San Diego Evening Post: Vol. 5

Maybe it's the unseasonably warm weather, maybe it's nostalgia, maybe it's because cycling will possibly be a part of Entrepreneur Day, maybe it's because my BFFs bike film just premiered but whatever the reason, a two wheeled fixation has been creeping back into my consciousness. The urban cycling movement has been floating just off the main trend cycle for the last decade poised to strike with the turn of a pedal.

My first introduction to the urban cycling experience came in late 2005 when I was told of these bike messengers who rode through San Francisco on bikes without brakes. This was too impossible to fathom without seeing it. I had been skating in SF almost every weekend and bombing those hills had become the gold standard of adrenaline rushes, but the thought of an even gnarlier way of conquering the City had me interested, then I saw this...


So like any normal?! person would do, I quit my job, sold my car, and bought one of those fixed geared bikes with no brakes (they actually are Track Bikes, but they are called fixies due to the fact that the cog on the back wheel is fixed in place i.e. no coasting). My life was forever changed.

This form of riding became my life with my buddies; we lived in reckless bliss, evolving our riding styles, living out our youthful lives in a two wheeled utopia. At first there were only a handful of shops which supported this new discipline ( VeloCult in Southpark, Freewheel and American Cyclery in SF). While the early track blogs( TrackosaurusRex, HKFixed, ProllyisnotProbably) became our New York Times, but when the MASH SF film came out in 2007 the world's eye turned to Fixed Gears. Soon every bike shop was selling track bikes, BMX companies were making track bikes, Urban Outfitters had cheap China made fixies for sale, even the tweaker living under the bridge was selling track bikes. In our eyes pure innocents of the sport had been tainted.

We were wrong; It evolved, and we with it. Our insatiable appetite for the rush had been paid for with broken bones, claps lungs, torn skin and muscle. Our love of the two wheels remained. Some of us, myself included, went on to admire the aesthetic beauty of the bike culture more than the initial rush that hooked us into it. Others, the true junkies, continued to push the culty track-bike-on-the-road side of things into a full blown lifestyle ( my best friend Shawn Remy just premiered No Coast, a film about a group of these riders who in a week, rode their single speed, brake-less track bikes from Portland OR, to San Francisco, CA. averaging 110 miles a day! I've done two plus 100 mile in a day rides in my life, that shit is BONKERS!).

While fixed gears have gotten most of the publicity in the urban cycling arena, there have always been other forms of two wheeled transportation out there. Especially in San Diego, we are lucky that with a network of bike trails, beautiful year round weather, and relatively easy coastal terrain( just don't ride down Laurel St.), this city is a perfect place for two wheels. Plus with homegrown, local bike companies like Electra, Canari, Specialized, etc. in our neighborhood, riding bikes just makes sense.

Now, if we can just organize a Ralph Lauren Tweed run in San Diego....


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