Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nobody cares

I rolled up to a traffic light on my way home tonight, and spent a couple of moments chatting with a lean, somewhat-older guy about the warm weather and the slushy spring conditions. Actually, I was the one who mentioned the slop—he was smiling and happy to be riding on a 40-degree afternoon instead of a 5-degree morning.

As the light turned green and he rolled out onto Dimond Boulevard, I noticed the sticker on his dirt-covered rear fender: "Nobody Cares That You Singlespeed."

That sticker had me smiling for about a mile. I've never cared for the haughty attitude that seems to be common among SS riders, and this guy—with his skinny-studded cross bike, orange safety vest and mirrored ski goggles—clearly didn't have time for anyone's silly pretensions.

I thought about asking him to pull over so I could shoot a quick picture of his sticker, but I couldn't. By the time I crossed Dimond, he had already opened a gap on me.

Couldn't have been too hard. I was on a singlespeed.


Anonymous said...


1234567890 said...

That is f'in brilliant... I want to get stickers printed with that message.

WheelDancer said...

And that's why I haven't (yet) drank the singlespeed cool-aid. There were only a couple other commuters at my last contract and one of them was a fixie rider that was pretty smug but he toned down a little after a while of my passing him day in and day out.

Halldor said...

Yeah that's a cool sticker for sure. But I don't understand why people need to pigeonhole themselves in this way. This goes both ways, smug singlespeeders AND people that are smug about "not understanding why somebody would want to ride fixed/singlespeed. I do all three, and love all of them. The chosen form of bicycle transportation just depends on the conditions, mood and the trails/roads I'll be hitting that particular day. So I suggest dropping all prejudices and experience all forms of cycling. Trust me, it's more fun that way.

Grill Meister said...

This posting has to be preserved in your "Vault of Classic Blogs". It has everything, visuals on the weather, chance happenings with other riders, classic cycling philosophy from the Reverend and a superb punchline to beat all punchlines. Kudos Big K.

Grill Meister.

Anonymous said...

I bought that bumper sticker in Breckenridge CO at a bike shop that I rented from last summer. The owner laughed at my SS jokes and then informed me he was an SS'er. SS at 9000' with grade!! OK, then it takes a new meaning. I brought the sticker back and gave it to a friend who took up winter riding this year. Now I'm looking for one that says: "Unless you're riding in winter, in which case we already know about your sanity, We just want to know if you're armed!" But that would take a big fender.

Tim said...

Thanks, Grill Meister!

And Halldor, I interpreted the guy's sticker to be expressing your thought: that we're all just riding bikes and there's no need for categories. Either way, I agree with you. I added a singlespeed to my collection this winter, and I'm enjoying it, when the terrain and conditions are right.

(But that dude dropped me like a stone, 'cause a 32x18 is definitely a slow-cruise gear on flat, paved bike trails.)

Halldor said...

Hehe, yeah 32x18 is a bit of a low gear for sure. Probably a good bike Polo setup. And I bet you get up to your max speed real fast.

bikegirl said...

I'm thinking there can only be one person in Anchorage who has that sticker on his fender and commutes that route all winter. His name is Soren.

Next time you see him, take a closer look; it's on his singlespeed. Hahaha!

Anonymous said...


I am glad the sticker on my fender made you smile for a mile. I have to let you know that your blog made me smile for my entire ride home yesterday. I am glad you could see the enjoyment of riding on my face when we met on Tuesday. There is something about riding a bike that makes me feel like a kid again. When I ride I can forget about the stress at work, the long list of honey dos at home and just in general feel better. To me it does not matter if I am riding my ss, my mountain bike or my road bike. I enjoy them all. Isn’t that untimely why we ride?

Vito said...

Oh man...this is classic. I love it!
It used to be that roadies were the real elitists, then came the mtn. bikers, now it's ss and fixie people.

I guess we are all kind of smug in our own way. I love all three, but I am a dirt dog at heart and I do truly love my single speeds. Simplicity.

Does it really matter??? Isn't it all about the ride that counts and not what you ride?

rigid 34 x 16 said...

my knee surgeon cares. he loves my single speed addiction. with my new health insurance plan, arthroscopic surgery is cheaper than derailleurs. i call that "win-win".