People who have never tried a fixed gear, will not understand what is special about it.
Once they try, an opinion is possible and an eventual switch from gears to fixed wheel.
Of course, not everyone will like the fact that riding such bicycle requires more anticipation and attention than a standard road bike.
Purchasing a bicycle is something special. A bike is a rather personal object.
First, there is the make/builder as well as the colour and style. Will it be a road/racing bicycle or a mountain bike? Some prefer to go for a touring bicycle depending on the ambition and type of cycling.
Whatever you decide to go for, you want it to be the right thing with the right feel.
Even when it comes to get a fixed gear (probably the simpliest of all because no derailleur and the eventual front brake), the rides have to be comfortable whether it is for an urban commute or a longer ride.
Once the model is established, it is about “the bits“. Whatever style you decide to go for it can become complicated and exciting at the same time.
Imagine that you have this nice looking thing giving you the opportunity to go wherever you want, whenever you wish! But some details aren’t exactly matching your personality or a different saddle would be better for your well being and posture or just a louder bell?!
All can be adjusted and/or changed. There is no real limit. Buy a cheap(er) bicycle and amend whatever is not right without forgetting the essential accessories such as decent helmet, visibility jacket, gloves, front & back lights for a start.
According to your budget, flexibility can be possible.
Of course, some people are more cyclists than riders. What is the difference?
- A cyclist is generally a person with all the equipment – mainly the lycra thing and everything is matching: brand and colours. All this can be (very) pricey.
- A rider is more a person who likes to ride not caring too much whether he/she looks cool/trendy as long as there is a fun side.
Let’s be clear here, cyclists and riders aren’t enemies. It is just a different “breed“. We could compare this with joggers and runners…maybe?
Anyway, it is clear to identify.
The other association with cyclists is the coffee pit stop.
Rapha has created coffee cups and even a limited edition espresso machine because “apparently” cyclists like such drink… or do they actually drink it to give them a boost?
Here is an article giving some explanations. All this is not that new.
…The legendary Eddy Merckx rode for Faema for his first dominant Tour de France victory in 1968. Faema is an acronym for Fabbrica Apparecchiature Elettromeccaniche e Affini but Belgian cycling fans said it stood for Faites Attention, Eddy Merckx Arrive (Look out, Eddy Merckx is coming)…
A good hit of caffeine will certainly help to get that kick for a few extra miles and the independent artisan coffee roaster is able to make the green beans appealing to the right crowd. Coffee is (initially) a fruit and then it becomes a science. Alternatively, you can opt for protein drinks.
When taking the road/cyclepath for a few miles (whatever the distance and itinerary) it is important to be happy with the steed and all details about it. An aluminium/steel/carbon frame won’t give you the same results: it is all about the rigidity and/or shocks’ absorption without forgetting the weight which can play a major role if racing.
Overall, what counts is to obtain what you are after. Quality is what everyone wants and the actual difference between bikes and ways of riding can be seen as irrelevant, but it isn’t.
When cycling, everything is important.
For the ones who never heard or been to BikeFilmNight – here is a short definition:
It is a casual and relaxed evening where films – mainly about fixed gear – are screened. It is about getting the Exeter cycling community (on fixed gear or not) under one roof for a couple of hours or so. The cost of a seat is generally a few Pounds (usually less than a fiver). The money taken goes to a charity not to One Gear Exeter.
In the past (since November 2012), the event took place at Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre in the cosy Blackbox space. 40 seats would receive the audience.
There were also a handful of local businesses able to show their products/services before and after the projection such as:
- No Guts No Glory,
- Magic Bike Mike,
- Alistair Cope (Velo Vintage),
as well as Dave Noakes and Juliet Elliott representing Coven Magazine and ready to interact about various things linked to fixies as both have been bike messengers in London.
Now it is time to change venue just because it is time to change venue. Always good to find different places – which doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again at The Phoenix.
This is where the real venture, battle actually starts.
Exeter can be difficult… Emails have been sent, meetings and chats happened to find a free space with projection equipment (projector, screen, computer…) and 40+ seats. Exeter has offices/boardrooms and other spaces with such installations! Just thinking of the new Exeter Library Rougemont Room with all facilities needed. However, the price for this room is a daily rate which can reach around £180! And well, it is not exactly open after 7pm anyway…
Having had various discussions with local theatres, pubs and other places, it seems that there is a rate to pay to have this type of evening! However, why having to pay a fee when 100 percent (and not only the benefits) of the money taken is going to a charity – all cash taken at the bar is in fact kept by the actually place hosting that evening! Exeter can be difficult to get the point of BikeFilmNight. Once again, One Gear Exeter is not a business and doesn’t make money but in fact drags 40+ people into their space. The winner is the host and it is great and free advertising too.
You would think that a local business would be more than happy to shelter such cycling event where everyone is welcome to watch short films/documentaries about fixed gear culture without being pretentious.
All this to explain why Exeter hasn’t had a BikeFilmNight meetup since September 2014.
Fear not, as there are a couple of quirky venues which are rather interested to receive BikeFilmNight. Date, time, address will be revealed in due course… just be patient (or try).
Thank you and follow #BikeFilmNight on Twitter for the updates.