Retro Rides

Urban rebels like their fashion and their bicycles vintage. So says Sam Owen, who started a weekly bike ride in Lawrence, à la the late 1800s. Fixed-gear bikes were the first generation of the now-common two-wheelers. Back then, the wheels moved forward when the pedals did and backward when the pedals moved backward. No gears, shifters or brakes. In recent years, these retro bikes have staged a city comeback, thanks to urban messengers who can idle at traffic lights without putting their feet down. “It may be the rebellious image of the urban bike messenger or the fact that fixed-gear bikes are frequently pieces of rolling art as well,” Owen says. “But they are super-, super-chic to be riding right now in the cycling and downtown hipster worlds.” Tonight at 7, anyone can join the cool kids for an evening ride starting from the University of Kansas Campanile (on Mississippi, just south of 12th Street, in Lawrence). Traditional cyclists are welcome, but an interest in fixed-gear is required. For more information, e-mail


Fri., Sept. 28, 7 p.m., 2007