By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
'THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE SADDEST TRENDS TO HIT CIVILIZATION'
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Sorry, but I don't feel any sympathy for a man who is harmed after refusing to do something he is told to do by the police [Nick Schou's Feb. 15 feature, "A Bad Break"]. This guy was under probation, and part of the deal is to comply with law enforcement at all times. Cops have the hardest job, and it's easy to play Monday-morning quarterback against them. But they don't know if this guy is a dangerous felon, or on PCP. All of this could have been avoided if he just did what the police asked him to do. And then he shoved the undercover cop and told him to "get the F out of [his] way." He got what he deserved.
The letters keep a-comin' about Vickie Chang's controversial Feb. 8 Trendzilla, "Look, Ma-No Brakes!" In the column, she tackled the rough and rugged world of hipsters and their fixed-gear bicycles.
Much more research would have been prudent on Vickie Chang's part before she actually went to print with her bicycle article. WTF is a picture of a cruiser bike doing fronting this article? Most fixed-gear riders are riding $2K track bikes that are modified only slightly from their racing configuration. There is no doubt that these bikes are dangerous. Unlike the geared road bike, the fixed-gear chain has no mercy on fingers, cuffs or anything else that is caught up in them. There is also the matter of breaking a chain, which effectively hoses your braking system.
Unfortunately, many people may read her article and buy a fixie strictly because it is trendy and end up badly hurt or worse. I would love to see a article in the OC Weekly that was written by someone with a little more knowledge on the subject. Anyone starting out, please Google "fixed-gear 101" or go to sheldonbrown.com to find out the real reason these bikes are so "trendy."
This is probably one of the saddest trends to hit civilization. That is not to say riding bikes shouldn't be cool; I just hate that these fixie elitists scoff at the face of anybody who rides anything less than a neon no-brake $3,000 bicycle. It's admirable to endorse environmentalism, wonderful to unite with other people who share the same interests, understandable to want a better ride and workout—but does this mean you have to criticize everybody who doesn't fully appreciate, obsess, or have the money to buy these things? I'm not talking about everyone who owns a fixie—I'm directing this to the sensitive, defensive and critical folk who are more caught up with being cool, those who buy fixies first, and then research reasons to defend themselves for owning one after the fact. With cool comes uncool, and this fixie obsession is ruining it for all of us with $20 purple mountain bikes. What a way to bring hate and shame to something as beneficial and beautiful as biking! Our goal should be to encourage ALL forms of bike riding; to make only a selected few bicycles cool is tampering with this solution to save our environment.
The OC Weekly really shot themselves in the foot with this one. Why are you even covering this type of article? The people who read this are the most sheltered "30-something hipsters" who leech onto fads in between reconstructive-surgery sessions. As a local Orange County writer, Vickie Chang, stick to things you know about, like the 30- to 60-year-old "OC hipster" pool you follow, conservative ignorance, fast-food chains, a fat ass and your distorted social realities.
As a former road racer and bike messenger from Boston, I feel this trend of fixed gears, or "fixies," is an epidemic of accidents waiting to happen. As a bike messenger, I never understood why someone would compromise their safety by not having brakes. I saw it then, and I see it now as a trendy subculture of poseurs with their pedal-pusher pants trying really hard to be cooler than the next guy. I also live in Long Beach, the epicenter of this trend in SoCal. Although I think there is beauty in the simplicity of a clean-looking minimalist bike, Long Beach is the worst place to have these bikes. Streets are narrow. Everyone comes dangerously close when passing, and there are no bike paths. After my experience as a bike messenger, I have come to the conclusion that cycling in Long Beach is treacherous. Gears are definitely needed to wind up and get by/evade cars. Nobody thinks about cyclists on the road. Never mind half of the people driving are busy talking on their cell phones and not paying attention even to other cars! I'm glad you shed some light on this scene. I just hope these cyclists have a good insurance plan.