Ramon Antonio found a nice jump line amidst the cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park yesterday. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Ramon Antonio (left), Matt Reyes, and Devin Tolman.
A reunion of old friends has sparked a resurgence in Portland’s fixed-gear freestyle scene.
Matt Reyes, Ramon Antonio, and Devin Tolman first met through the San Francisco Bay Area cycling scene. Lovers of fixed-gear freestyle, a discipline that combines flatland BMX tricks with the speed and grace of fixed-gear road bikes, the trio is happily established in Portland. Now they want to connect with other riders and create a community around fixed-gear riding similar to the vibrant scene they left behind in their previous home.
I caught up with them under sunny blue skies and cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park yesterday. [Read more…]
Get ready for some exciting racing. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
If you’re a fan of fixed-gear and track bikes, you’re going to love this news: Next weekend (September 9-11) the Bone Machine Criterium is coming to Portland.
Organizers have put together three days of track bike goodness that begins with an event at the Alpenrose Velodrome on Friday.
Ernesto Gonzalez is the man behind the crit. He says the race, which will take place on Sunday in Swan Island (and industrial zone in north Portland) is the first of its kind in Oregon. Riders must use track bikes with one gear only that is fixed — meaning there is no freewheel and the only way to stop is to push backwards on the cranks. Imagine a huge pack of racers riding inches away from each without any hand-brakes. Gonzalez says they’ll be flying through the course at about 30 miles per hour. There will be races for men and women and a cash purse of $2,000 (there is equal payout for men’s and women’s fields and women are especially encouraged to sign up!).
“I’m expecting a fair amount of people to come, race and have fun,” Gonzalez shared with us via email. “Many racers are flying from out of town.” Criterium racers from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City, Washington D.C., and Mexico are expected to compete.
Prior to the main event on Sunday, there will be a track meet at Alpenrose Velodrome followed by a party at Velo Cult Bike Shop and Tavern. At the party there will be a goldsprints competition ($5 to enter, winner takes all) and the talented group of riders and filmmakers from San Francisco’s Mash SF group will share a free screening of their new film (trailer below) [Read more…]
If you think urban fixed-gear riding was just some fad that has been played out, you couldn’t be more wrong. In cities all over America, urban fixed gear riding has gone from a death-defying, extreme sport dominated by messengers, to a more established discipline with organized events, races, and big-time sponsorships. And Los Angeles resident Sean Martin is one its stars.
Martin, 33, is captain of the CBNC Cycling Team and a charismatic and talented blogger who’s taking track bikes to a whole new level. His big break came last year when he was featured in Fixation, a documentary about the world of fixed gear cycling. [Read more…]
Scientific American has unearthed an amazing bit of bike history from their archives that shows the popularity of fixed-gear freestyle is nothing new.
In a blog post on Friday, the magazine shared images from an article they ran in 1899 featuring “two well-known trick riders,” N.C. Kaufman of Rochester, NY and Lee Richardson of Milwaukee, WI. As I looked at the images, I was struck by how similar Mr. Kaufman’s moves were to what I’ve seen by some of our local trick riders. [Read more…]
Allow me to introduce you to Tommy Lee, Ramon Antonio, and Clay Caldwell. These guys are part of a growing group of Portlanders that like to do tricks on their fixed-gear road bikes. I caught up with them under the Burnside Bridge on Tuesday to get to know more about their favorite pastime and snap some photos of the action.[Read more…]
Portland’s urban fixed-gear scene is on a roll. A new fixed-gear website has been launched and two upcoming events are testament to the growing community of riders who enjoy the challenges and thrills of riding track bikes in the city.
Alex Kroman announced the debut of PDXFixed.com yesterday. He says he created the site to, “unite the different groups of fixed gear riders in Portland and give them a place to congregate, talk about bikes, and plan group rides.” Kroman says fixed-gear riding is on the rise in Portland and that, “it’s hard to pass a bike rack in this city without seeing at least one fixie locked up to it.”[Read more…]