I figured I would chime in here on the fixie crowd. Personally, I could rant and rave about the good and bad, but I choose to try to learn more about it by going on a ride with them. Recently, I went on one of their scheduled rides, but without my fixed gear to 'check out the ride'. I certainly wasn't going to pull out one of my track bikes and ride with a bunch of crazies if that's what they turned out to be. I am somewhat familiar with some of the rides that they have been on and some of them have been really out there, like driving whacked out 'Burning man' inspired bikes. But this particular 'fixie' ride that I went on had about 50 riders and they took off at 10pm and cruised mostly the bike trails around Los Angeles towards Burbank and back. The ride wasn't that bad. They were fairly respectful of traffic and many of the people on the ride were new. So basically, lots of people were just riding along and enjoying a new ride, like me. This ride was pretty fast, so maybe the 'crazies' didn't bother to show up for that particular ride. Several of the riders presently work as bike messengers and were in pretty good shape. Now that I got started writing, I realize that I could write for another 10 pages, because there are so many things to say about various aspects of that bike scene. But mainly, what I wanted to say was that one way to find out for yourselves is to go on a few rides like I did and see them for what they are rather than base your thoughts on some bad apples. Mostly, they are young people without a lot of money, who are living in expensive urban areas like Los Angeles, where after paying the rent, there is not a lot left for them to spend thousands on their bikes. Many of them are students on a tight budget also, I discovered. Also, a city like Los Angeles is has a very high bike theft rate, so its only practical to ride something that doesn't look to attractive and have lots of parts on it to be stripped off it. Unfortunately, every day as I ride along the streets, I see bare frames Kryptonited to poles with all the parts missing--stripped by thieves. So it makes sense to ride a low cost bike, and why not have it light weight too? At least some of the crowd appreciates the old bikes for their quality. My theory is that since they are mostly on a tight budget, they tend to gravitate for the bikes that fall slightly below the radar of the typical vintage collector.