Chris Lanaway|Fixie Brighton.
When people think of fixed gear bikes the first thing that usually comes to their heads is Chris Hoy and the hipsters riding round London on their fluorescent fixies. When it comes to riding fixed outside of London people know very little about the tight knit scenes and the purists that choose to ride fixed or single speed bikes. I recently arranged to meet with some fixed gear riders in Brighton which could seem a strange place to choose to ride fixed given the geography of it; it’s pretty much one big hill.
Compared to some cities, especially London, the scene in Brighton is relatively small – but tight knit. When I arrived at the West Pier I was greeted by a small group of riders all chatting away and keen to see riders from all over Brighton together. There was a really good mix of people, all choosing to ride fixed for different reasons.
Polo seems pretty popular in Brighton with most of the guys hitting Preston park to play every Sunday. It’s a pretty chilled affair; the hard court got taken over, there was a boom box, loads of bikes and a whole bunch of people stoked on it. If you haven’t played bike polo before then go do it! It is seriously good. The locals seem keen too, stopping and watching, looking slightly confused, yet intrigued at the same time.
It may be small but the all the guys (and girls) are so enthusiastic that it will always be around, especially the polo guys who were keen to have other people there playing. If you’re in Brighton on a Sunday check Preston Park and go watch some polo, also check out Cranks in Chapel street. Cranks is a DIY bike shop that’s volunteer run by a group of people who are keen to help people get out on their bikes, worth a look!