With everything wrong with the world of bicycle racing, i’m about as happy as I can be with my little micro wedge of a micro wedge sport. Today, I rode a fixed gear bicycle to work. This isn’t something new to me, I’ve done it before (not in a while, but it’s been done before). I often like to comment on the weather when discussing a commute as it really does affect things. Unlike riding in the car, the weather is what you have to work with on the way. Today it was cool. I thought I had under-dressed for the first 2 miles, but that means I dressed right. By the time I got warmed up – I felt great.
Previously when riding a fixie, I grossly under-geared to compensate for any hills I might encounter. As such, my fixie rides were generally a bit slower. I decided to man-u a little and put a somewhat respectable gear on my bike (42×15 – 75.6″, previously I was rolling a 60″ gear… much smaller). This proved to be a challenge (that’s the point) on the hills. While it was a little more accommodating on the downhills, it was a pretty good challenge on the uphills. That was exacerbated by the fact that I had my computer and a full pack today.
ANYWAY … all that said – the commute was really fun. Riding a fixie is so simple, so pure. You never have to wonder – should I change gears for this hill? Should I coast? The answer is no… you have no options. No coasting, one gear, just pedal and enjoy. Your relaxation comes on the flats. You work on power going up the hills and legspeed on the downhills. Pure, simple. It’s often not easy. Climbing a hill in a big gear hurts. Going down a hill at 35 mph in a 76″ gear is about 160 revolutions per minute. That provides all kinds of excitement unless you are perfectly smooth. I’m not that smooth right now, but that will improve (at least that’s the plan).
To anybody reading this that believes I’m endangering myself or those around me – I am happy to report, I do in fact have a brake on my fixie. I can stop quiet quickly if necessary.
I really enjoy the connection to my bicycle, the freedom I feel and the simplicity of riding a fixed gear. Most people think I’m crazy (I am). Most people don’t understand (I don’t blame them). I managed to work out a new frame that fits me really well – which puts together a very nice fixie. When I get my road bike fixed up and back together, it will probably be sad that it gets left behind more – but for now, me and my re-found love of fixed gear riding will enjoy some cooler temperatures and different paths!