This week has been a whirlwind to say the least. Donald Trump was elected president. Some of us cried, laughed and stood in complete and utter shock. Psychologists are describing this phenomenon as REAL grief and are recommending we take a breather.
Whether or not you liked Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rhetoric is causing a ripple effect in communities all across the United States. This undeniable fact is exactly why the unifying, diverse and feminist rhetoric of fixed-gear culture is so important now more than ever. We are not, by any means, saying that fixed-gear racing has to choose a side. But that feeling of inclusiveness, fighting for the equality of women and rooting for the “little guy” is what has propelled fixed-gear cycling to new heights. Fixed-gear cycling is not just an underground scene anymore, but rather, a real competitor to its neighboring USAC entities. The old-school organization is anxious for the chance for fixed-gear to let it in: and with 30 percent less racing entries this year, it is banging on the doors of racers, begging them to race in more sanctioned races.
"Great things are possible when we all come together, respect our differences and take care of one another."
Even when USAC took fixed-gear cycling for granted, the community was able to achieve many things thanks to its grassroots movements. We saw RedHook gain even more international acclaim. We saw a smaller SoCal Fixed Gear Series gain more entries than most local USAC races. We saw WolfPack Hustle attract international talent and local residents into the cycling scene. We saw women come together to voice their opinion on RedBull Last Stand’s non-equal prize money for women, and, successfully reach the higher ups to equalize the prizes. We saw racers of all color give it their all on multiple platforms, becoming a type of celebrity for their younger followers. Most importantly, we saw that great things are possible when we all come together, respect our differences and take care of one another.
This is why, more than ever, it is important to keep the values of fixed-gear intact. Even if the rest of the country alienates itself from one another, fixed-gear cycling needs to be the safe haven where people of all genders, ethnicities and religions can come together and race in a sport that truly is for the people, by the people.