Fixed-Gear Bikes an Urban Fixture: "Fixed-Gear Bikes an Urban Fixture
Ryan Singel Email 04.07.05 | 2:00 AM
Jim Wirtanen spent 12 years as a bike messenger dodging buses and cabs on the streets of Boston. He earned the name 'Deadguy' after being hit by a speeding Lincoln Continental on the third week of the job. The collision threw him 40 feet across an intersection and he hit his head on a light pole.
Wirtanen recovered, returned to messaging and for the last 6 years of his career, delivered packages and legal documents using a brakeless, single-speed bike known as a track bike.
Though a bike with no brakes sounds insane to many, Wirtanen swears by it.
'Basically, a track bike is the perfect invention,' said Wirtanen, who now works as a mechanic at Harris Cyclery. 'You can't make it any better.'"