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Fixies: Spinning Spokes and Telling Jokes – Fixed Riding in the 831

Jesse Martines

This post was first published March 6, 2012, with subsequent updates.
Jesse and others are featured in the 12/5/13 Salinas Californian video by Jay Dunn, “Just Ride: Fixed-gear in Salinas”

…and in the accompanying story and pictures by Becky Bach and Jay Dunn, “Fixie fixation.” Click here.

Included in the story are the following Salinas fixie riders with a safety-minded street cred: Edwin Nolasco, Francisco “Frankie” Rodriguez, Fabian Saldaña, Jesse Martines, and in the film, Jeremy Arcega too. Also included in the story are Bear Bikes, Jim Warwick, and Gerard Ross.

Additional updates to Jesse’s guest post below, including more about WEREFAST (mentioned in the Californian story) are at the end of this post.

You may also want to read Bicycling Monterey’s 9/19/13 comment on a Monterey County Weekly story.

Fixie Fixation Salinas Californian

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Spinning Spokes and Telling Jokes: 

The birth of the FNB ride group

 Guest post by Jesse Martines
FNB is a Fixed Gear Cycling Club from the 831. Trying to bring everyone closer. Have questions, feel free to ask:
FNB is on Twitter @green8661

I was thinking of riding my fixie, after two months recovering from injuries sustained in a car wreck.

I started this event to have fun and meet new riders who live in the area.

The plan

The original plan was to invite about five friends and go down to Lovers Point. I began thinking that it would look really nice to see a train of fixies running through Seaside into Monterey, on to Lovers Point, Pacific Grove, and down to Cypress Point, Pebble Beach and back.

I called several people and told them what I was planning to do, and they said it was an awesome idea. I set up an event page on Facebook, inviting everyone I know. My friends invited their friends too, and so on.

The ride was titled “Ride Fix Not Broken” and posted on Facebook as a public event by Jesse Martines and Chris Pineda

We posted this invitation:  “Have you been riding your bike?  If not, then grab your Fixed Gear cause you’re invited to join my friends and me on a bike ride down 17-Mile Drive.”

As the invitation stated, we met at the back parking lot of Me ‘N Ed’s Pizza, 800 Broadway Ave, Seaside, on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

Pictured above are the March 4, 2012 riders. From left to right, they are:

1. Chris Pineda

2. Diego Martinez

3. Jayson Jase Lagrimas

4. Evello Fernando

5. Danny Velasco Nicholas

6. Noah Goodin

7. Tim Croft

8 Chuck Del Rosario

9. Daniel Hamilton

10. Ben Hernandez

11. Jose De Gracia, Jr.

12. Jesse Martines

13. Samuel Contreras

14. Kyle Dow

15. Ricardo Velasquez

Stay cool

We encouraged safety—and being good ambassadors for the bike community—by including in our invitation:  ATTENTION!!!   Ride safe. Obey all the traffic laws. Have courtesy for all occupants on the road. Ride at your own risk. Use lights. Signal and be vocal about where you are, and hazards on the road. You are riding the streets where any factor may affect your safety and the safety of car occupants, pedestrians, and other cyclists—potentially resulting in injuries or even death.

We also linked to Velo Club Monterey’s group riding tips for additional pointers.

Everything was explained to the riders before departing.

The outcome

We did 30 miles of fun with some of the best fixie riders Monterey County has to offer! We started off with 15 guys.  We lost four guys after mile nine.

Our average speed was between 15mph and 20mph. We took five breaks, so all of us could wait for those that were a bit behind, and stretch, drink water, sit down awhile, use the restroom. On the way back we only took three breaks.

Great group riding practices were evident:  Everyone was communicative around cars, using their arms to signal the direction we were going, or when slowing or stopping. [Editor’s note: See “Use hand signals” in this site’s CA Bike Laws and Personal Safety section.]  Everyone made sure the rider behind wasn’t far behind.

As we entered Monterey on the return trip, we began to say our goodbyes and thanks to each other for the great time we had together riding bikes on a beautiful, sunny day.

To my knowledge, this was the first fixie event ever in the Monterey area, and it went well.  [Editor’s note: Another group ride has since been mentioned. Feel free to contact me if you have a fixie group.] As organizer, something I forgot to mention was to wear a helmet. Although not required by California law for adults (18 and up), most local bike clubs and events do require riders to wear helmets, for safety’s sake; these fixie rides will too.

Some comments from riders

“Nice ride today, guys.”- Ben Hernandez

“Dope ride. We need to do a weekly ride like this one.”- Jose De Gracia, Jr.

“Great time, guys.”- Kyle Dow

“That was a pretty awesome ride.”- Noah Goodin

“Good ride, fellas!’- Evello Fernando

The future

After considering crew names–including the initial one, Band of Fixies–the group settled on FNB, an acronym for “fixed, not broken.”

A group fixie ride to a different location, to be chosen by the crew, is planned for every three weeks.  These rides will be on Sundays and have been dubbed Sunday Mash.  

For details on FNB’s next Sunday Mash, send me, Jess Martines, an email: 

green8661 [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Include your name, phone number, and what city you live in.

For the second ride, every fixie rider from Pacific Grove to Salinas is welcome to come join us.

Wear a helmet to participate in the next ride, in addition to sticking with the above safety and group riding practices.

The goals are having a great time with fellow riders while also demonstrating that certain fixies are appropriate for off-the-track use—both in terms of safety and in terms of consideration for other travelers, be they pedestrians, other cyclists, or drivers of motor vehicles.

What is a fixed gear? 

A lot of people don’t know, and use of the term varies.  Here’s some info:

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Editor’s note:  Keep in mind that if riding on California roadways, “bicycles must be equipped with a brake that allows an operator to execute a one-braked-wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.” 

CVC 21201(a).

V C Sección 21201 Equipo requerido

21201. (a) No deberá operarse una bicicleta en la carretera a menos que dicha bicicleta esté equipada con un freno que dé al operador la capacidad de hacer que una rueda de la bicicleta resbale en pavimento seco y llano cuando se le aplique dicho freno.

Why do Jess and many fixed gear riders have a mindfulness about safety factors?  Click here.  “It starts with education…then citations.”

Know CA bike laws. Here are some summaries:

Choosing to go brakeless anyway?

If you view this video (click here) about ways to stop a fixed-gear bike, note that their #1 recommendation is to have a front brake! In the absence of that, also note that their “ways to stop” all require clips or straps.

Those who choose to ride a fixie without brakes are advised to check out safety tips from experienced fixie riders. One possible starting point:

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3/25/13 update: F.N.B. group ride dates are not being scheduled at this time. However, founder Jess Martinez continues to put a lot of miles on his bike and to remain active as a bike advocate. Jess welcomes you to email him:

9/19/13 update: Jess and some buddies now have a small team of riders in Salinas called “WEREFAST,” which stands for “We Enjoy Riding Everyday Fast And Smart Too.”  Safe riding practices remain a priority for Jess and his WEREFAST buddies! And BTW, even though Jess is over 18, so not required to by law, he chooses to wear a helmet. See more about fixies in “Trick-bike movement gives youth an outlet, police a headache” by Eduardo Cuevas in the 9/19/13 Monterey County Weekly, where Bicycling  Monterey has offered comment for your further consideration.

9/14/15 update: Jay Dunn of the Californian snapped another Salinas fixie rider, 13-year-old Andrew Rodriguez; click here.

This post was published on 6 March 2012. One or more changes last made to this post on 4 February 2020.

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