Tarckbike saved my life (aka Why you ride Tarck)

Me, I always wanted to quit waiting tables and be a messenger back home in the Chi. I worked/hung out with/frequented places with the messers, and thought they were pretty rad dudes. I didn’t know about tarck vs. non-tarck bikes then, though. I didn’t realize dudes had “special” bikes to do tarckstands and backwards circles. I never really got into their bikes. I was too busy skateboarding. Like, people told me what a fixed gear was, what a single speed was and the difference between the two but I never cared enough to listen. Once I got tarck though, everything they told me came back.

Anyway, once I moved to Burque all I did was bitch about how lame it was, and how cool the Chi was. I missed my friends, I missed the spots, I missed it all. I did this for a couple years, and eventually I got pretty miserable. I had never owned a car and the girl I had moved here to be with who had a car… well, we split. It happens when you’re miserable. So, I found myself sitting around in my shitty apartment at night, too far to walk to anyplace I wanted to go, too uphill to skateboard, and public transportation sucks in this town. So I decided to buy a bike. I didn’t know a single person in this town who rode a bike.

I get to the bike shop, and I’m looking at all these expensive ass bikes (I’m unemployed at this point, further implications of my self-induced misery.) Then I see a pista in the corner. I remember a friend back home who had one, and it’s cheaper than anything else in the room. I say “hook it up.” My first ride was down a long hill from the university to downtown, brakeless, with a red light at the bottom. I was scared shitless. Upon my survival of that ride, I was hooked.

I was riding everywhere, all the time. I bought the bike because I thought it would bring me closer to home (in my heart.) Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. What it did do was restore me to my former, happy self. It got me out of the shitty apartment. It got me hanging out with people, making new friends. It got me out of my depression. While at the time, I thought I was the only guy in town with a tarckbike. Soon, I connected with a couple local people on the internet. Now there are alleycats here with 60+ tarckbikers.

When I thought that buying that bike would make me superior to all these idiots in Burque, what it really did was show me how much of an idiot I had been all the while. It opened up this city to me. My previous means of transportation were so limited, I thought everything was out of reach. I learned that I can get around anywhere in this town. It shrank this place down, made it feel like home. It brought me to places with friends, both tarck and non-tarck. It brought me out of myself, my dismal view of life here, and showed me that happiness truly is an inside job. And for that I say thank you, Mighty Tarckbear. :bear:

So, why do you ride tarck?

thought i was the only one…

i heard of fixie/tarckin from an RA at a summer program i did at cal poly, slo. He was telling me how cool it was, didn’t pay much attention.

then a few months ago, my good friend, goes and hooks up with my girlfriend. My grandma diagnosed with cancer. So to get me away from these troubles, i tried to relied on all my other hobbies, painting, sketching, piano, and writing. However, they were all incredibly bitter, depressing, and acted as a catalyst to my low feelings.

So i picked up the roadie, and it was a complete change. The high i’d get from riding around, cutting through the little traffic i have in this rural shit hole, was a totally new feeling. Especailly teh joy when the combination of alcohol and thc are added to the mix. Then i crashed teh roadie, and found the deal on the windsor on BD. SO i got it and have been rocking it all over.

your sig is a little big homeboy

Fixed. Gear.

I don’t think anyone’s going to beat you LoReezy. Good story.

With that being said, your sig is seriously huge…

Mayo’s story on BF was better, Breaking Away changed his life.

Maybe JoshFrank will chime in with his “80’s bike racing movie changed my life” story. Not about riding fixed, but good anyway.

I started riding a year or so after moving into downtown Atlanta. I had driven everywhere since I was 17. Living in the suburbs breeds that lifestyle. I always disliked driving, especially in the city. Instead of driving, I was walking 30 min to the train station and riding either 20 min to school or 1.5 hrs (train + bus) to work. I got an old panasonic 10spd at a flea market and tried to work on it, of course fucking it beyond repair.

At school I saw a few awesomely simple road bikes locked up. They reminded me of the bmx bikes I had as a kid, but made to go really fast. I did a bunch of research online to find out what they were. Eventually ran across FGG, BF, and Sheldon. I started to get to know the 6 or so kids who rode fixed in Atlanta at that time through political/anarchist stuff. They taught me the lingo and what to look for and regaled me with stories of the one kid who decided to ride brakeless and lost most of his teeth to the street. Eventually found a nearly new '02 fuji track on ebay. It came without a brake and I had no more money to buy one. I practiced for a few months near my place. Eventually riding it to the pay phone to talk to my girlfriend or to the nearest train station and riding the train with it to school.

The breakthrough came on a rainy night after my girlfriend and I had moved in together. We were arguing about the interior design of the house and I couldn’t stand it anymore so I took off and rode downtown. Before I knew it I was at school. Riding back in the rain at midnight with no lights or helmet made me feel happier than anything else in a long time. I rode to school instead of taking the train as much as I could after that. Never put a brake on and was riding stupid for a while before i learned to skip and skid. It was a long, slow slide into the pits of cycling culture after that.

5 years later I get kicked off BF and end up here.

“American Fliers” changed my life. Living in a small tourist type of town in Ohio seeing those guys blazing along the countryside was pretty inspiring. As a 14YO artsy guy in the middle of redneck city road cycling was an appealing escape. I dropped around $400 on a new Schwinn World Sport and was on my way. Took me a while to realize that it was not going to get me the girl out of the line at McDonald’s nor was I going to have an epic battle with a bearded Russian. It was fun playing those scenarios out in my head rolling down quiet country roads, cornfields on one side lake Erie on the other.

Going Tarck was easy, I wanted to hang with cool guys like TimArchy.

I dated a girl awhile back who lived far away, so I spent a lot of money on gas. After we broke up, I decided I was never driving my car. I then started commuting on my Trek 1000, and eventually was learned by a peer on the simplicity of a nice fixed gear bicycle. Been doing that ever since.

i snagged an old nishiki road bike about 6 years ago on a whim during a bout with agoraphobia i was having (found it in the trash in my apartment complex). i got it to rebuild and resell since i couldn’t hold a job and had no money, but once i got the bike ready to sell, i had too much fun “test riding” it in my parking lot to sell it. one day i basically bottled up all my fear and forced my self to ride the bike to the store. then a bit farther. then a bit farther than that. then all the way downtown. i hadn’t been that far from my apartment in months, and it felt so good. having that little bike helped me a lot to break out of the little prison i had built for myself. a couple years later, i converted an old raleigh to fixed gear, and that’s that. never looked back.

about a year ago after a horrible breakup and getting laid off and my car breaking down (all in one week) my buddy gave me back a fixed gear i had given him (which is now my current ride) and i’ve been car free and riding everyday. i can safely say that i will never be without a bike for the rest of my life. bikes mean too much to me.

i was at a bike shop in VA and saw a used steamroller. asked to try it out, had fun. bought it, realized it was too big for me, discovered bikeforums, discovered that fixed gears were a thing.

i don’t! i can’t afford your bourgeois hobby! i just joined this forum to tell goofy stories and learn shit for when i’m not poor as fuck and can afford to build a sweet bike.
when i was a kid i guess i rode a BMX a lot, and like went down hills real fast and i think one time i went over a ramp that my cousin built for rollerblading (which was a big thing at the time, that and pants that were fuckin’ huuuuuuge) and riding to wendys to buy a frosty cause it was 110 degrees in TX and poor kids don’t have shit to do but hang outside and sweat.
when i was a teen my family didn’t always have a working car so it was advantageous for my getting to school abilities for me to pick up an old road bike for 20 dollars at the thrift store.
i went up to The City for the college i couldn’t afford. bought a 15 dollar, probably stolen BMX off some sketchy dude in washington square park, took a liking to riding brakeless, flying through that 3.5 foot space between an oncoming bus and parked cars. i rode like an idiot up there, but i had a good time and didn’t hurt anybody.
i came back to TX, to find my parents had left my bike out in the rain the entire time i was gone and the moving parts had rusted. took it to LBS, they said it was a deathtrap and i needed a new bike. meanwhile my dad finds one of those old sears austro daimler frames on the side of the road with a non-functional gear system and a few missing parts which happen to correspond to what is functional on my bike. so i built a single speed, which functions excellently, and which i still ride today.
i’ve been waiting for the time when i am not too crunched from putting myself through college to afford to build some basic road-worthy fixed gear.

ps nice avatar zelah

the DQM/Trackstar bikes changes my life.
laugh if you want to… it got me riding fixed.

Road beat up mountain bikes to work for years in Philly.
Quit smoking, gained weight.
Started taking long rides for exercise, realized old mountain bikes suck.
Bought cheapo 10 speed.
Bought better cheapo 80’s road bike.
Moved to NYC.
Converted old 10 speed to SS as a lock up bike.
Converted the SS to fixed a few months later.
5 (6?) years go by and I now have 4.5 track bikes.

I rode outta my mom’s vag on a brake-less, all NJS keirin bike. Posers.

the local peasants tell lore about ‘he-who-pedals-from-womb.’ it is nice to finally meet you. i though those stories were all bullshit.

I’ve been riding cross country since the early 90’s, and went single speed back in the late 90’s just for fun. 3 or 4 years after that, a friend introduced me to fixed gear road bikes. I built up a conversion and loved it. I built up a fixed gear MTB and didn’t love it as much. So now, after a massive bike purge, I have a SS MTB and a conversion.

re: life changing DQM bikes: hahahaha.


i like riding all bikes, just not track bikes. it’s been my primary mode of transportation for years now. i think of it as an environmental/ethical/political statement as well as something that’s just a lot of fun.

When I moved to the city, I was carless for the first time in a while. At first I was a little worried and anxious, as I just had a mountain bike and, while I enjoyed riding, had never done it on a daily basis or in a utilitarian sort of way. A few months passed and my dad offered me the 79 Trek he used to race back in the day. It’d been gathering dust for about 20 years, so I gladly brought it out of its hibernation.

I was riding this winter, through slush, snow, and the rest, and noticed that my derailleur was freezing up, skipping, and getting generally screwed up. I also hadn’t shifted at all in a few months. I shortened the chain and took some stuff off for a ghetto SS job. That worked out well. Then I started reading ‘bout fixed stuff on Sheldon’s site and BF. Converted it to fixed and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve got a freewheel on the flop side o’ my hub and use it occasionally, but the vast majority of my riding is now fixed. It feels good and is easy to maintain. Hooray.

i decided to get my 70’s road bike powder coated this last winter. enjoyed wrenching on that so much i decided to build up a SS commuter (80’s motobecane frame)…found a $35 miyata 610 at a pawn shop i converted to a FG…found a free bike and switched commuter SS components to it and now in the process of turning the motobecane into a FG. montana winters can be long (it is snowing right now) so i don’t know if tarck saved my life, but my liver appreciates i was working on bike this winter instead of posted up at the local tavern…