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Friday, April 29, 2011

San Francycle: Get Your Fixie Fix

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 7:30 AM


Fixies! Dangerous and insane, right? Well, yes, but only if you don't know how to ride them. In the right hands (and legs), a fixed-gear bike is graceful and glorious.

Fixed-gear enthusiasts are a proud bunch. We'll never forget the first time we walked into Mission Bikes and chatted with Jefferson about his products. When we asked about gears, he shrugged. "We're just not derailleur people," he said.

If you want proof of the fixie rider's prowess, head down to the fixed-gear fair this weekend at Justin Herman Plaza. The official name of the event is Red Bull Ride + Style, but all you really need to know is that there'll be flashy bike tricks and bike art.

The location is an interesting choice: Justin Herman Plaza isn't always

the nicest place to ride a bike. Getting from the Ferry Building to

Market Street is a little complicated, since there are no clearly marked

bike paths.

The SF Bike Coalition

wants to fix that with a plan that would install continuous bike lanes

from the bay to the beach. One of the first steps is fixing up the plaza so cyclists can maneuver through people with

minimal conflict.

Sadly, the completion of that plan has just been delayed a little longer, with the San Francisco County Transportation

Authority admitting that installing better bike lanes throughout Golden Gate Park will

prove more challenging than it thought. The project was supposed to be done this spring, but December is the new

completion date.

Nevertheless, this weekend, bikes will rule, with some 60

stunt riders coming from all over the world to show off on a

specially built track. Riders will compete on the track in a series of

rounds until a winner is declared based on how good he or she looks in a swimsuit.

Just kidding! Winners will be chosen after a qualifying round, a freestyle competition, and a 10-rider finalist showdown.

Also watch for the art crafted out of discarded bike parts by

California artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector. They'll be building an

arch for the starting line, accompanied by a cleverly crafted ramp and

track designed by a collective of other big-name artists.

If you

miss the games, you can still head to the Oakley store for a small

exhibit of the event highlights. The store will be auctioning off a

fixie to benefit a childhood-cancer foundation.

So if you've always

dreamed of swinging your legs wildly whilst careening down a hill, well,

now's your chance to do it for charity.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

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Matt Baume


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