San Francycle: Get Your Fixie Fix

Categories: bikes
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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.

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