The last time I was in Los Angeles was on the evening of the Rodney King verdict.
My other perceptions of LA were conveyed through hip-hop albums of the 90s, Boyz in the Hood, and of course, the tanned faces of Hollywood.
John had been talking up LA and for a long time I’d wanted to meet Kyle of Trackosaurus fame. I can still remember getting an email from him when he launched his blog in 2006 – a beautiful blue Ciocc was one of the feature bikes. Prior to FYXO, the only other websites vaguely related to fixed gear were Old Skool Track, Fixed Gear Gallery, and a thread in Bike Forums. Many ‘blogs’ have come, planned to take over the world, and gone in the same breath, and the stayers have stayed for good reason. The internet can be a bizarre playing field and I’m always excited to meet the people behind the brand, avatar or email.
The stars aligned last year for a one week blitz of Los Angeles, Zion NP and Las Vegas and the gallery above is the rides and people I met. Some I’d meet in my previous life during my globe-trotting years as a bike courier, some through the internet, some in the good old fashioned ‘strike up a conversation’ with a stranger approach.
I’m happy to report that Los Angeles wasn’t what I expected in the slightest. If you remove Hollywood from the equation, the riding, weather and people are pretty tough to beat – particularly if you use Golden Saddle Cyclery as a base. More social club than shop, it’s audience spans the gamut of cyclists, celebrities and ‘cool kids’. It might not seem like an obvious place for a cycling stopover – but you won’t regret it if you do.