There was this fear, in the back of my head, that purchasing a single speed bicycle marketed for “urban” riding would slowly turn me into a hipster. I didn’t think it would happen suddenly, I’m not crazy, but I could see the slippery slope there:
1. Put a fixed cog on the flip-flop hub.
2. Buy a flannel shirt
3. Buy a knit-cap
And we all know that going from a knit-cap to drinking a tallboy of PBR in the middle of the day is pretty much instantaneous.
How surprised do you think I was when I realized that, instead of a hipster, I’d become that old guy with panniers riding to work?
Being the old guy isn’t that bad. I’m not complaining. Even on my single speed I can keep up with a lot of the kids on their fancy carbon fiber bikes, at least for a little bit. Cars don’t seem to be as aggressive toward me (perhaps it’s because they feel sorry for me?).
I feel like I’ve entered a new stage of my development as a bike commuter. Instead of getting on my sleek, light, fragile carbon bike armed with nothing but a Chrome Citizen, I drop a bag or 2 onto my rear rack, grab hold of my mustache handlebars and spin into work.
Most mornings, I’ll even take the short route (mostly because I’m running late). And, when I see that hipster kid in the flannel shirt, I want to tell him to put on a helmet and make sure he stays off my lawn.