The cycling counterculture

Fixie kids, you’re not as bad-ass as you might think.

I grew up in a California town that might as well have been midwestern.  Sure, the urban bike snob phenomenon in Boston was a surprise, but recently, I’ve been mystified by a more sinister phenomenon:  mobs of kids on BMX or cheapo 24″ bikes cruising around the urban fringe as if they were preparing for careers as moto-Shriners.  These bike squads seem to be part of the urban environment:  oversized shirts, oversized shoes, undersized bikes, no regard for traffic laws, and never ever a helmet.  To where are they going?

I rode by two such groups yesterday and couldn’t work up the nerve to snap photos from my academically spandexed perch.  There’s nothing that kills street cred more than the Ivy League.  Unless you’re Jordana Brewster.  Or Emma “Hermione” Watson.  Or JTT.

I shouldn’t be that surprised.  The public-schooled Bostonians that I met in college (not the blue-blooders that I learned to know and love) had the uncanny ability to perform front-wheelies on command – even on a 45-lb Huffy with suspect front brakes.  Additionally, there are probably as many second-hand BMX bikes on Craigslist (that I’ve always ignored) as there are road racing rigs.  Even Specialized seems to be part of the game.

A Reaver.  No BMX in the future.

Based on a quick search, this group seem to be vilified as much as our super-elite cycling community.  In 2006, a kid at Pop Warner football practice was shot by a kid on a bike.  Unfortunately, the only real exposition on a simple search for “bike gangs” was this tongue-in-cheek Canadian piece.  It’s a two-wheeled battle between the modern-day Cylons and Reavers (photo) for street cred supremacy!

I think a well-reasoned BMX hoodlum blog is a badly needed addition to our cycing community.  Takers?

Incidentally:  awesome.

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply