Fox on a Fixie: Lizette Margaux
Ever since she was a five-year-old punk pedaling the streets of Atlanta, Bloomingdale’s Lizette Margaux has found her fun on a bike.
“I used to put baseball cards in the spokes of my wheels and ride up and down my street every day,” she says. “My parents couldn’t get me off of that thing.”
Now, this dyke is the proud mother of two gorgeous big-girl bikes: a Cannondale racer for long road rides and a Swobo fixie for tooling around her ‘hood and hustling to graduate classes at Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.
Lizette says she chose the Cannondale not for its price or performance, but for its flamboyant pink and purple color scheme that she echoes in a salmon cycling cap paying homage to Brooklyn, that fairground of the fixed-gear. For the past three years, she’s taken it to Iowa for the annual seven-day RAGBRAI ride. The route travels the entire length of the state, with riders clocking in nearly 70 miles of cycling each day. “It’s the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done. I absolutely love it,” she says.
While others jump on the two-wheel bandwagon looking for an easier commute or a new exercise regimen, Lizette’s intentions are pure. “For me, it’s all about fun,” she says. “The wind in my face, screwing around on my fixie, skip-stopping, hop-stopping—it’s the best.” Her riding music of choice? Lil’ Wayne and Nicki Minaj. I’d love to see her blasting those jams on the tony streets of Georgetown.
Lizette’s fixie is a stripped-down beauty, and a bottle opener on its seat adds an irreverent touch. If you think fixies are a bizarre trend that separates the smug hipsters from the more practical cyclists, I feel you, grrl. I pushed Lizette to convince me otherwise, and she almost did. “It’s definitely a challenge, and I like that. You feel more connected to the road, you have more control, and it’s fun to try out some tricks,” she says.
Austin Stubbs, the store manager at Revolution Cycles (the best bike shop in the District, IMHO), tells me fixies weren’t always the trappings of a privileged class of Whole-Foods-shopping, MacBook-toting elitists. In fact, their rise to popularity began with cash-strapped bike messengers who couldn’t afford to maintain the more complicated (read: easily trashed and expensive to repair) mechanics of a multi-gear bike.
This is good news for Lizette, who brings home limited bacon from her once-a-week gig at Big Bear Café. She claims to have been a “personality hire,” having never poured a latte in her 27 years. Sure, Lizette, they like you for your personality. Let’s be honest: Big Bear hires only the cutest of baristas.
Her favorite rides run through the National Arboretum and the Shenandoah Valley, but for a heartbreakingly romantic date idea, Lizette suggests biking out to Reagan National Airport and watching the planes take off. Now if that doesn’t make you want to strap it on (…helmet-wise, of course) with your very own dyke on a bike, I don’t know what will.