Mormon Fixed

 

Update: The LDS Elders asked (politely) to have the photos removed — apparently this post was drawing unwanted attention to them. I’ve complied with their request. –Richard

It had to happen, ladies and gentlemen: the marriage of two uniquely American bike cultures — Latter Day Saint missionaries on bikes and urban hipster fixies!

I and several others got a real kick seeing these LDS Elders riding urban fixed gear bikes in downtown San Jose during the Via Velo open streets event last Saturday.

LDS Missionaries on fixed gear bicycle

Fixed gear bicycles can be inexpensive and are typically rugged and very easy to maintain.

Toe clips, dress shoes, and rolled pant leg: These boys have got it down.


Mormon Fixed

This guy rolls on his tribute to Green Jello with a brake (right hand on the front, natch!) and a bell on his shorty bars.

Mormon fixed

I should have asked them to trackstand or bar spin, but they just arrived in San Jose less than a month ago and they built these bikes up since their arrival.


Mormon Fixed

What do you think? Is this a match made in heaven? Or is this unnatural union an unholy alliance portending the fixie apocalypse?

35 Comments

  • May 15, 2010 - 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I was telling my dad (who was a missionary in Canada and drove a car) that the LDS Church should adopt a standard bike for all of its missionaries – something more utilitarian and comfortable than a mountain bike and backpack. A fixed gear wasn't my idea, but this works.

  • Mindy
    May 15, 2010 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Very Cool. I like their style.

  • May 15, 2010 - 11:22 pm | Permalink

    We have a large community of Mormon missionaries patrolling the streets over here. But they are mostly using hand-me-down “mountain” bikes. Some of them look years old. Very worn and beaten-up. Chipped paint. Battle-scared frames. I'll have to get some shots of these when the opportunity presents. Now if they could get around town on some of the colorful numbers you show here…!!

  • May 16, 2010 - 2:04 am | Permalink

    If you gotta ride, ride in style I say.
    The smiles on their faces says it all!

  • medengineer
    May 16, 2010 - 7:38 am | Permalink

    Good for them! Leading by example.

    Someone should connect with them and get them in a League of American Bicyclist
    traffic skills 101 class.

  • kentlarsen
    May 17, 2010 - 7:45 am | Permalink

    Great pics. My son returned from serving on a bike in Las Vegas & western Nevada. Their work is torture on bikes — since bicycles are the primary means of transportation in most suburban areas, they are on them many hours a day every day. IIRC, my son put at least one bike out of its misery.

    I do seem to remember hearing that one manufacturer produces bicycles aimed specifically at Mormon missionaries and their use.

  • Spokesy
    May 17, 2010 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    cell phone? Have the missionary rules changed drastically in the past couple years? How did the mission president allow this as their use of time? I would think that the MP would believe that the time building bikes could better be used for prayer and home teachings.

  • Ivan
    May 17, 2010 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Cell phones are common now. When I returned home from Central Russia five years ago we had already been experimenting with them for Zone Leaders, APs, isolated DLs, senior and sister missionaries.

  • kaeta
    May 17, 2010 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Awesome!

  • Brian
    May 17, 2010 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I served in San Jose – spent many preparation day (sort of like your 'day off' for those not familiar with the term) working on my bike. Most missionaries wear through bikes so fast because they are either: 1) garbage to start with 2) horribly neglected I think these guys will do alright.

    But if you are going to complain about anything, he should be wearing a helmet. Wouldn't dare let our mission president catch us without one. (not to mention it just plain makes sense)

  • May 17, 2010 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

    FYI, I've been asked (very politely) to take the photos down. I'll be a nice guy and do so.

  • Jonas
    May 17, 2010 - 5:33 pm | Permalink

    That totally sucks. I didn't get to see the pics. Who asked you? Was it church HQ?

  • Daniel
    May 17, 2010 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I was recently in San Jose and saw these Elders downtown. They handled their bikes well. I was impressed.

  • tedder
    May 17, 2010 - 10:27 pm | Permalink

    hey, where'd the good pictures go? I'm guessing someone freaked out about the texting and money spent by the good 'ol servants of god?

  • May 18, 2010 - 7:11 am | Permalink

    Par for the course. I managed to see the photos before they got pulled. Fun photos. Depicting good clean fun. And now they've been removed. For what? So some old guy could feel righteous about bringing the hammer down? Gah. It's apparently not enough that these kids are already doing something extraordinary by volunteering two years of service to their church. No, never mind that. Apparently, someone has (once again) found some excuse to make these young men feel self-conscious about their obvious creativity and good-spirited approach to their volunteer service. As a former missionary (RM) myself, I say: A pox on whoever made these photos disappear. These young men deserved better. They've done nothing wrong. And we've done nothing wrong by enjoying their creative expression. Verily and truly, you suck, whoever you are.

  • Pingback: Fixed Gear Missionaries « Urban Velo

  • Pingback: To Teach and Preach | Epic Riding | Grizzly Adam

  • 2muchsnow
    May 18, 2010 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Too bad, saw the photos in the first post, as an LDS church member and cyclist, it made me proud. Oh well.

  • tedder
    May 18, 2010 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    @2muchsnow: expensive bikes for “servants of god” and texting while riding helmetless made you proud?

  • May 18, 2010 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Clarification for @Tedder (and others): Fixed gear conversions like what these Elders were riding are very inexpensive, which is part of the reason for their popularity with young people. While normally I also criticize texting while riding (or especially driving) this was during a downtown festival on closed streets.

  • Ian
    May 18, 2010 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    All I have to say is bikes such as these are not “Very Inexpensive” unless you consider coughing 400-500 dollars chump pocket change. Ive been riding for 4 years now and you couldnt get me to waste 300 bucks on a shitty made bike thats going to fall apart after riding it for 2 months! these mormons are doing nothing but making the street unsafe with their cheap made bikes!

  • Satan
    May 18, 2010 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Looks like they arent on the flicker pro account. Too much traffic. I'll have to wait until next month to see the pictures.

  • Pingback: Scrapertown « Bike Monkey Magazine

  • May 18, 2010 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Loosen up. Why does it matter what they are riding? It takes guts to leave home to complete a Mission, not to mention faith and hard work, so if they want to ride emus more power to them.

  • Pingback: Bike Anti-Porn - When Things Go Wrong - Page 212 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  • Pingback: Fixed Gear Missionaries | Test Blog

  • May 20, 2010 - 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I'm so perplexed. Why would *missionaries* be upset about attracting attention to themselves? What were they hoping for when they knocked on doors and handed people pamphlets? That no one would notice them at all? If you don't want attention, stop *evangelizing* to people.

    Maybe they were upset just because the attention was about the bicycles, not about LDS doctrine. But why not just take that as an opportunity to win over some hipster converts?

  • Joe
    May 21, 2010 - 1:05 am | Permalink

    The rules have changed. I was in the first group with cell phones in Maryland.
    It's amazing what even an hour a week can do over the course of 2 years. I never played the piano before the mission, now I compose songs, and have 5 completed.

  • Cman
    May 21, 2010 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Why still have this post up when there is now essentially nothing here?

  • Pingback: Mormons On Fixies » James Holroyd

  • Chip
    May 23, 2010 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I was a missionary in Japan years ago and we rode bikes with a step through frame, a basket on the front, and 20” wheels. Definitely not cool bikes. For two years missionaries are supposed to live a life of service with a humble mindset. When Christ rode into Jerusalem on what became Palm Sunday, he rode in on an ass. His message, and maybe even his attitude, would have been totally different if he rode in on an Arabian stallion with a braided tail, gilded mane, and expensive saddle and tack.

    Missionaries are allowed to buy whatever bike they want, but most mission leaders are hoping they will buy a simple bike for basic transportation. The missionaries may have been embarrassed by the undue attention and that’s why they asked for the picture to be removed. Their cool bikes might even be up for sale right now.

  • May 23, 2010 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Love it!!

  • June 2, 2010 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Pedal with a Purpose is the biggest supplier of bikes to LDS missionaries, and even sells a fixie model. http://www.pedalwithapurpose.com/SEDraftDetails

  • July 9, 2010 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    I am quite agreen with the write’s says about the experiencial knowledge of better living.For home improvement I have glance those sits.I found they benifit for life. I want to buy something to home use. Hope you give me a good views Nike air Zoom Lebron soldier IV

  • Roadhunter
    November 9, 2010 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

    For that very reason. It needs to be shown how this cult behaves.

  • Leave a Reply