Fixed gear bicycles are all the rage in our neighborhood. I think this means that the bike can’t coast because the bike’s crank and the rear wheel are dependent of each other. What is so great about that? I mean I love coasting, don’t all girls?
Still Liam assures me that fixies are, “…awesome Mom.”
Whoever makes and markets these bikes is completely aware of this fact too because the bikes cost a small fortune. So this is how the conversation goes:
“Dad, can I get a fixie if I pay for it myself?”
“Sure Liam, but why don’t you make one?”
Liam had $200 to spend. All his friends ride $500 fixies. Back when his dad was a kid everyone had to have a BMX bike. He couldn’t ever have the newest or the coolest, but if he wanted it he could build it from a combination of used parts and a few new essentials.
Liam’s dad assured him that a homemade bike will never look like Lance Armstrong’s track bike, might not even look like the ones his friends ride but he will ride with the satisfaction of knowing that he made his bike.
And so bike construction began. Liam learned today how to purchase a spoke for 60¢, install it, and true the wheel instead of plunking down $100 for a brand new wheel.
Ownership is certainly valid, but pride in craftsmanship has personal investment that can’t be bought.