My build in progress.
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While visiting with my brother and friends outside of the stadium this weekend we met this kid and his buddy. Both were clueless, but confident. They passionately explained to me that FG was like nothing else, the connection to the bike was amazing…stuff like that. The handlebars were the part that concerned me the most. They didn’t know that a cog would fit. His buddy was offended when we asked him why he didn’t just get a cog. He thought we said “why don’t you just get a car?” I kinda like them kids….
Thanks to Glenn Landberg for the pictures
So after a long evening of watching UFC at Suds, I met my brother and a friend at the Broadway. Classy evening to be sure. After a quick drink, everyone was ready to call it a night. My friend decided she needed snacks so she walked and I rode to the gas station across the street. There always seems to be at least one officer whenever I am near this place, and of course there was. He complimented my bike (which means he thought I stole it, right?) and I asked him if there was any problem with not running breaks, because my friends out in Portland have had some issues with it. He told me (paraphrasing now) that they are much too busy to worry about how we set up our bikes, and also that I should get a light on my bike. He was obviously very busy (go get them DUI’s boss!) so I bid him a safe evening and continued doing figure eight’s around the gas pumps.
The thing I found most interesting about our short exchange was that he used the phrase I always use when on the “wrong” side of the law…”Don’t you have something better to be doing right now?” and they always say “No we are here to keep you safe blah blah blah….” So thank you officer.
You should definitely read this about BPD’s official stance and law’s pertaining to you. Be as knowledgeable and proactive as possible, on and off your bike.
My fixed gear fascination started where so many places things in my life started, Portland Oregon. I probably haven’t spent more than a couple months total in that town, but it is my favorite place to vacation. I loved to walk around that town, especially southeast, and look at things. The houses, the sidewalks, the people. The bikes people were riding were amazing. Living in Boise, I had grown accustomed to the fact that anyone riding a bike with drop bars would be wearing skin tight neon colored body suits, and that kept me away from road bikes. The road bikes I would see at thrift stores or garage sales would be covered in levers and rusty cables and looked, in general, like hell. I had never seen past that like I did that first time in Portland.
I decided to take a walk in Portland, and get lost. I was on vacation, by myself, and it was a great idea. I saw places I never would of seen from a bus or cab or with my set-in-their-ways friends. I loved the bikes I saw, The ones with fancy lugs painted white and the rest of the tubes red. I didn’t know that fixed gear existed, I sure didn’t know how it worked. I tried to explain the amazing things I saw to my dad the next time I saw him, as if I went to some fairy land and was trying to explain dragons and unicorns.
The first single speed I had started life as a 1980’s 820 Trek mountain bike. I pulled off all the gears, levers, brakes, all that crap. I didn’t know I could spin the cassette off and put a bmx freewheel on, until I found Sheldon Browns website, so I rode it like a jackass for a while. After I put the freewheel on, I painted it metallic blue, and it was a thing of beauty. Someone stole it out of my backyard. Asshole.