Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Fixie of Hipsters

I love steel bicycles. I cannot explain why in a rational manner. A few years ago it looked like the days of fine handbuilt steel were numbered. The younger riders didn't identify with them in the visceral way we did and the builders, the keepers of the flame, were not being replaced by new blood. The New York messengers were holdouts for steel and they are hypercool. The messenger wannabe "hipsters" followed suit. God bless their metrosexual hearts. It has become cool to ride steel, particularly fixed gear, and steel frames are having a renaissance. (This past weekend the Men of Steel race, a series for steel framed bikes, in Athens, Ga drew 40,000 spectators.)

I enjoy reading the Bike Snob NYC. The author has a fine sense of humor. Recently hipsters have been sighted running in groups. The following was from his blog today:

A "fixie of hipsters" running en masse in a Greenpoint, Brooklyn bike lane can mean
any one of the following:

--People have long spoken in hushed tones about a
"hipster communication network" which can only be accessed via a secret iPhone
"app." Through this network, "hipsters" receive regularly updated commands and
style mandates from their consumerist overlords

--an oligarchy consisting of
Nike, Apple, General Electric, Bank of America, Google, and Wal-Mart Stores. For
example, it was this oligarchy that recently ordered all of hipsterdom to adopt
the flat-brim fitted cap. Now it seems they may have ordered "hipsters" to
abandon their bicycles and take up running, most likely to increase sneaker

--The Fixed-Gear Apocalypse is upon us, and we'll soon be living out a "28
Days Later" scenario in which the streets are strewn with abandoned track bikes
and crazed undead jogging "hipsters" with ironic Prefontaine
who feed upon the flesh of the living.

--"Hipsters" are not in fact abandoning their bikes altogether; instead, they're taking up triathlon.
This is a necessity for them, as their beloved Williamsburg concert venue,
McCarren Park Pool, is in fact being
turned from an ironic pool back into an actual pool
. Expect old-timey swimming costumes to make
an ironic comeback, and don't be surprised if you see some competitors palping p-fars
on the bike leg.

--They're not actually abandoning bicycles; it's just
cross-training for the increasingly competitive (ahem) "sport" of fixed-gear

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