When people started doing tricks on track bikes, many of the tricks were more akin to artistic cycling and flatland bmx tricks than what we see today. Some people thought that the tricks looked graceful, or maybe they liked the esthetic of the track bike itself. Some argued that they liked the tricks because they were “harder to do than on a freewheel bike” while others just wanted to ride to the spot where they could turn tricks- then be able to ride home in much more comfort than say, on a bmx bike. As people got the hang of riding backwards circles, wheelies, skids and pogos- stairs became the next obstacle worth tackling. Bikes kept getting broken as people got more comfortable on these bastardized track bikes and conversions, so they evolved.
Now ledges, drops, ramps and rails are all par for the course in today’s fixed gear freestyle. What many of the up and comers are riding in the street are a far cry from what we were riding 10+ years ago (or heck- even 3 years ago.) I love seeing this evolution take place- not only in the parts used on the bikes and in frame design, but in a bunch of people recognizing that bikes are a good way to get around. It’s redefining urban cycling to a certain degree. Whether that’s good or bad, the jury is still out.
I love anything that gets people on two wheels- but then what about those on one wheel? Unicycling is by no means new. Neither is off-road unicycling. I’d say it’s been around longer than fixed gear freestyle. It’s a sport that doesn’t get much respect. Personally, I can’t ride a unicyle. I’ve tried a few times- thinking I should be able to pick it up, but it hasn’t clicked. It makes it easy for me to write off as something for circus people, or for those that live in Portland. They seem a bit like a scooter (Fun to ride unless your friends see you on it) PS- Is there a custom unicyle builder in Portland yet?
That said- I can’t believe the riding that is done in this edit. I’m not so sure I should even call it riding- it’s like watching a trials demo. I don’t know any other sport that could use some of the spots that they are besides trials… or parkour. It blows my mind. So here’s to the unicyclists out there. And if you can do one of those “Maxwhip” tricks- RIGHT FUCKING ON.