Backwards Circles with Roon

>> Thursday, 26 February 2009

Sooooooo, I nearly bagged my first backwards circle yesterday, they were so close I could smell them. I got that camera out of my bag soooooo fast, documentation was essential, no backwards circle is real until it's on YouTube as you know. 17 minutes later I still hadn't got one and it was time to ride into the sunset. I have compressed the 17 minutes into just over 1 minute of pure backwards circle attempt madness, check it out...


Shop - Tredz Bikes Swansea

>> Monday, 23 February 2009

I went over to Tredz in Llansamlet today for a look about. It's a pretty massive shop catering to all types of riders. There is a pretty good complete fixed section of Bianchi, Giant and Langster but no real fixed specific components but that's no different from practically every other bike shop in the world. There is a fairly sizeable collection of grips, bar tape, peddles and saddles that will deffo cover whatever your needs are in those departments.

I ended up buying another lock, my fourth this year, although not exactly what I want it is closer than the other three, I'm beginning to think that the lock of my dreams doesn't exist. Tredz has the best selection of locks I've seen, fact.

The staff were all really cool including Chris Hughes who organises the Critical Mass rides from Castle Gardens to Mumbles on the last Friday of every month. A nice ride over to Tredz is made easier because it is just off the cycle track that runs along the river so pop over there when you can and say Fixed Gear Wales sent you!

tredz exterior
Tredz is a pretty big shop

fixed gear bikes
Bianchi, Giant and Langster fixed

fixed gear accessories
Bar tape, bars, grips, saddles etc


Slow Saturday

>> Sunday, 22 February 2009

Had another great ride last night, we went out for what was to be a 'six pack tour' (cycle to a spot, drink a beer, cycle to the next one and repeat) but ended up as a 'four pack tour' and a couple of us didn't drink at all but it was awesome. We took in the sights of the Norwegian Church, the sea front, the university and then back to Exist HQ.

Although not everyone was riding fixed we did have the majority at 4 to 3 which is pretty cool. And it turned out that the "safe" bikes were the most dangerous as Chris and Jack managed to topple Ric over into a puddle and then right outside the door to Exist Jack fell flat on his face off a curb, HA!

I headed home at 11:30 and saw a fox right by my house, the bike is so quiet I was able to ride and watch it at the same time which was awesome. The next big ride is gonna be next Friday (27th), The Critical Mass leaves Castle Gardens at 7pm, we'll be hitting Mumbles for some drinks before heading back into town to go and hang with Afrikan Boy at Sigma!!! See you there.

fixed gear swansea ride
(L-R) Roon, Jack, Chris, Rhys, Amy, Evs, Ric

fixed gear swansea ride
Jack's world famous golden girls bike

fixed gear swansea ride
Ev's doing his "until I'm bored" trackstands

fixed gear swansea ride
Ric livin' la vida loco

fixed gear swansea ride
Ric giving the "I'm fine" thumb

fixed gear swansea ride
Evs flying like the wind

fixed gear swansea ride
...and again

fixed gear swansea ride
Ric and Ev's 'whips'


22 Miles, Failed Wheelies and the Impossible Backwards Circle

>> Friday, 20 February 2009

I had the absolute best day riding today :-D I managed to tot up about 22 miles which has blown me away. I hadn't exercised in years before I got this bike at Christmas time but in just 2 months I'm managing more every time I go out and getting further up hills that I used to look at and dismount. It's a great feeling when you achieve a goal, I can't wait until the summer, it's only a little tiny but warmer this week but there is such a huge difference and so much more fun riding without gloves and a massive coat on.

I went from my house to Morriston Hospital, got the all clear for my wrist after she prodded and poked the living daylights out of it, then rode back home, had a bath and some beans and toast then flew down to town, had a bottle of pop and some Space Raiders in Exist shop before taking the cycle path to Mumbles and back. After another short stint at Exist I headed off to Sainsbury's to get some vegan chocolate and Hula Hoops, on returning to the shop Ev and JT were there and we headed off to SA1 to try and learn at least ONE trick. I managed about 2/3 of a wheelie, JT still hasn't got them either, none of us can manage anything resembling a backwards circle but Ev has got his "I can trackstand until I'm bored, I'm gonna win my own trackstand competition" trash talk down to a tee. After a bit more pissing about town I headed home back up the never ending hill known as Llangefelach Rd.

I have made a killer Google Map to track where I go and easily calculate distances, check it out:

View Larger

Riding a fixie is awesome fun and coooooooool too. If you still need convincing just check out our bikes next to the ladies foldaway bikes that the Horror Skateboards boys picked up from ReCycle this week!

swansea fixed gear bikes
"So Cool"

horrow skateboards bikes
"So Gay"


Brakes are for...

>> Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I think we finally have proof that brakes really are for "gays". This greeting card available at Hobo's in Swansea clearly shows two gentlemen about to set out on the fixed gear ride of their lives, complete with big leather boots and a full set of brakes, lucky buggers!

fixed gear brakes

Please note that Fixed Gear Wales fully supports all fixed gear riders no matter what their sexual orientation :-)


Olds Props

>> Friday, 13 February 2009

As a skateboarder, I find it such a strange concept when on the streets receiving complements from old folk (mainly men) for riding fixed gear, I'm just not used to it, "fixed gear?.....fantastic boys" I guess bike riding is still an older form of transport that they can relate to, and probably less loud and annoying as the old clickety clack skateboard.


Review - Bicycle Gear Calculator for iPhone / iPod Touch

>> Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Every fixie rider likes to have a gear ratio chart to look at every 5 minutes, if you also happen to own an iPhone or an iPod Touch then you can fork out £2.99 for a great app called Bicycle Gear Calculator by a developer (and fixie rider) named Jean-Pierre Martineau.


From his site: "Evaluate current or potential Gearing Ratios, calculate Gain Ratios, Gear Inches, and Development. Use the Skid Patch Analyzer to visualize and minimize your fixed-gear's tire wear. Explore equivalent gearing configurations that let you reuse parts you already have."

This seems like a pretty perfect app to me, it has everything you could possibly need. The only thing that's not so great is the £2.99 price tag which is pretty steep for this kind of app. At the end of the day though this is waaaay better than a jpg in your Photos folder and costs a penny less than the awesome "16 cans of Diet Coke for £3" offer that I took advantage of in Asda today. Check out the screengrabs below.

Gear and Crank selection

Tire selection

Skid Patch Visualizer

Speed Analysis

Alternate Gearing

For loads more info visit the developers site here then click on his link to go and buy it in iTunes, you wont be sorry!


"Holy Shit, My Chain Has Come Off!!!"

My bloody chain came off today as I was coming down a (luckily) small hill! My life flashed before my eyes, fortunately I've not done much in my life so in a fraction of a second my foot was on the ground bringing me to a stop a couple hundred feet later. I knew the thing was a bit loose cause it has stretched but it really didn't seem bad enough for it to come off doing a simple skip. It made me think about hooking up a brake, what with the using my hip to stop the other week and now this. I have come to the conclusion that a bit of death defying danger is a good thing and I don't need a brake. :-p This is worth a quick read.




>> Monday, 9 February 2009

Ah, remember dry sunny evenings? Riding with friends having a few brews along the way? Don't worry, the worst of the winter is behind us and the good times will roll again soon. A few of us (you know who you are!) didn't stop riding through the freezing weather of December/January, and what kept us going was the thought of riding in shorts and tshirts with the sun on our faces. This spring and summer will hopefully see some new bikes and new faces. I can't wait.


Carmarthen Velodrome

Here are three pics taken at the Veldrome earlier this year. It was really cold and lonely. Hopefully this spring we will get a group together and spend a day there. R.I.P my yellow bike.





Shop - Exist Clothing, Swansea

>> Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Exist Clothing is a skate clothing brand and shop based on Oxford Street in Swansea. Although it is not a bike shop in any way, shape or form the owner Ric Cartwright rides a fixie and all the clothes he stocks are great for riding your bike in. The shop stocks Zoo York, Rebel 8, Girl, Nike SB, Supra, Vox, 4star, Chocolate, Brixton, Diamond, Nu era and it's own brand as well as tons of skate hardware and spray paint/pens and second hand records. Ric can, and will, sell you a fixie, he is able to order them but doesn't have any room to stock them so ask to check out a catalogue if you wanna buy one complete and not build it yourself.

It is the only skater owned shop in Swansea and does loads for the local scene including hosting events and working hard to get a skate park. Exist the brand is a one man operation and all clothes are hand printed, there will be fixed gear specific designs coming soon.

Exist Outlet,
214 Oxford Street
01792 654586
Skateboard Clothing Since 2001
Skater Owned Outlet Since 2006

Exist ClothingExist is based in the same building as Hobo's

Exist ClothingThe shop is small but packed with killer gear

Exist ClothingGirls clothes and hats

Exist ClothingShoes, decks and bags

Exist ClothingRic, trackstand and skate hardware

Exist ClothingRecords, decks, longboards and videos

Exist ClothingMolotow spray paint and pens


Kanye Sucks - It's Official

>> Monday, 2 February 2009

I've been telling people for years that Kanye West sucks, his music is awful. He seemed cool enough when he was on the Sunday Night Project but then he threw another hissy fit at a photographer and I remembered that he is just a total douche. We all know the 'Kanye rides fixed' headlines but it turns out that he hardly ever rides and can't even stop properly and feels like his life is in danger whenever he does ride (isn't that the whole point???) so it is clear that he really does suck, in his own words "I guess I am just a complete poser", ha!