It seems to me that as I have gotten older I’ve become more conservative. I’ve come to understand the importance of things like good posture and leaving the word “dude” out of most of my sentences. But seeing as I fancy myself a cyclist and I live in the age of incredible amounts of information – trivial or otherwise – at the end of my cable modem I am continually confronted with the latest trends in the microcosm known as cycling. Now for the serious cyclist there are the trends that are legitimate attempts to optimize one’s cycling experience. Whether it is a disc brake to transform our careening into a controlled decent or a carbon fibre frame and fork to give us a lightweight bike that offsets the escalation of our waistline, there is merit to these trends.
But what about those trends that have no socially redeeming values? I wore neon pink leathers when I BMX raced back in the eighties.
Here I was a long-haired death metaller (that is not a mullet hiding under my helmet – that is pure headbanger action there) and even I succumbed to the trend of neon pink. But here in the cycling world of the 21st century we are confronted with the hipster. Hipsterdom is many things depending on your geographical location. This being Idaho Falls there is a certain lag time in what passes for hipster fare.
Us Idahoans are still stuck in the cruiser that looks like a motorcycle era of hip(lessness). But a quick perusal of the blogging community shows that most of the world has moved on to the fixed geared (fixie) bike. Now there are a few running around town – One in particular is even owned by an individual that has tattoos and dwells in a downtown upstairs apartment and works at a bike shop. But the fact that he also owns a car may negate his hipster status. Plus I’ve never heard him utter the terms fin or frado. For the most part, however, these local fixies are merely mass market fodder that fall short of the mark of full blown hipness. No, to be truly hip one must conjoin a menagerie of parts in a cacophony of cycling leftovers.
Note the old school Brooks saddle mixed with the modern Aerospoke wheel, the Oury grips – hey, is pink back? – the requisite stickers. These stickers are a necessary component of hipsterdom. These stickers are a rolling soap box that lets people know with whom they are dealing. They show the world that you have given as much thought to your political views as to where you are going to come up with next months rent. They show the world that you are a clone of individualism. Are there really any original thoughts rolling around in you dolby? I didn’t think so.
There may be no real hipsters in Idaho but at least we can write checks without ID and usually whatever I left on the seat of my car is still there in the morning.