Friday, June 22, 2007

My Little Fixie... or... Craigslist is the new mall


Not exactly a food related post here, but bear with me, people...

It's all over for me, friends. I done gone and dove headlong into the weird and wondersome culture of the fixed gear...

I could well have been content with riding my trusty old Diamond Back road bike, the Master TG, 105 workhorse, reincarnation of the old Centurion Dave Scott triathlon bike. It's served me faithfully and without complaint for the last seventeen years. It humored my fantasies of racing back in the 90s; labored tirelessly as my commuter in the aughts; and suffered the indignity of supporting my doughy bare ass two weeks ago on the World Naked Bike Ride; But no, I had no choice but to stray...

It was inevitable, really, once I got to thinking about that old Motobecane in my parents' basement a few weeks ago. The notion that the old Moto could be resurrected as a fixed gear bike crept into my head and took over my senses. I began to imagine myself reunited with my old bike, rebuilt as a glorious messenger steed, the two of us cruising the streets of Portland without brakes and without care... But alas, it was not to be. The Motobecane has apparently moved on.

What else could I do but turn to the great Craig Newmark for help? A quick search on Craigslist turned up just what I was looking for: a fixie built on an old school french road frame, with ridiculously tiny handlebars, no brakes whatsoever, and an unholy thirst to run wild through the streets of southeast Portland. And all this for less than the price of a good wheelset!

For now, my road bike has little to worry about. It will remain my workhorse. But you never know. The fixie may well be underneath me on next year's Naked Ride. Stay tuned...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you read your emails you would have discovered that there is a bike in the crawl space that I was willing to get out when I go back July 25th and have Dad send you. I'm not sure which bike it is, but is that a non-issue now? Reply soonest! Mom

patrick said...

ooo... ridiculously tiny handlebars? have you seen my flickr group, fixed gear short handlebar fetish? well you ought to check it out!

Good to know you got all fixed up.

best

patrick

tommy said...

Patrick-

Not to brag or anything, but mine were quite a bit smaller than those. The irony of the whole thing is that they were exactly the handlebars I wound up replacing them with (Soma Urban Pursiut); along the line someone had hacksawed them down to the bare minimum. And if that weren't enough, they hadn't even bothered to measure before doing it apparently, as one side was a half inch shorter than the other. People. What can ya do?

The fixie is now in fine form. New bars, clips and straps, a lock ring, and I even put a brake on up front. I haven't been on my road bike for a like a month now!

tommy said...

Oh, incidentally, Gary over at the Bicycle Repair Collective is collecting photos of minimal handlebars (he got really excited when he saw mine). Let's all harrass him into posting his collection on the BRC website...