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London Bicycle Messengers to get their own Book of Dave?
28.04.07 by Buffalo Bill

Will Self

Will Self is a fine fellow, clever, witty and his last book was much-admired, not least by me. Called the Book of Dave, it was about a London cab driver who constructs his own cosmology based on the culture and traditions of the boys in black.

a fixed-wheel

I try and read Mr Self’s columns in the Independent whenever I can, because I like his writing, and his world-view is appealing to my sensibilities. Unfortunately, I missed his column expounding his desire for a fixie ‘I yearn for a fixed-wheel bicycle – it is the very epitome of my mid-life crisis.’ So there it is for others who missed out at the time, too. I can’t avoid high-lighting that he calls it a fixed-wheel. Take that all you mis-geared manglers of the English language and its agreed usage!

And now it seems that he has become interested in bicycle messengers too. A person claiming to be his researcher has been bothering couriers in Berwick Street. Can Mr Self be gestating a messenger novel?

Thanks to the Onion Bag for the photo.

  1. It’s Fixed-Wheel all the way for me :-)


    Jon    28 April 2007, 13:40    #
  2. From Wikipedia:

    “Fixed gear” is the standard term in the US whilst “fixed wheel” is used in the UK. The confusion comes about because “fixed”, “gear” and “wheel” can have more than one meaning in this context. “Fixed” can mean not able to freewheel (coast), it can also mean not variable. “Gear” can refer to the sprocket or to a gear ratio. In the US, “fixed-gear” is used to mean the gear (sprocket) is attached to the hub without a freewheel. In the UK, “fixed-wheel” is the normal term, meaning the opposite of freewheel, whereas fixed gear usually means one gear (gear ratio).

    The problem is, that as English goes through globalisation, UK English acquires Americanisms. We can use the UK English if we want, but in this age of Google it would count against us not to use that which is the most likely to be searched for and that which is of higher value in the search index.


    DavidK    28 April 2007, 17:37    #
  3. Pendant.


    — Bill    28 April 2007, 18:35    #
  4. It’s funny you refer to the Wikipedia article. If you look at the discussion, you might see that I had a wrangle with some yanks over whether wheel should be included. Anyway, wasn’t have a dig at London FG/SS.


    — Bill    29 April 2007, 11:18    #
  5. My Idea of Fun – genius. He has swallowed a dictionary though.


    Caspar    29 April 2007, 23:25    #
  6. I saw him in Brixton cycles 10 days ago, taking delivery of a new surly and being shown how to use clipless pedals. He looked v v pleased with life.

    Also, AA Gill in the Sunday Times the week before last, was banging on about his imported “fixed gear” bike


    — pro/sleb-fakenger    30 April 2007, 12:59    #
  7. If a celeb crashes and dies on a fixed/single bicycle Ken will ban ‘em. What do you think?


    Zak Speedphake    30 April 2007, 13:07    #
  8. Nah. If one of Ken’s mates gets hurt by a fixed rider going through a light. That’s how the 1987 NYC mid-town bike ban (bicycles banned from the road 10am – 4pm in Manhattan) came about…


    — Bill    30 April 2007, 13:17    #
  9. christ. can’t wait till fixies go out of fashion. i preferred it when only frazzled eccentric hippies from london fields rode them. even though the frazzled eccentric hippies can’t afford to live in london fields anymore. guess fixies bought their houses along with their style


    — flappy feet    1 May 2007, 22:21    #
  10. Oi, you calling me a frazzled old hippy, you ****?


    — Bill    3 May 2007, 16:24    #
  11. you must be by know, when i started dispatching you were a young frazzled hippy


    — flappy feet    5 May 2007, 14:11    #
  12. must be by now i mean


    — flappy feet    7 May 2007, 11:57    #
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