Friday, March 6, 2009

Out of Control

As I mentioned yesterday, I threw my chain on my morning commute. I was coming down the back side of the Longfellow Bridge, a moderately steep descent, when I hit a bump (it's all fucking bumps really) and lost my pedals. This event brought on an immediate and pressing examination of some of the choices I've made with my new bicycle.

See, I had to stop, if only to put the chain back on, and because I put a brake on the bike I was able to do that. Stop.

Now, I can skid stop that bike. It's fun, if not a little hard on the rear tire and drive train (chain stretch anyone?), but when it comes right down to it, when I'm riding in the city, I just don't want to depend on skidding to stop. I need a brake.

Obviously, if I didn't have one, I could have stuck my foot between the fork and front wheel and slowed myself down enough to get out of the situation I was in, or I could have dropped down onto the top tube and dragged my feet, but that assumes I had time for fifty feet of homemade friction-braking.

In this instance, I did, but you know, the city is awfully fucking unpredictable, and I have too many kids to be skidding off of bridges out of control.

One way I HAVE lost the tether though, is in my pursuit of single-speed bicycles. I have two now, and another one on the stand, slowly lurching it's way toward the road.

I don't need three single-speed bicycles. I guess it's four if you count the cruiser I ride on Sundays. Anyway, I don't need so many flavors of the same thing. Probably better to get a cheap freestyle BMX bike than build up another fixed gear Frankenstein.

SO...I'm gonna finish the one I've started, and then see which two of the three I like best and sell the odd bike out. I like to have two, because one I set up with full fenders for rain and snow riding, and the other I like to have stripped down, so I can go fast when it's nice out. It's complete luxury, but fuck it, I'm a bike whore. It's what I do.

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