Saturday, 12 December 2009

Why so much hate over a type of bike?

Having recently purchased a "fixed-gear" bike I came under scrutiny within hours of announcing my new mode of transport. Since the said discussion about the bike, I have been thinking a lot about why people hate fixed gear bikes/riders so much.
I have read articles talking about how much of a pest fixed gear riders are. And in my opinion the people who have written the articles obviously havn't the faintest idea about cycling or even bicycles. I have been a cyclist for a number of years now and have tried/bought pretty much every different bike under the sun... and it seemed fixed gear was the last box to tick off. The simplicity of them, I must admit is one of its most attractive characteristics for me. That and the fact they are a hell of a lot of fun to ride. I can understand people disliking the trendy kids that buy them simply cause it is the latest fashion, but not everyone who owns a fixed-gear should be tarred with the same brush surely?

To be perfectly honest I'm not too keen on the kids that are getting these bikes who barely know how to ride a standard geared bike, as they are a danger to themselves as well as everybody around them. But what about experienced cyclists that actually know how to bring one to a stop without wiping themselves out on the side of a taxi?

One thing that I can't understand is why people dislike the fact that people do tricks on them. Because If you look at current extreme sports such as rollerblading, skiing and motocross, I don't think any of the above were designed to do tricks. So people hating them for that reason is utterly pathetic. Could it be the fact that it is seen as a somewhat new trend? Maybe? It is a quite well known fact that people don't like change or difference. So could this be the case with fixed-gears? But what a lot of the haters do not realize is that fixed gear bikes have been around for a lot longer than they think. They might not have been as good as they are nowadays, but they had one gear and no brakes none the less.

The point I am trying to make is not that the people who dislike this breed of bike should be shot at dawn or anything, just that they should be a little more open minded about what people enjoy or prefer. But I understand that where there is love, hatred will be lingering somewhere. I do respect and accept other peoples opinions regardless of whether I agree or not.

I'd like to finish by thanking anyone who has taken the time to read and hopefully understand my sleep deprived ramblings.

by Connor Sullivan

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