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$3000 Alleycat in Toronto
23.10.07 by Buffalo Bill

Nadir Olivet, organiser of the Gran Premio de Guatemala, is throwing an Alleycat in Toronto, November 17th. His sponsors are putting up $3000 in cash. Even in dollars that is a bit of money.

The event is called Look Ma No Brakes. The name makes me cringe, but no amount of griping from me is going to stop the fixie-culture bandwagon from careering head-long into the public consciousness. Sub-cultures go in and out of fashion, and fashionable is what fixies are right now. There’s nothing inherently wrong with fashion, I guess. It’s the bullshit that goes with fashionability that is a pain. Superficiality, exploitation and all those other other things.

I see nothing wrong with people making money from the popularity of fixed gear bicycles. Especially if they are people like Keirin, Berlin, run by my old friends Slomo and Gary. Or fixymotoisiisiis, whose prop is another of my old mates (occasional MT contrib), Andy White. On the other hand, cheap and nasty bikes suck, as do unscrupulous sellers who palm off totally unsuitable 650c forked pursuit frames to naive buyers.

And as for all those novice cyclists that keep wobbling about on Clerkenwell Road and getting in the way, well, yeah, I see them too. I don’t enjoy seeing bikes being ridden badly, anymore than I enjoy seeing cars being driven inconsiderately. But more people riding bikes is good, and surely it’s better to have one bike ridden badly than one car? And what about all those blind drunk messengers riding back up the Clerkenwell Road after dark without any lights, wobbling around all over the place, and getting in the way? Yes, Charlie 9, (or Zulu 9), yes, I do mean you (amongst others).

If fixies being ‘cool’ and the latest hipster accessory means more people riding bikes, then that can only be a good thing. My only reservation is that as Alleycats get more and more attention, I fear that it’s only a matter of time before some journo does an expose, and Alleycat organisers find themselves with legal problems.

We have had 12 fantastic months of alleycats in London, some great events, and good times had by all who were lucky enough to participate. Let’s hope that the next 12 months will be even better, starting with the Hallowe’en Alleycat which is really soon. Isn’t it, Wookie?

  1. i think we should all wear disguises so the journalist cant find us….

    — aido    23 October 2007, 14:21    #
  2. I’m guessing by the title that it’s a no brake race like monster track. Shame that means the best riders can’t race. Well you only have to look back through London alleycat history to see the fastest guys have had brakes.

    — Zack Speedfast    23 October 2007, 14:23    #
  3. Check your history books, young ‘un.

    I won the first alleycat in eighteen hundred and something or other on a brakeless velocipede. None of the other errand boys had brakes, none of them even had bikes.

    — Zacariah Strollquick    24 October 2007, 22:50    #
  4. That hit the nail on the head. Thanks Bill

    — mrlivid    25 October 2007, 10:19    #
  5. hey all aand BB..hope to see you in toronto for the CMWC2008 race..its gonna be a great event..better than 95’race

    — snoopy    28 October 2007, 12:49    #
  6. Guys this is not a fix race this open to all forms of bicycles. All are welcome. Track bikes Vs Road bikes amazing. Hope that all can come.

    Nadir    10 November 2007, 03:10    #
  7. Ok fair enough nadir i eat my words race sounds wicked if you pay my airfare i’ll come. If you also pay Bill’s airfare he can clean my bike and carry my bag around for me

    — Zack Speedfast    10 November 2007, 16:04    #
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