I’ll admit it, I’m worried. Fixed gear freestyle is progressing at an alarming rate and has come a long way in the last couple of years but I’m concerned that maybe it’s a bit rubbish. The reason I have started losing sleep over this is that there seems to be an unhealthy link between the top FGFS guys and particularly lame ‘extreme sports’. Lets examine the evidence…

EXHIBIT #1
Rollerblading is just about the worst thing ever in the history of mankind, the only place I want to see zoombooting is on You’ve Been Framed, not in the middle of a fixed gear video. I almost cried when I found out most of the Grime and Wrahw guys are bladers.

EXHIBIT #2
Did you know that Tom Mosher is big time into hackysacking? Apparently people take ‘foot bag’ seriously, there are world championships and everything. Unlike rollerblading which is the worst thing ever in the history of mankind (remember?) hackysacking is at least interesting to watch and relatively mind boggling but it can still be filed on the same shelf as poi or juggling.

EXHIBIT #3
This scooter video did the rounds on the fixed blogs last week and people were talking about it positively. Yeah, he’s spinning his scooter fast but how can anyone do anything other than LOL at something like this? It’s just shit. It saddens me that I’m part of a scene that can appreciate scootering.

EXHIBIT #4
Yes, the backflip is cool, but could he do it out on the street? There is a lot of mediocre skate park footage around which is just so boring. I actually don’t know where I’m going with this one, I’m just not really into the backflip/tailwhip thang. Instead of wasting time even thinking about tailwhips maybe people should just pedal faster and do a huge hop off something, am I the only one that thinks that kind of stuff is radder?

EXHIBIT #5
Have you noticed how boring a lot of the FGFS videos are? That’s because there are about 5 tricks in total and they are done 30 times over within 5 minutes. There is a serious lack of balls outside of the Grime and Wrahw camps too, it’s all 3 steps this and barspin on the flat that. It’s not even just about going big, what about going a bit faster and doing something smoothly for the camera rather than sticking any old shit in there? This comes back to the backflip, maybe there just aren’t enough fixed trick options for it to develop and be significantly different from BMX or other bike disciplines, the majority of stuff being done at present is like beginner BMX with the added benefit of being able to ride to and from a spot in relative comfort.

CONCLUSION
So, that is my half arsed case for fixed gear freestyle sucking but I am torn because I love riding my trick bike and even though I can’t do anything more than bunny hop so far I can’t wait to get better, learn more basics and start doing some real tricks. Being on the cusp of 30 (this June) my body is pretty battered from skating and shit so I’m certainly not going to be throwing myself off roofs or down huge stair sets and will probably just be a crappy mediocre rider, the kind whose videos bore me to death.

Even though Wonka, Torey et al are bladers they are undoubtedly the guys who are pushing the sport (ha!) and actually make it interesting. Tom Mosher may be a footbagger but he also made a major contribution during the early days (like, 3 years ago) through TrickTrack and his willingness to help new riders progress. So all those guys can be partially excused for following a previous path that wasn’t skateboarding. The appreciation of razor scooters is just completely unacceptable, in fact Massan (The Godmasher) likens FGFS to doing tricks on a scooter in the latest issue of Fixed Mag so I know I’m not alone in worrying that a few years down the line my friends will take the piss out of me for doing hop bars just like they still take the piss out of me for my snakeboarding summer of 1994.

Maybe fixed gear freestyle is just that, the bike equivalent of snakeboarding. After all there was a severe lack of possible tricks you could do on a snakeboard, it blew up and became media friendly pretty quickly and just as quickly imploded and disappeared. Did you know that it still exists under the new name of Streetboarding? Oh God, FGFS is just streetboarding on a bike isn’t it? Just as a streetboard is a shitty skateboard a fixed trick bike is just a big shitty BMX. Or not, we’ll see…