So for our bike blogger of the week we feature:
Andrew “Dancakes” Stevens of ATXFixed.blogspot.com
This originally started as a Monster Track profile for an out-of-towner, but Andrew wasn’t able to make it to race.
But he has been kind to share his thoughts with me about the scene going on in Texas.
Andrew “Dancakes” Stevens
How old are you?
22 yrs old
Where do you live?
Born and raised in Austin, TX, with a 2 years stint in Portland, Or.
What bikes do you own?
I own 1 Spanish track bike and 1 hand built eight-speed cyclocross/commuter bike.
What got you into track bikes?
I got into fixed gears/track bikes because they were cheaper than the bus in Portland and because I could work on them myself.
Have you ever been a messenger?
I have never been a messenger. I would like to be, but there are only, like, six of them in Austin.
What got you into alleycats?
I got into alleycats initially because they were the only way i could meet other cyclists to ride with. Now I’m into them to push myself to the next level physically and mentally.
What do you like about them?
I love the social aspect of alleycats because you get to meet riders from different cities and I love combining the culture of urban cyclists with actual athletic competition.
Why did you start the blog?
Chris Lee, Ahlee, and I started ATXfixed because we wanted to develop a singular voice for the Central Texas fixed gear scene. We, along with riders in College Station, Houston, Denton, and San Marcos are all working our asses off filming, editing, reading, drinking, hosting races and racers, wrenching, eating, training, and creating on our bikes in order to establish a powerful network of friends and peers, involve riders from different towns, and hopefully interest people in what we are doing down here in Texas. We started the blog in order to document our progression, and to get free shit
What Kind of people read your blog?
Typically it’s the riders who are looking for local events to attend. Because we try so hard to showcase original and exclusive content, we get a lot of feedback from locals that read our blog everyday after they read Tracko, Prolly, Bootleg, Zlog, and BBNYC, but ideally we want to appeal to the national audience by offering articles, pictures and opinions that are unique to us and our regional culture. We have a consistent and dedicated following for our monthly Fab Friday races and our weekly Sexy Sunday trick meet, but we are proud to have such a wide variety of people show up. Trialthetes, cyclocross and road racers, bmx and cruiser guys, mountain bikers and pedicabbers, messengers and food delivery folks, and then the predictable urban fixed gear riders all show up to our events after reading the blog, so we try to come up with content that is interesting to all of them, and hopefully we can continue succeeding at that.
What is the scene like in Austin?
The scene in Austin is just now coming into it’s own. There have been SO many races this last 9 months, whereas it was really hard to find them before. With our crew/group of friends starting the Fabulous Fixed First Friday races, we have definitely become a more solid social group, and a good amount of us have started going out to races in other parts of Texas, and hosting races so racers from out of town can come and crash on our floors and get drunk with us. We have freestyle dudes, commuters, and straight up mashers who can all hang out and talk about bikes and learn about bikes from eachother. At this point a lot of us are building up bikes for different purposes, like cyclocross, which is gaining a lot of momentum down here, or geared commuter bikes for groceries, or road bikes for longer training rides and short tours. It all comes back to the track bike standpoint, though, in the way we move ourselves through the city and react against all of the random variables. Essentially we are just cross training, which ultimately helps our riding on our favorite bikes: our track bikes.
What do you think of all these fixed gear blogs? What surprises you? What bike blogs do you follow?
I think fixed gear specific blogs are great, but I think that there too many of them out there that don’t update enough. It is really hard to update a blog consistently when you have a job that doesn’t allow you access to a computer (or when you don’t own a computer, like i didn’t for the first 4 months of ATXFixed!) or when you are a busy student like Ahlee and Chris, so we have added several moderators to try to make up for our busy schedules. It is also really really difficult to come up with original content, as opposed to just reading the bigger blogs and culling content out of them. I keep up with Prolly, Maca, Mash, Bootleg, Bike Blog NYC, and Tracko, as far as the big blogs go. I love Bike Jerks from Minneapolis and I always check Jason Abels’ and Les Bennetts’ local blogs, ATXBS and OneLesCar. My reading has gotten narrowed down because I have eventually figured who puts up original content more often then others. Again, a lot of that seems to have to do with what kind of job you have. Guys like Prolly and Jason both work desk jobs, so they have access to computers all day at work, and that turns into where they get most of their blogging done. They get a lot of face time with the community and by being so accessable, they are given information first in order to post it and bring it to the masses. I appreciate how quickly they work, and at this point we are trying to figure out how to have that same access to original content so that we can eventually become a nationally read blog.
What was one of the most interesting experiences you had on a bike?
To me, the most consistently interesting thing about riding my bike is hanging out with all of the awesome people that get together to ride. I loved (and hated) hosting all 6 of the raven feeders during SXSW this month, as well as ben w and justin from feetbelts and bootleg sessions. We got to ride all day for a week, simultaneously filming and drinking, talking shit and playing dice, and I got to be a part of some of the most elevated riding I have every witnessed. Recently, all of the races and premiers we have been helping with have put ATXfixed in the forefront of the austin fixed gear community. We like that. We like to bring people together. We like hearing other ideas and seeing how different towns call for different bike setups and riding styles.
Any memorable posts or comments you want to share?
The one that ahlee posted on my birthday about me being a fatty.
Atxfixed.blogspot.com/2009/03 growing pains
The comments on Tracko about Arak’s video.
What are your future goals for the blog?
More content. More recognition. More race sponsors. Personally, I want to be able to go to NYC or SF or Seattle and hang out with the people who write what I read. Big blogs like Bootleg, Maca, MASH, Prolly and Tracko are really seen as tastemakers in the fixed gear culture, and I feel that ATXfixed has a role to fill, too. I really have a huge amount of respect for those bloggers, and I pull information and inspiration from their hard work and connections. Ideally, we want to be able to supply enough content to get readers in other parts of the world interested in what we are doing in Central Texas, but on a day to day level, we are just glad that we get to write about how much fucking fun we have.