Growing up in the early 2000’s I remember seeing so many movies as a kid with teenagers cruising around in there cool fixed gear bikes around the city or town. For most of the kids I knew, fixed gear bikes were rare and everyone resorted to the traditional multi gear bikes. Both fixed gear bikes and multi gear bikes have there advantages and disadvantages, but the cool kids seemed to only ride fixed gear bikes. Growing up I never understood what all the commotion was about for these bikes, I couldn’t point my finger on the hype. Even in elementary school the attention for bikes was around the fixed gear ones. Fixed gear bikes seemed to be the plausible way to get around. When I went to a different school for middle school, I realized the kids around me weren’t traveling from close homes like in elementary, I saw a difference in bikes. In fact, I saw no bikes. When you go to school down the street from your house it’s easy to ride everywhere. The times when you live far from your school, are times when people use cars more.
It took me years to figure out why people and kids even used fixed gear bikes in the first place. Eventually, someone told me fixed gear bikes are better for riding backwards and tricks, immediately a light bulb went off in my head. Multi gear bikes allow for several different gears, depending on the surrounding environments. If you need to ride up a steep hill or mountain it’s ten times easier when have a smaller gear running. Typically, the smaller number gears allow for more movement in difficult, steep places. For land that is more flat, higher number gears are better to use. All this bike knowledge is useful for some people and useless for others. Take it or leave it, I had to learn the pros and cons of different riding styles and preferences. It’s truly hard to make a decision without having the ability of riding the bikes. It’s great to talk and read about bikes, but until you actually physically get on the bike and feel the wheel than it’s hard to know the difference. Many people will never know the feeling of the bike until they actually take the time to ride.
Some cities are more bike friendly than others. Simply looking around and seeing if there’s a lot of bikers is a good way to know if your city is biker friendly or not. If you live in a city that isn’t biker friendly chances are you won’t have to ever deal with fixed gear bikes at all. For example, if you live in San Francisco or Davis, CA chances are you will see a lot of bikes everywhere you look. Biking around town is the best thing to do in my opinion. Not only is riding a bike fun and healthy, but the money you save from gas and the environment being preserved is so powerful. Some people may argue that it’s difficult to maintain a bike and store it; especially when it’s not being used. Biking to work is the best option for so many reasons. At the same time, I understand when people explain how sweaty and tired they get from biking for several miles. When you arrive in work, you want to feel like your ready to go and not have to worry too much about showering or changing into new clothes.
It’s also funny to hear people think there “uncool” if there seen with a helmet riding a bike around. Riding a bike without a helmet is probably the most ignorant things you can do for your health. All it really takes is one accident, falling on your head to ruin your brain. It doesn’t matter if you ride a fixed gear bike or multi gear bike, it is vital to always protect yourself and it starts with having the right safety equipment. Is it worth it to be “uncool” or loose your brain’s ability. Don’t listen to what other people say. Fixed gear bikes are certainly cool, but still require attention to safety. If you’ve ever wondered about biking and would like to know more, it’s easier than ever now with the web and YouTube. Taking the time to learn the different bike styles is important as well as understanding what you need and want out of a bike.