Thursday May 19, 2011
Fixed-gear cyclists are responsible people
WITH regard to “First Mat Rempit, Now Mat Sikal” (The Star, May 16), I am very sad after reading the news because these kids are giving a bad name to the fixed- gear cycling scene.
I am a fixed-gear cyclist myself and I often ride in groups of about 20-30. In my group, all of us ride fixed-gear bicycles without brakes except a few for emergency.
No one without a helmet and toe clips is permitted to join our night ride. We usually ride at night because of several reasons – fewer cars on the road and the weather is cooler.
One thing is for sure, we do not race. Our average speed in the town centre is only around 15kph.
The only place we ride fast (still, less than 50kph) is on the highway motorcycle lane.
Again, we don’t race. We ride because we love the sport.
After reading “‘Mat Sikal’ giving real cyclists a bad name” (The Star, May 17), I felt very disgusted by the comments made by people who have no knowledge on the fixed-gear cycling scene.
We are cyclists, we are healthy, we don’t do drugs, and we are not involved in any criminal activity. Please respect our hobby, not everyone likes an indoor hobby.
A fixed-gear bicycle is a real bike. In my cycling group, all new members are trained on how to brake using various methods, such as the shoe-brake or skid-stop, on a basketball court first before they are allowed to join us on the road.
While on the road, we always look out for junctions and we always slow down when approaching one, because we know who will be the winner in the ‘game’ of “Man vs Machine”.
As for asking us fixed-gear cyclists to get a real bike, it is like an electric guitarist asking an acoustic guitarist to play a real instrument.
It’s all down to personal preference. For your information, one requires more energy and skill to ride a fixed-gear bicycle.
To all drivers, please remember you share the road with other users too due to the lack of dedicated cycling paths.
We cyclists are already accommodating you by riding on the side of the road, risking the chance of crashing because of drain covers that are parallel with our tyres.
To the public, you should be more afraid of drivers that talk on the phone, drunk drivers and illegal street racers that drive up to 180kph.