Growing Up Fixed is a new segment we're introducing and using to kick off the Cedar Cycling blog.
In our teens and twenties, it was fun as shit to ride a fixed gear. Whether it was practicality, mob mentality, the sheer fucking thrill of knowing that to stop, you had to use your own damn leg strength, something spiritual, or any number of reasons in between... Riding a fixed gear was cool.
For some, the luster has worn off. Could be because you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a set of neon deep v's set on a frame from Urban. But those glory days of riding with your crew of like-minded dudes and chicks are ones to remember and cherish.
Today, we highlight A. Rosenbluth, an awesome guy that hit the streets of Denver, CO hard as a messenger now grown out of his fixed gear days.
Cedar Cycling: When did you start riding a bike?
Aaron Rosenbluth: As a kid, I loved cruising the neighborhood on my Diamond Back mountain bike; I must have been about 6 years old. I lost touch with riding for a very long time but the flame was rekindled when I moved to the city at 19 and found riding to be the cheapest and most efficient way to get around town.
CC: When did you get into the fixed gear world?
AR: I discovered fixed gear (track) bikes in my early twenties. I had been commuting to work on and ill fitting Nishiki 10-speed for a couple years. At the time, Denver had a very small urban cycling community and I discovered a love for cycling and bicycle activism through this community. Around the same time, I befriended a bicycle messenger, an amazing guy dubbed "Johnny Skidmark". Having never seen or heard of a track bike, my mind was blown by the simplicity of the bike John rode and the interesting things he was able to do with it. Also, as a design nerd, the clean, unfussy lines of his bike spoke to me. The element of danger and the zen-like connection to my machine and surroundings was a huge draw as well. A short time later, I found myself riding a track bike daily to pay rent and feed myself and what had been obsession became my lifestyle, family and meal ticket.
CC: What was your first fixed gear?
AR: My first fixed was a Giordana track bike outfitted with vintage Campagnolo Record Pista components, purchased at the Velo-Swap for a whopping $300 (they were a lot cheaper back then). The best fixed I ever owned was a Samson NJS track bike I spent way too much time and money outfitting. The bike was beautiful and its build (full Suntour Superbe Pro NJS) was perfect.
CC: When did you decide to upgrade to a bike with gears?
AR: I wouldn't neccessarily call it an upgrade, I had always owned a geared bike; I became more interested in road cycling after getting away from the messenger "scene" and realizing the limitations of the track bike. We've got an endless variety of riding to be done in Colorado and you need the right tool for the job.
CC: What are you currently riding?
AR: I'm putting quite a few miles on a 10 year old Cannondale (American made) built with Ultegra. While not the most exciting bike, it gets the job done until I can afford what I'd really like to own (I'm doing my best to save for a frame from Boulder based frame builder Mosaic). I do most of my commuting on a Bridgestone Anchor track bike; I'll always have love for the fixed gear.
CC: If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would you go?
AR: I've got an old messenger friend who leads bicycle tours of Italy, I'd love to plan a trip one day.
All bikes featured here are Aaron's and have been used with permission.
Aaron is a good friend and an amazing Design Associate at Room & Board. Aside from work and riding, he takes some really fantastic pictures on the Instant-of-Grams under the handle @ASRosenbluth and Tweets from time to time by the same alias.