In preparation for the upcoming Interbike show, I decided I needed a bike suitable for the experience. I could bring my a beatup commuter bike, my mountain bike, my road bike or my folding bike (which I might bring since STRiDA isn't attending). But I won't need to ride fast, carry huge loads or bomb singletrack, but I do need to avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention to myself and generally fit in with the crowd. I want something cheap enough that I won't cry for days if it gets stolen. My first instinct was to troll craiglist for a bike that fits me, or build one at the Bikerowave with a used frame. But there's not enough time for that. So my problem was I didn't have a stylish bike, something suitable for attending a bicycle show with. It has to be a fixed gear bike, at least that's what the voice from my childhood that used to tell me to wear flannels, grow my hair long and don clunky Doc Martins was yelling in my head.
Then out of the blue the exact bike I was looking for popped up on Bonktown, with only minutes to spare. I selected my size and pressed the Buy Now button, not sure what to expect when it arrived in the mail a few days later. The Cutter Bones bike is advertised as featuring "fast-accelerating wheels to ride away from oblivious peds updating social-network statuses with hipstamatic flair. Durable enough for messenger work and sexy enough for barhopping, the Cutter Bones is a vessel on which to escape from the city life without ever leaving." That's ME! I'm not a hipster, I never use those polaroid apps (that's not my flickr account to the right, I swear!) and if you count delivering my folding bikes using my folding bike…
…you could even call me a bicycle messenger. Assembling a bike is not my strong suit, though I am getting better at it. Plus, I had my assistant with me to point out any mistakes I was making along the way.
wasn't much of a challenge getting the bike out of the box.
Step 1 Accomplished! Now to attach the handlebar and brake (remember, this is my first fixed gear bike)
install the front wheel
the seat is sure to be comfortable than the Brooks saddle it's mimicking
The pedals go on next, right Bronco?
I think we're done!
We weren't. Bronco was by now deep in a nap, chasing chickens around the backyard. But after I rode around a bit, I realized the rear cog needed to be tightened, so I went to Safety Cycle and had them tighten that up, and to my delight, I had my first fixed gear bike! But would it be accepted by the hard core bike "ridazz" of L.A.? There was only 1 way to find out.
A group ride, this one is the Alter Ego Ride that meets Thursdays at the Rite Aid on Sunset Blvd. "You're going to fit in, you're going to fit in…"
This is normal!
I can report the bike was well received. People really dug the chain guard especially, but also the 3 foot bike cable dangling from my brake that I didn't have time to cut and instead taped into a loop. During the ride, I tested those "fast-accelerating wheels" and rode ahead of the group, stopping to film this clip.
I took too much time packing my camera and subsequently lost the group somewhere around Hoover 2nd Street. I tried to find them, placing 2 calls to Kat, but after a 3 miles riding solo, I decided to call it a night and head home. That really comfortable seat turned out not to be so comfortable…
…so I hopped on the red line to Hollywood, said hello to Batman and the Hulk, and as I rode the last mile back to my bed, I thought, yes, this bike will fulfill my need for a stylish "whip" but that's not all. As the ad says, "Pedal into your own blissful state with the quiet, smooth and fun Cutter Bones." Though my ass was not in bliss, I did have fun, and it was smooth. With a few simple modifications, it will deliver blissful riding at Interbike and beyond.