After the adrenaline-fuelled excitement of Fixed Gear Revolution 2 last weekend, City Weekend feels the need...the need for speed.
Accordingly, throughout this week we'll be introducing you to those in Beijing who were born to roll. From full-throttle speed demons to pimped-out cruisers, we'll be featuring daily posts on the various ways that expats hit the road.
Today, we're catching up with a growing group of two-wheeled daredevils who don't know the meaning of the word 'brake'...
Fixed Gear Revolution
"On a fixed-gear, the pedals are constantly moving. It's like the bike is talking to you," says Ines Brunn, fixed-gear cyclist, acrobat and co-owner of Beijing's only fixed-gear bike store, Natooke.
Bicycles have long been the vehicle most associated with Beijing, but fixed-gear is a new arrival. With a single gear attached directly to the rear wheel, the pedals on a "fixie" spin constantly as the bike moves forward. Advanced riders can even pedal their fixie backwards or maintain a still, standing "track stand" pose when waiting at a red light. Beijing riders are learning that these lightweight bikes—long used for acrobats and in training for serious cyclists—are perfect for getting around the city.
Beijing's fixed-gear community numbered about 60 when Brunn and her partners launched Natooke and the first Fixed Gear Revolution Festival in summer of 2009. Since then, fixed-gear bikes in Beijing have skyrocketed, with more than 300 riders, fixie polo matches and weekly community rides.
Join in the madness with a fixed-gear bike at Natooke.
Vehicle: Custom fixed-gear bike from Natooke
Cost: ¥2,800 and up
Perfect For: Hutong hipsters and serious cyclists
Get Rolling: Pick up a fixie at Natooke, 19-1 Wudaoying Hutong, 五道营胡同甲19-1号, Tel: 8402-6925