This is Nick Maclean- AKA Nick from Serato. He was at Ledgends last night. A few weeks ago we saw a new track bike up at Whites getting built up. Nick soon took it to the streets but in a cruel twist of fate, washed out on some gravel while riding in Devonport. He doesn’t have a clear memory of the crash but it involved the dreaded scorpion. Nick broke his elbow got some stitches in his chin and knocked his front tooth clean out. He has a nice retainer with a fake one while he waits to get a new one drilled in there. Pretty gnarly – purely an accident – Nick we are stoked you are ok and we hope to see you riding out there soon.

Which brings up the contentious issue of the safety of track bikes. I try not to get into it on this blog too much. The AKFixed forum is debating issues of safety and brakes a fair bit. I don’t think there is much of an argument. Riding with a helmet and a front brake is a good thing. It’s a necessity in some situations and especially on Auckland streets. Our drivers are not the safest in the world and are definitely not highly aware of what is around them. I’m seeing a growing number of cars run 3 second red lights and pull 4 lane U-turns. I’m seeing more people riding front brakes when they are learning to use their first track bike / fixie. This is awesome. I definitely think a big part of the fun and challenge of riding a track bike is learning to efficiently control your speed and braking without a brake lever. When you develop that trust it’s a really rewarding feeling, being slightly on edge but reading the environment infront of you and responding. BUT – think of having a brake lever on your bars as an insurance policy. Especially as you are learning, it’s a back up plan if you can’t stop by skidding in an “in traffic” situation.

I’m not going to preach brakes and helmets, I don’t run a brake and I’m notoriously bad at wearing my helmet on anything but a long ride in traffic. But we have all been talking about making an effort to wear a helmet more.

There is a classic scenario we all get caught up in: we decide to hook up and go for a chill ride on quiet streets or have a trick session in a car park. Before we know it there are 10 of us weaving in and out of traffic in the dark without helmets. NOT COOL. Jeff Whiteford is a role model for us all in this situation. He always wears a helmet and summed it up best with these words; “it’s the fucking road code dick!”.  Oh and all you people out there without flashing LED lights who ride in the dark – GET SOME! Riding without them in the dark is STUPID! (DANGER-ous) The ones in the MASH store are great and the rechargeable USB connecting one is the business, I got one and it’s so bright.  Right ….enough of my rant.

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