When the internet is great (fixies & Olduvai theory)

One of the things I love about the web is discovering what are, for me, entirely new subcultures with their own special debating points and jargon. One such subculture I discovered today (by means of a Guardian story about Racer Rosa bicycles) is that of ‘fixies’ – fixed-wheel bicycle enthusiasts.

I used to love bicycling as a youth, though I never use my bike these days. The fixed-wheel bikes that Racer Rosa makes are quite gorgeous, though, and made me feel like perhaps a change away from ugly, cheap ATBs would be a nice idea. But to my shame, I didn’t even know what fixed-wheel meant. In case you don’t know, it’s one of those more old fashioned bikes where the pedal moves when the wheel does, and vice versa. In other words, you can’t coast on a fixed-wheel bike. In other words, you can use pedal control to stop a fixed-wheel bike. I remember using bikes like that many years ago.

Google > Wikipedia > Moving Target – and a couple of minutes later, I’m reading a discussion about whether or not fixies should should have a front brake or not. I’m not claiming any deep understanding of their world, but at least I know about fixies now. This is one reason I really love the internet.

Earlier, I also discovered this highly depressing theory about the impending end of industrialised society. It has been around for ages, it seems, and I just hope that it’s utter bollocks. All the same, I still love the internet.

7 thoughts on “When the internet is great (fixies & Olduvai theory)

  1. People you’d never hear of if the internet didn’t exist: A French fixie fan who lives in Japan is planning to go to Mount Fuji on his Fujibike fixie
    [ http://www.jeromesadou.com/ ]

    As for the Olduvai thing, I think the timing is too precise to be true, but the general idea (overshoot) seems to stand. Since last saturday (08/21), humans are consuming resources the ecosystem doesn’t have, which means we are using 150% of available resources this year.

    1. Yes, the timing seems a little too specific. But peak oil and peak natural gas do seem to have been reached. The idea that we’re only not noticing the effects of this because prices dropped in the economic downturn is worrying. As is the idea that ‘they’ have developed some amazing new power sources which will only be unveiled at the right moment. If we’re relying on ‘them’ doing that, I think we might end up disappointed.

      1. One amazing thing ‘we’ can develop without waiting for ‘their’ silver bullet is energy conservation. If ‘we’ don’t develop it, it will be forced on us by power cuts.
        I think this issue can shape your choice of flat as you seemed to be looking into that. We did, and cut our LNG consumption by 2 thirds.

        1. True. Our energy company always gives us very interesting stats about consumption and also the source of the energy (if it’s renewable, etc). We’re pretty good with gas and water. Electricity, not as good but we’re getting better.

    1. Luckily, I can buy as many far-fetched, breast-obsessed Swedish fantasy detective novels as I like online. Though not from Amazon (anti-union, you know).

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