Friday, April 25, 2008

Fixed-Gear Bikes an Urban Fixture

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.'"

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