Mash SF, a hardcore group of cyclists, have produced a particularly stunning collection of images from around the world of their tightly-knit community. The mostly black and white photographs portray their culture and obsession with all things bicycle. Massan, a prolific photographer of their crew, has amassed a great collection of images on his personal site, including the photographs displayed below in the gallery. The vibrant society of bike messengers and other worshipers of fixed gear or even brake-less bicycles have bred some incredible media and it’s a pleasure to see the content produced. The rider and assumed photographer Massan discussed the unique culture in an interview with Freshness magazine,
With the recent spike in interest regarding your passionate pastime and the tools of the trade have there been any ill-feelings toward newcomers and is the original magic being diffused at all by the new wave of riders/enthusiasts?
I mean, its definitely different now because there are so many fixed gears on the road right now. Everywhere you look. Its real easy to hate at this point. Real easy to hate. All I can say is this… If this isn’t popular 10 or 15, 20 years down the line, will I still be riding? I hope so.
How does the international group of riders compare and contrast with the Americans?
It seems like people outside the US are really excited about this and they’re not afraid to show it. In the US, people try and play it down and be cool, but they’re juiced.
There is an intense athleticism to urban fixed-gear riding that cannot be denied yet it maintains the look, and danger, of an outsider’s activity. Why is this seen in the same light as skateboarding was in the 1970’s?
First of all, the average person cant understand how or why you would ride a bike in the city with no brakes. i think that lack of understanding sparks curiosity, which raises questions, and intrigues some and turns off others. All of that, whether positive or negative places a spotlight on this style of riding. I guess now is the time and place, because this has been around for a minute.
The video below is the introduction of Massan to the Macaframa group and after that is the full gallery.