I hate to admit it but my bike had definitely been collecting some dust these past couple months as I’ve been bouncing in and out of town for work. Despite my expertise in working on bikes, such as my notorious ten minute tube changes, I decided to head down to visit Richie Ditta at his new shop Brooklyn Bikes to have my Fuji Obey tuned up.
If you ride in San Diego, then you know Richie. He’s been a staple in our fixed gear scene for some time, coming from riding track bikes for decades in NYC and SF, as well as appearing in MASH. It’s impossible to go on a ride with him without hearing some tale of an alley cat, messaging job, or some tale about “fixie exploits”, but what makes his shop so unique his that it reflects this past.
The walls are lined with glass cases, filled with memorabilia of Richie’s past: old photos of him riding, signed cards from velodrome racers, tags from alley cats, and all sorts of knick knacks that paint a rich history with bikes. A prominent feature of his shop are his two personal 3Rensho Keirin frames, along with 3Rensho memorabilia stored in glass cases. “You know he learned how to build his bikes by pulling apart Cinelli’s, that’s why the logos look so similar. It’s his homage to Cinelli.” he said of his prized Japanese frames.
It’s great being able to snoop through Richie’s life he has on display as he goes about business, always coming up with conversation about the roots of riding track bikes on the street that sound sometimes just as much a tall tale as truth. He continued working on my bike, and the topic of “fixie famous” came up. “You know my girlfriend coined the term fixie.” he said as I let out a small laugh, “I’m serious!”