Zane Meyer put out a masterpiece of a film called Can’t Fool The Youth. If you haven’t watched it you need to pick up a copy of the dvd, it is top notch shit. Or check out his site Chop Em’ Down Films. This is a snippet feature Gus Molina. Gus is well known throughout the FGFS community, and he throws down. With recent events in the FGFS community and the fixed gear scene in general I got to thinking earlier today about the scene. If you read our posts and scroll down occasionally to the comments section you might have noticed that we don’t really get a slew of them. On the other hand 90% of our comments have been from pro’s writing in. I guess when you are a writer it’s better to hear from the guys in the scene rather than just some fan of it. I am banking on that a little bit tonight as I write this and I am hoping that these words get some people thinking.
The FGFS scene and fixed gear scene are small. I have been riding a fixed gear for around 7 years, and trust me when I say it hasn’t grown that much in all of that time. Things have evolved, which is only natural; but the scene remains very close knit. If you float around the twitter rumor mill you may have heard a recent rumor that SE Bikes is dropping their Fixed gear program. I have no idea if this is true or if this is just another internet rumor. Maybe you care, maybe you don’t. Either way you should still keep reading. Like I said above, the scene is small. A lot of guys are getting over it, and a lot of people have been overlooked through out the years. I don’t care if you ride a fixed gear for sponsorship/money, or if you just pedal for the love of pedaling. What I do care about is how we treat the scene. As a scene we need to think about and accept the fact that things need to grow. Things are going to change. The only people throughout history that hated the idea of change were the fearful. People are afraid that if things change they might not be included in those changes. Worse yet, the changes might take the joy away from what they do. Your joy of riding should never be contingent on conditions. Sometimes the scene fights change. New riders, companies, blogs, brands, you name it and the scene has hated on it. We think we are keeping the scene “pure”, but in reality we are no better than rats. I know that sounds harsh; allow me to explain. When a big group of rats finds themselves in a small confined place they begin to panic as more rats show up. The more rats that show up, the smaller the confined space becomes. Rats have the ability to eat through almost anything, so while trapped in a confined space if the rats all worked together they could eat through a wall and make the space large enough for everyone. They don’t. Instead, as more rats show up and the space becomes crowded, they begin to eat each other. Eventually, the remaining rats have eaten enough of the other rats that the space once again becomes large enough for all…until more rats show up again. During this process of rat cannibalism a phenomenon known as “Rat King” can occur. Scientists still debate over whether “Rat King” is an urban legend or fact. Rat King occurs while the rats are consuming each other. In a confined space, in utter cannibal chaos, rats are jumping and running everywhere. In the process their tale can become knotted with another rats tail…and another rats tail, etc. Next thing the rats know they are now knotted together by their tail to 7 other rats tails. You would think that they would realize that if any of the rats they are knotted to die during the cannibal chaos they would be weighted down by that rats dead body, and most likely be as easy target as the next rat to be eaten. They don’t. Instead they attack the rats they are linked to. Inevitably leading them to their own death. We do the same thing. We are in a small confined space and every day more riders are showing up. More blogs are popping up. More brands and companies have started. Instead of working together to grow the scene, we eat(hate on) each other. We spend all of our energy trying to prove that we are awesome and the others are just fakes. Phonies who are coming to steal our slice of the pie. I mean what are the odds that your riding and edits inspired someone else to start riding? That’s crazy right? What are the odds that your blog inspired others to start a blog? No fucking way, right? The more we put out, the more the scene is going to grow. Yes, someday in might grow to the point that you no longer want to be apart of it, but I’ll let you in on a secret I picked up in my thirties. If you embrace the growth you can help guide its course. If you spend all of your energy trying to fight the inevitable you might realize that your tail might be knotted to the rider, or the company, or the blog you just hated on and killed. If you feel the scene is too small for all these new things, then maybe it is time to all work together and grow this thing. Collab or Die. Maybe next time you see a new rider, company, or blog you should extend the hand of friendship, because the hating isn’t working. Or maybe next time you look in the mirror you might realize that you are a rat. Just something to think about.