The fixie as a cultural influence. And some fixie tricks.

So I came across a site called ‘Prolly Is Not Probably‘. It straight away made me laugh when it described itself as a “website based in Brooklyn that covers a cross-section of cultural influences. Bikes, Music, Architecture, Media, Fashion, Art, whatever.”

Let me just pull that up and run it once again: “…a cross-section of cultural influences. Bikes, Music, Architecture, Media, Fashion, Art…”

Now, I love bikes. Right from my first bike, which was a second hand Raleigh girls bike (my Dad insists it was a boys bike, but it so obviously wasn’t that I just go along with it.  He must be deeply ashamed) I have loved bikes. I’ve messed around with BMXs, road bikes, commuters,  and various forms of mountain bikes over the years. And biking effects the way I live my life. But I think it’s being a little bit ostentatious to site ‘Bikes’ as a cultural influence. Come on. Really?

Anyway, that’s really an aside. What I wanted to post about here was a trailer for a video that I found on ‘Prolly Is Not Probably’; a trailer for a film called Empire. It’s about a year old, so don’t expect anything new here. It’s a film about ‘having fun with your bike in the city’, and it looks great: nice production values, lots of footage of hip looking guys and gals doing crazy shit on their fixies, cool locations… awesome, right?

I don’t know.

For a start, as a guy who rides through some of the busiest traffic in London on a daily basis, I was wincing slightly at some of the traffic dodging going on in this clip. I do like to play it fast and loose with traffic to get from A to B as quickly as possible, I will occasionally jump red lights, and I do, almost every day, end up in a silent race with another pumped-up rider, but there’s always a bit of a nod to safety. Especially the safety of pedestrians, who don’t expect or choose to have to deal with some speeding dude on a bike when they’re crossing the road at an authorised point. I’m the last person to get all stuffy about this, most of my friends think I ride ‘like a dick’, but (and I can’t believe I’m about to type this) the guys in the vid come across as a bit…irresponsible. Take risks with your own body by any means, but don’t involve other people.

For another thing, whilst I like fixies and think their smooth lines and uncluttered profile is an attractive thing, I think they look a bit stupid doing urban tricks. It’s a bit like powersliding a caravan – it’s just not right. When you look at Danny MacAskill or the Collective guys their bikes look appropriate for the kind of riding they do. And they are. But a track bike adapted for the road just doesn’t look all that comfortable jumping off stuff. The wheels are just to thin, the tyres too skinny. Get a trial bike or a BMX. I know I’m way out of date on this and that fixie freestyling is the latest thing, but I just don’t buy it.

Anyway, you can judge for yourself!

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Filed under Bike Stuff

5 responses to “The fixie as a cultural influence. And some fixie tricks.

  1. Parker, you fuddy duddy! That is awesome. Velo-ballet! Adding gears or knobblies would make it ballet in football-boots. Fine for a back-water. But the city is more sophisticated than that!

    I agree with you that it’s totally irresponsible, though.

  2. Richard Parker

    Velo-ballet’s a bit different I think…this is velo-balet:

    Check out the MacAskel vid – I think it’s a better way of using urban spaces…

  3. Toby

    Reminds me of this classic from years back…

    That German indoor shit is pretty insane too.

  4. Toby

    Now this, I’ll grant you, is perhaps a little irresponsible… …alleycat racing with a drink downed at every checkpoint…

  5. Richard Parker

    Awesome links Toby, thanks

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