Larry. Since my crash seven months ago, I have not felt (and please don't ask me to explain this) like a bike rider. So I've been riding in jeans, worn over cycling shorts. I have not looked like a genuine roadie. With pants clips around my ankles, perhaps I look like a hipster, an aging one in a red, white and green helmet - and mountain bike shoes.
I think Larry has something there about the BMX kids morphing into fixie kids. Otherwise, where did they come from? And, as some Greek said, nuthin' comes from nuthin', right?
PS I don't know why there's this giant space under my post. I tried and tried to get rid of it. Sorry.