Riding down Elmwood Avenue, making my way downtown on a bike, is one of my favorite things to do in Buffalo. The bike I ride is a fixed-gear bike. It only has one gear that has no bearing in it, so it is constantly pedaling. Even at stop lights, riders have to keep their balance because of the constant motion. This may seem a bit prehistoric for most people, but riding fixed gears is becoming more popular.

There are many companies making these bikes. I ride a Republic bike that has a lime green frame, bright blue rims and bull-horn handlebars. It has a smooth ride, it's stylish and it's well-built. Other brands that are well-recognized for their fixed-gear bikes are State Bicycle Co., SE and Raleigh. Bikes vary in style, color, size and type. Most fixed-gear bikes are basic track bikes, but there are also fixed-gear trick bikes and mountain bikes.

The best part of riding a fixed-gear bike is the freedom it provides and the work that goes into the bike. I'm constantly building myself a better bike by buying new parts and making it more suitable for my rides.

I love riding long distances -- from 20 to 50 miles. Riding from Williamsville to the Buffalo waterfront is one of my favorite trips. Riding any type of bike is freeing, but riding a fixed-gear bike has opened up more opportunities for exploration.

"I like riding because it helps me relax," says Tom Warner, a senior at St. Joseph Collegiate Institute. "It's something I can do anytime whether doing the Can-Am (a ride through Buffalo into Canada) with my dad and brother or riding to school with my friends."

Fixed-gear bikes are a growing trend. They are simplistic bikes, fun to ride and open up opportunities to travel. With many brands and styles of bikes, even more riders may soon choose a fixed-gear bike.


Joey Goergen is a junior at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute