If you ride in the rain, you get the mud

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist at Cyclo with his mud covered fixie

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Never expect a pristine bike from November to April.

“I washed this bike yesterday and look at it today.”

Photographer’s notes: No European cyclist can expect  Continue reading

Fixies and the simpler mechanical options

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bike messenger win London, UK

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Adapting a bike to the messenger ideal

“I bought the bike at a shop and, since getting it, I have taken it on to full fixie and the like. Made it lighter and stuff. When I first bought it, it had front and rear brakes, I was on a  free wheel. I was used to free-wheeling. Then  you see all the fixies, back-pedal braking, only front brakes and I was like, ‘I won’t do that.” And then I came to my senses and you realise London is quite flat so there is no point to gears. As a courier, it is just more mechanical problems. Riding ten hours a day and the bike is going to get wear and tear. So that is why I chose single speed. And free wheeling is more moving parts and you want as few moving parts as possible so you have fewer mechanical problems. That is why I think. That is my main reason.” Continue reading

On again, off again life as a bicycle messenger

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - London bike messenger on a break

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – If you live off the 9-5 grid, you get the highs and lows.

“Today has been very slow. Very, very slow. Yesterday was mad. The day before was mad. Which is great. Loads of work. And then today, there is no work. Which is really bizarre.  I’ve only been doing it for three months now, so still very early on. It’s a job and I needed a job, so why not? And I love being outdoors, love cycling. So, pretty much the best job you can get, if you like that.” Continue reading

Making the commitment to a true fixie ride

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man with new fixed gear bike in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Far from a converted road bike, pure fixies offer a lighter, fast-moving ride

“It is from Germany and brand new. I was looking for a fixie. Initially I was had for a race bike that I transformed into a fixie.  and I rode like that for five years. And then I went looking for a real fixie.  A track bike, something that was developed for the track. They are different rides. This is far more manoeuvrable, light and fun to ride The race bike is nicer over a long distance. I go to work with this one every day. I have brakes on it today because it is brand new but next week the brake will be gone. The rear brake is already gone.” Continue reading

Finding the way to a fixed gear position

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man with a Flandria classic bike converted to a fixed gear

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Can we blame the internet for the rapid spread of the fixed wheel culture?

“I made the jump to a fixed gear because of the internet. I stumbled across the documentary about New York bike messengers and I saw it was very popular there. I started looking into the subject and found, in the centre of the city, it is really very efficient. You gain a lot of time. There are a few hills in Brussels that offer a challenge and I look at them. But you know that if you have gone up a hill once, the next time you are going to handle it. ” Continue reading

A fixie obliges a faster ride – the bike demands it

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man with fixie Flandria bike in Brussels, Belgium

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Fixie riding has become a cult form in cycling. And a new life for vintage frames.

“I found the fixed gear is extremely useful in the centre of the city. It is extremely fast and wants you to go faster. It is quite impossible to ride slowly for long amount of time because the kinetic energy is more efficiently used if you keep the movement going. This bike has been in my possession for two years, now. It was mounted as a  fixed gear before but with tubular tires. I punctured once and I said that was enough. Fixing a tubular is awful.” Continue reading