Travis Baker is the Master of Fixed

I love this story. It’s a good one for the holidays. It’s about Baker and he’s the master of fixed-gear bike riding in Sedalia MO.

“I’ve gotten really used to it,” he said of crashing his bike. “I can tell when something is going wrong and I can jump off of it and land on my feet most of the time.”

He’s breaking 3 frames a year and Leader Bike is sponsoring his frames and videos.

Most of his tricks involve “riding fakie,” or going backward. He also does a lot of handlebar spins.

It reads almost like an Onion parody of Fixie Kids. Travis near crashes and lands on his feet in this video after the car smokes some tires.

In 1899, Neidert was doing tricks too. Edison rolled film while he did his best. Also see Danny MacAskill tricks, trails style.


Charleston has a big fixie community. Here’s a video I created of the local Kulture Klash get-together from a month ago.  At 0:58 there’s a nice little fakie wheelie spin.  Watch the whole clip to see the bike “circle of doom” at the very end.

My mom was born and raised in Sedalia MO.  For a dozen years I would spend two weeks of each summer there.

It is a poe-dunk town.  Not a lot going on there—the only people who visit are assholes driving giant trucks with huge boats in tow on the way to the Ozarks.  The old downtown is literally dead, with no one walking or even driving anywhere much.  There’s a strip of giant box stores leading out of town on the main highway into town (50 Highway).

The last time I was there I stopped to visit my grandma on a long road trip.  While leaving town, my two friends and I were the victim of some serious yokel gay-bashing.  The gap-toothed meth head got out of his car while we were stopped at a light and proceeded to tell us through our window how he was going to murder us faggots in myriad different ways.  His young daughter sat in the car watching the entire unpleasant episode until the light turned green.

The point of this story is that I think it’s great, and kind of amazing, that this kid is doing this instead of getting drunk and high and getting his girlfriend pregnant and all the other unpleasant things rural kids can do when they get bored in the forgotten, marginalized parts of middle America.

I hope to hell he moves to Kansas City or somewhere even better because Sedalia has nothing but memories at this point.  Nothing at all for a 22 year old.

I know and I read that story 3 times, each time toning down the snark from “this reads like a parody of hipster” to “hey cool, this kid is doing bike tricks and making videos.” I grew up in a small town to and was reminded of that. I wasn’t doing tricks, just riding a Gary Fisher around.

Also note that in the States fixie is equated with hipsters while abroad is a cultural phenomena. I hope he goes to Taiwan or Japan and gets better at his tricks.

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