Behold the Mission's Sea-Sourced Fixed Gear Barnacle Bicycle

Once upon the time, a widely-mocked sub-class of human known as “hipsters” were infesting the Mission with their fixed-gear bicycles.  They adorned their “fixies” with everything from stickers and spoke cards to colorful Aerospoke rims and anodized seatposts.  How quaint!

Eventually, the hipster scene was killed off by high rents and stepped-on coke, and their bicycles went away too.  But one local Mission artist is reviving the lost art of “custom builds” via a bike frame reclaimed from the Bay.

Chris Sollars of 667Shotwell explains how this gruesome shipwreck in the making came to be:

Fixed Gear 2013 is a barnacle-covered Motobecane bike frame, pulled from Mission Creek and rebuilt as working fixed gear bike with the help of the bicycle mechanics at Pedal Revolution.

He even provided a short video of a blond-haired seamonster riding it:

If you want to see this ride in person, it's on display at Steven Wolf Fine Arts through December 23rd.

Comments (58)

Man, you’d think if they were going to go through the trouble of rebuilding it, they’d at least take the opportunity to make it into a real bicycle instead of a fixie.

Doktor Master-Baiter trolling the fixie-hate waters again? Lay off it kook, you’ve been doing this on multiple blogs for years. Nobody bites your cog bait anymore - you’re fished-out, washed up, marooned, etc.
Bail, Herb.

What are you babbling about?

You just bit!

oh please enlighten us all as to your arbitrary definition of a real bicycle.

A proper one, with gears? The fixie affectation makes about as much sense as refusing to drive anything but a Model T.

He’s an idiot troll with an Opinion.

No, I’m an idiot troll with the laws of physics to back me up. If you want to ride around on the finest bicycle technology the year 1876 had to offer, that’s totally fine. But don’t try to pretend it is anything other than an silly affectation.

get a life

Laughing at people on fixies is a small but integral part of my life. And you’re a big dumb jerk for wanting to take that away from me. Jerk!

nah, you’re the jerk

Sez you, jerk.

gears??? wtf for??   you jus a hater cause its too much for you.  but go ahead and drop 12k on a fast bike   then get you ass down to tampa so I can stomp ur ass on my Fixy   I agree with everyone your a fool

I don’t ride a fixed gear bike - I just think you are a narrow-minded idiot or boring troll. Your incessant mewling about a style of racing bicycle makes me suspect you fell over in front of your D & D group meeting the one time your tried to ride one. Stay butthurt, kook.

The shifting cable on my bike broke, so it doesn’t shift gears. Does that make it a fixie?

Since it would still coast, that does not make it a fixie. Maybe look up what a fixie actually is first? Maybe Google it or something?

Ahh, you’re making the same mistake of thinking that fixie riders make me angry or upset. On the contrary, they’re hilarious! It gives me something to laugh at on a regular basis, thereby brightening my day. Why would I want to put an end to that?

Serious Q: Wouldn’t the coke either get better or (more likely) disappear with the decline of hipsters?

needs a starfish… maybe some mussels

Ha, time for the author of this post to move to Portland. Seriously, if you love this kid of scene so much and pine for the old days of the Mission, it still exists

Finally, a bicycle for your seapunk lifestyle.

gah! wrap your fucking bars ferchrissake. thats just ASKING for a broken collar bone.

-A guy that works a bike shop

Are those capri pants or clam diggers?

That’s a dead persons bike. San Francisco bike messenger tradition is to toss the bike of a dead messenger into the bay. It’s been going on for years. I think that who ever fished it out should toss it back.

Aw c’mon bro, you really think the only bike frames on the shore of the bay are from dead messengers?

I’m gonna start a jazz-punk band and call it the Dead Messengers.

Go fuck yourself. That’s not fuckin funny in the least bit you piece of shit.

If it’s from Mission Creek, 99% sure it’s a dead messengers. About two bikes get tossed in every year, unfortunately.

Naw some creek-rat tweeker prolly hurled it. Islais creek ain’t the bay per se.

RIP all dead messengers.

OOPS! reread it - Mission Creek, wrong creek. My bad. The buck stops here. I’ll fix Obamacare to make up for it.

They should definitely toss it back. I am almost certain that is a dead messengers bike.

Mission Creek is where most dead messenger’s bikes end up after their wake.
Seriously, that is almost certainly a dead person’s bicycle.
Whoever has it should show a little respect for the deceased and put it back in the Bay!
If not, that bike has one death on it already, why would someone tempt the cycling gods to add to that total.

Is anyone else tired of hearing the term hipster used every other word?
i would trade a ’ Hipster drenched ’ mission over the ” shitty overpriced food court, filled with 22 year old rich kids that grew up with the internet and get whatever they want ,whenever they want it “mission that exsits now.
who bothers to publish such trite bullshit?
arent you embarrassed by your childish attempt at smug humor ?
im embarrassed for you .

I don’t expect many people to understand this, I hope some of your readers will.
We do put the riders bike in the bay . By we I mean members of the messenger industry. When one of our friends passes away we might not be able to attend a funeral as it could be taking place in another city or state. I don’t know when we started this tradition but it is a vital step in the grieving and healing process.
That spot is in essense a funeral parlor, and burial ground. It is where we go. It is the beginning step in our process.
It may seem like an awesome and easy score, but that bike represents a loved one.

Yes, it likely did belong to a fallen messenger. A little research might reveal the former owner. Someone should go down there and reclaim it. I would, but its a long ride from here.

Yes, probably a messenger bike snagged from what should have been its final resting place at Mission rock. Perhaps they wouldn’t realize this as they pulled it up. We’ve long suspected some of these offerings have been pulled up and recycled. Maybe the dead would like to see their bikes ride again but I doubt it, more likely they’ll get a laugh when you tear up your nards on that barnacle encrusted top tube.
If I ever see someone on the “crab” they get a boot on the nuts before its returned to Mission Rock.
Ride Like You Do but Show Some Respect

That is most likely a bike that belongs to a dead messenger.

If I see you on this bike when I’m out doing my messenger job, I’m taking it from you.

You can avoid this inconvience by putting it back where you found it.


I suggest returning the bike to the place it was found, with the new rider attached.

Barnacles are sharp. Thats going to seriously fuck someone up if they bail on it.

As someone who messsengered in SF for almost a decade, I have seen not only my dead boyfriend’s bike go off that pier, but MANY of my fallen comrades. Words alone could never properly convey the sadness and disgust that I feel as I type this and I know that others in the messenger community feel the same way. For many of us, it’s the only funeral and gravesite that we have. This is shamefully disrespectful and heartwrenching.. To anyone who would do this or ride one of these bikes.. Karma has something very special in store for you.

yay! Free bikes!

It appears the artist is innocent of dragging the messenger boneyard for a free ride. Excuse our exuberance but the messenger community is fiercely loyal if not always well informed.
Enjoy the BarnacleBike but watch yer nards.
Still, if I ever see a bike I know belongs at Mission Rock zombie-ing around I will quickly dispatch the rider and return it to the bay.

and Herr Douchebag, please spend lots of time at the bottom looking


You die, your reborn and you keep cycling. It’s a vicious cycle. Deal with it

I am an ex-SF-messenger also. If I see the bike anywhere I will u-lock it and call for reinforcements to return this bike to it’s rightful resting place. this bike not only needs to go back where it was taken from but people best be not making a habit of taking gravestones and joy-riding them around. I swear to god.

And fucking Pedal Rev for not knowing better–what the hell dudes?! Seriously?

Y’all who are looking for it - it says right under the video where it will be for the next month. Maybe go grab it from there?

Yup, Probably not one of our dead friend’s bikes. Sorry, we’re kinda serious about shit like that.

Chris Sollars, the artist who created this is a really good and thoughtful guy who’s lived in SF for at least a decade. He either didn’t realize the chance it’s a messenger bike or when he does will address it. Hold your freak-out until he does, OK? He’s on your side.


MISSION CREEK!! where dead messenger bikes go to die. I’ve been to a few wakes and seen a few friends bikes get tossed in. We don’t go around digging up your grannies and aunts and ride them around as art, PUT THAT BIKE BACK! The Messenger Graveyard is not your shopping center!

Rest In Peace Kirk Janes 521
Rest In Peace Kelly Alexander
Rest In Peace all Dead Messengers

I’ve seen many of my comrades bikes tossed into the BAY from Mission Rock Pier. This is NOT the same as Mission CREEK. The distinction seems to have not been noticed by SF messenger community here so maybe it it wasn’t noticed by the author either. I think a clarification should be in order before any barnacle clad repurposer is lynched.

I should add that I’d be pretty bummed about folks salvaging those bikes.

To The San Francisco and Extended Bike Messenger Community,

In the past 48 hours since death has become associated with the rebuilt barnacle bike I built, I have become deeply concerned over the posts of those that think that I may have knowingly disrespected the memorialization of bike messengers.

First off, I have the utmost respect for Bike messengers, both the hard work and risk that they endure daily / yearly. I too, would be outraged at someone who would knowingly re purpose a bike that was meant to be a memorial.

Not being part of the Bike Messenger Profession I was unaware of the Memorial Ride that takes place from South Park to Mission Rock where fallen messenger’s bikes are thrown in the bay, until now. I am touched by the act itself and have even more respect for the amount of energy and camaraderie that the messenger community has for its fellow riders.

As soon as I learned of this I immediately reached out to my bike messenger friends to learn as much as I could, to assess whether the bike may have belonged to a messenger, and how to respectfully move forward.

To clarify:
I found a lugged Motebecane bicycle road frame on the north shore at the end of MISSION CREEK by the Kayak launch ramp in front of the newly built condos before the sewer.

This Bike was NOT pulled from Mission Rock.

The bike was free of all components, no hardware or bolts attached.
What I found was a stripped down Bike Frame covered in barnacles.
I pulled it off of the shore, cleaned it to reveal a red and black Motobecane frame, taking care to preserve the barnacles.
As a bike lover, I saw it as a beautiful object and wanted to bring it back to a functioning state.
I sourced all the additional bike parts afterwards to assemble a stripped down fixed gear bike.

I had spent the previous two months scouring the streets and the chop shops searching for my stolen bike and thought that the bike frame I found suffered a similar fate—It was a personal to me.

I rode the bike briefly and documented it with video to prove that it works.
I no longer ride it.
The bike frame is structurally compromised due to rust and unsafe to ride, and I intended it only as a sculptural object.

The Motobecane bike frame was just one of several barnacled objects that I have retrieved from the shores of the Bay and rebuilt as sculptures. Each of which were discovered as I walked the entire San Francisco coastline from Candlestick Point to Fort Funston.

I am deeply grateful for the members of the bike messenger community who took the time to research the facts and help me conclude that this is most likely not a memorialized bike. I am not taking this lightly and am sorry for the grief this may have triggered—my thoughts will be with this for a while.


Thank you so much for taking the time to research this, and writing a beautiful, patient, compassionate reply. May you find a bike that takes you to the stars.

Guys I am pretty much confused with the conversation that went above could anyone please guide me?

I am planning to purchase mantra fixie for $349 from Retrospec Bicycles on this Christmas. It has new features like FGFS straps (removable), Kenda Kwest Commuter tires, integrated seat post, free headlight, bike tools included, and awesome double-wall super deep-v Stars rims. Any better suggestion?

who lives in a pineapple under the sea wish i done this with a couple of frames i found reccently all i did was levave the first and the second i jacked the bars and deralier hahahhahaha you guys are wicked up in SF keep rinding and second HATERS GONNA SHOAL