29 July 2010

A Day Off: No Hipster Fixies

I didn't ride today.  It rained heavily this morning.  My unwritten personal policy is that I don't start a ride in the rain unless I absolutely must; however, if there appears to be some risk or rain, I'll ride and accept the  consequences.  

Besides, having done my ride to the Delaware Water Gap on Sunday and about 35 miles on my fixed-gear yesterday, I feel as if I've done some quality cycling.  So, today, I took care of some business, which included getting a manicure and pedicure.  My nails were hideous!  Then I met with some members of the advisory committee of SAGE.  I might be working with them, as a volunteer, in the fall.

Perhaps I'm not noticing them, but there didn't seem to be as many of the "hipster fixies" on the streets of lower Manhattan as I'd been seeing in recent years.  Now, I'm always glad to see people riding bikes, whatever those bikes are.  Still, I hope that some riders will get onto bikes that are prettier or more useful than what they're riding. 

 Every once in a while, I'll get into a conversation with a hipster who tries to convince me that my bike will look "cooler" or "nicer" if I install a pair of wheels with Day-Glo-colored V-shaped rim and other parts and accessories in various eye-burning hues.  While both of my Mercians are finished with paint that turns purple, green or silver--depending on how the light hits it or how you look at it, though it's purple more often than not--it's actually rather elegant and understated in a similar way to the "fade" paint jobs (something I normally abhor) on the old Swiss Mondia bicycles.  And I prefer to stick with classic and classy parts in silver or black,and to have a touch of additional color in an accessory like a bag or handlebar wrap.

Maybe I'm just getting old and conservative.  Then again, I've never wanted a tatoo, not even when I was hanging out with punk rockers back in the day.  I guess I never was a hipster or one of its predecessors.  Somehow I don't think I missed much.

Anyway...Tomorrow I'm going to ride. I don't know what, how or where, but I plan on it.


  1. While I also dislike the aesthetics of the V-rimmed "fixies", what bothers me the most about them is the conformity. The original idea of the bright colours was to express individuality, but these bicycles look absolutely uninspired and depressingly cookie-cutter to me. Just looking at them makes me want to immediately look at something else; something with a hint of actual individuality to it!

    I have been riding my fixed gear "Marianne" a lot, but while on short (<20miles) rides she is great, on longer rides I feel limited by her geometry. I constantly find myself wishing for a fixed road bike with drop bars and a more comfortable feel.

    Out of curiosity, what are the angles on your Mercians?

  2. Well, I've got 7 tattoos and I still like my bikes on the classic side :D When I first dropped by I did admire your bar tape. Feminine without screaming frills.

  3. BB: I'm not anti-tatoo. I just never could see myself with one. It's a bit like clothing: Sometimes I see someone wearing something I like but could never see myself wearing.

    Velouria: Rock'n'roll was once considered a form of rebellion. Now it's used to sell watered-down beer, cars and sneakers. This year's eclat is next year's background.