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Fixie freaks do the alleycat thing

Taylor Addison rolls in first for the ladies at Retrogression’s grand-opening alleycat race.
Taylor Addison rolls in first for the ladies at Retrogression’s grand-opening alleycat race.

It’s Saturday night on El Cajon Boulevard. A mob of cyclists banters on the sidewalk, cheering and slapping high-fives as friends wheel across the finish line with endorphin-tinged grins. The race — organized by Lucas Evans of local bike punk crew the Cretins — is a fixed-gear alleycat with checkpoints ranging from downtown to Balboa Park to Hillcrest and back to North Park. It doesn’t matter what route you take, you just have to hit all five checkpoints — as fast as your legs will carry you.

Ronnie Shaw and Acamonchi representing local bike punk crew the Cretins.

The thing with fixies is, the rear sprocket is connected directly to the hub, which means that when the pedals turn, the wheel turns, and when the wheel turns, the pedals turn. There is no coasting. On the upswing, they’re extremely efficient, they look pretty cool, they’re as crazy as adrenochrome batshit to ride, and maintenance is minimal.

Now, cycle enthusiasts of every inclination are converging over the ceremonial offerings of pizza and beer to celebrate the opening of Retrogression (2545 El Cajon Boulevard, suite C), San Diego’s lone dedicated fixed-gear shop.

“We’ve always loved the city and the scene,” says Dave Scrod, who runs the place with his wife Angie. “There’s obviously a really strong fixed-gear scene here, as you can see tonight. Everyone is really tight-knit.”

Last November, Angie and Dave uprooted their shop of two years in Beverly, Massachusetts, and moved west to San Diego, where, tonight, they cheers beers with familiar names from internet sales.

“I ran into at least 12 dudes tonight who have bought stuff from us online,” says Dave, who started the business out of their small Beverly apartment four years ago.

“It’s rad because I’m meeting them now in San Diego. It just kind of makes sense. San Diego didn’t really have a shop that was dedicated to fixed-gear riders.”

Bostonians Dave Scrod and Angie Beaulieu moved across the country to join San Diego’s fixie family.

Cretin cruiser Gerardo Yapiz, a graphic designer and artist aka Acamonchi, sees the arrival of Retrogression as a sign of growth for America’s Finest (bicycle weather) City.

“The bike community has been escalating,” says Yapiz, a row of Leader frames (manufactured in Southeast SD) lining the shelf behind him.

“Within a year, there’s been four new bike shops in this area. That’s a great thing. You got North Park bikes. You got Brooklyn Bikes. You got this one. You got Jesse’s Bikes with her stand at the farmers’ market. There’s an alleycat race, on average, like, two or three times a month. The Aware Wolfs, the Cretins, Las Calaveras, we all ride together. It’s like a big family.”

A placard by the bathroom reads, “Employees must carve Slayer into forearms before returning to work,” and Dave explains: “I grew up racing BMX and skateboarding and listening to punk rock. I was just a little dirt rat in the ’80s. To me, it’s just an extension of that. I never set out to be an athlete. I hated sports growing up. I don’t want to be Lance Armstrong. I’m just a dude who rides a bike, and I have a good fucking time riding a bike.”

Beaming behind a proper Boston beard, he adds, “I’m a 40-year-old guy. It’s not some fad I’m getting into and I’m gonna grow up and next year I’ll be on roller blades or something like that. I just do what I do. And that’s why fixed-gear appeals to me. It’s anything goes. Do your own thing. You can see it tonight. Everyone’s cool. We’re listening to loud music and drinking beer like we’ve known each other forever. It’s like punk or hardcore shows — that feeling, like, this is my family.”

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Taylor Addison rolls in first for the ladies at Retrogression’s grand-opening alleycat race.
Taylor Addison rolls in first for the ladies at Retrogression’s grand-opening alleycat race.

It’s Saturday night on El Cajon Boulevard. A mob of cyclists banters on the sidewalk, cheering and slapping high-fives as friends wheel across the finish line with endorphin-tinged grins. The race — organized by Lucas Evans of local bike punk crew the Cretins — is a fixed-gear alleycat with checkpoints ranging from downtown to Balboa Park to Hillcrest and back to North Park. It doesn’t matter what route you take, you just have to hit all five checkpoints — as fast as your legs will carry you.

Ronnie Shaw and Acamonchi representing local bike punk crew the Cretins.

The thing with fixies is, the rear sprocket is connected directly to the hub, which means that when the pedals turn, the wheel turns, and when the wheel turns, the pedals turn. There is no coasting. On the upswing, they’re extremely efficient, they look pretty cool, they’re as crazy as adrenochrome batshit to ride, and maintenance is minimal.

Now, cycle enthusiasts of every inclination are converging over the ceremonial offerings of pizza and beer to celebrate the opening of Retrogression (2545 El Cajon Boulevard, suite C), San Diego’s lone dedicated fixed-gear shop.

“We’ve always loved the city and the scene,” says Dave Scrod, who runs the place with his wife Angie. “There’s obviously a really strong fixed-gear scene here, as you can see tonight. Everyone is really tight-knit.”

Last November, Angie and Dave uprooted their shop of two years in Beverly, Massachusetts, and moved west to San Diego, where, tonight, they cheers beers with familiar names from internet sales.

“I ran into at least 12 dudes tonight who have bought stuff from us online,” says Dave, who started the business out of their small Beverly apartment four years ago.

“It’s rad because I’m meeting them now in San Diego. It just kind of makes sense. San Diego didn’t really have a shop that was dedicated to fixed-gear riders.”

Bostonians Dave Scrod and Angie Beaulieu moved across the country to join San Diego’s fixie family.

Cretin cruiser Gerardo Yapiz, a graphic designer and artist aka Acamonchi, sees the arrival of Retrogression as a sign of growth for America’s Finest (bicycle weather) City.

“The bike community has been escalating,” says Yapiz, a row of Leader frames (manufactured in Southeast SD) lining the shelf behind him.

“Within a year, there’s been four new bike shops in this area. That’s a great thing. You got North Park bikes. You got Brooklyn Bikes. You got this one. You got Jesse’s Bikes with her stand at the farmers’ market. There’s an alleycat race, on average, like, two or three times a month. The Aware Wolfs, the Cretins, Las Calaveras, we all ride together. It’s like a big family.”

A placard by the bathroom reads, “Employees must carve Slayer into forearms before returning to work,” and Dave explains: “I grew up racing BMX and skateboarding and listening to punk rock. I was just a little dirt rat in the ’80s. To me, it’s just an extension of that. I never set out to be an athlete. I hated sports growing up. I don’t want to be Lance Armstrong. I’m just a dude who rides a bike, and I have a good fucking time riding a bike.”

Beaming behind a proper Boston beard, he adds, “I’m a 40-year-old guy. It’s not some fad I’m getting into and I’m gonna grow up and next year I’ll be on roller blades or something like that. I just do what I do. And that’s why fixed-gear appeals to me. It’s anything goes. Do your own thing. You can see it tonight. Everyone’s cool. We’re listening to loud music and drinking beer like we’ve known each other forever. It’s like punk or hardcore shows — that feeling, like, this is my family.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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