At Interbike 2012 I sat down with Jason Clary to talk about his life and innovation in urban cycling among the young set from sponsorship to fixed gear freestyle. When I was a college student in the mid 1980’s, if you had a bicycle you rode around campus and that was pretty much it. Not so, today. The young set is riding their bicycles everywhere around town, not just on campus, and is taking it a step further defining it as it’s own urban lifestyle.
Jason Clary was born in 1982 and raised in the East Bay Area of San Francisco. His father was a motorcycle racer and a member of the American Motorcycle Association. Well versed in how dangerous motorcycle riding was, his father started Jason out on a bicycle when he was in diapers and at two years old on his first motorcycle. At seven years old Jason entered the BMX racing scene and was a member of the American Bicycle Association, competing in BMX racing into his teen years. In addition to BMX racing, Jason was very active in skateboarding. Due to his competitive nature in two action sports, Jason accumulated a lot of injuries and picked up a KHS Aero in 2000 to cross train and help him better adjust to competing without injuries. Riding the KHS Aero track bike he began to develop a love of the urban bicycle.
In 2005, commuting to his job at a car dealership, his love for the single speed bicycle solidified itself. He went out and bought a Cannondale track bike, went to a screening of the seminal track bike riding movie MASH, and got involved in the messenger scene by racing in alleycats and doing a few messenger runs himself in San Francisco. He was soon hooked on riding a brakeless track bike to ride, to race and to do tricks. Through all of this activity he would pick up his first sponsor in Broakland Bikes in 2005.
At its outset fixed gear freestyle was guys from the alleycat scene doing tricks on track bikes like wheelies, bunny hops and bar spins. Jason defined fixed gear freestlye as the transition from full out track bikes, to doing tricks on the bikes we race on, to a genre of tricks straight out of the BMX scene. As the tricks got bigger, the bikes got stronger so that they could withstand the abuse of bigger tricks, bigger aerials and harsher landings than traditional track bikes were ever meant to handle.
As a street rider Jason has had many sponsors over the years, but is now focused on representing Macaframa, a collective of urban bicycle riders, designers and filmmakers. The Macaframa team that includes legendary urban rider Massan is now working on completing the second Macaframa film, designing the second Macaframa x Raleigh frameset and adding new riders to the Macaframa team.
When Jason won the first ever Red Bull “Ride N Style Event” it opened many more doors for him in the urban cycling scene. With the work he is doing now he could be considered a brand ambassador for the urban cycling scene worldwide.