ON TRACK - Dublin, Ireland
So we’re back in the States and jet lagged beyond belief, but the trip was more than worth it. We were able to stop at two bike shops on our trip. The first being On Track in Dublin.
After a night of heavy drinking, and I mean heavy - Guinness sits like a rock, it always helps to take the mind off the pounding headache by going to look at cool bike stuff. So we ran to an internet cafe to grab some wifi and search for a bike shop to go to. While stumbling through 5 year old message boards for “Dublin Fixed” I managed to trip over a website for On Track, a single-speed specific shop in the area. Like we did before everyone had smartphones, Savannah and I wrote down the directions and started walking.
The bike rack above, made from reclaimed frames, makes for quite the welcoming party. And if you look in the background you can see the bench made from used tires as well. There’s a lot of ingenuity that goes into the decorum of the shop, including seats that are made from rear triangles (you’ll have to figure that one out on your own).
On Track would be any southern, American fixie kid’s dream. New and used completes, fixed-freestyle frames, polo gear and all the brightly colored accoutrement. I did notice an emphasis on bike polo around the shop, plenty of EighthInch merchandise everywhere. Which was most likely what made me think of home.
We spoke with one of the guys working there about the growing popularity of fixed gear and polo in Dublin, and the slow waning of interest in Nashville and other places in the US. This of course was after he showed up, we spent about ten minutes in the shop by ourselves while he was picking up a bike (awesome). Cue crickets.
Conversations like those both bum me out and make me happy. It’s nice to see a scene or just group of people doing so well and doing what they love, but it also makes you realize what you don’t have or aren’t doing where you live. But who’s fault is that?? I’ll tell you. Your’s, not mine.
We joked a bit with one of the customers, told horror stories (funny how that carries over from country to country, apparently every cyclist likes to talk about their near misses) and went on our way.
It seems to me that On Track is doing exactly what Dublin needs. While every other shop is trying to pump out carbon fiber frames to commuters taking advantage of the tax-free bike to work program, On Track is fixing up old frames and showing people the subtle genius of single-speed’ing. But, like all bike shops should, keeping a little “I don’t give a shit” attitude in there, too.
Stay tuned, our visit to Brick Lane Bikes is next and AWESOME.
Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that they should never take lightly the power of the condom…