Monday, August 24, 2009

On riding fixed

I've been riding mostly fixed for the last two years. The exceptions have been a couple rides on my mtn bike and a little bit of Sunday cruiser travel. So it's been a pretty complete immersion. I've even ridden some middle distance road rides fixed with my friend Sam. And let me say, I like riding a fixed gear bicycle. It's fun.

To be sure, it's very much the fad in American cycling at the moment. I get the impression that the same is going on in Europe and Japan as well.

It's at the point, here in Boston, where I see businessmen in their business casual rolling around on track bikes, which, lest you get the wrong impression, I think is totally awesome. The more the merrier. Cycling fads sell bikes, get people excited about pedaling their asses around and generally contribute to the overall velocipedic karma of the city.

I've learned a hell of a lot about the physics of cycling from riding fixed. I can say honestly that I'm a better bike handler now, and the learning process continues. It feels as though I understand some added nuance every week that passes.

Having said all that, it is also true that I find myself pining for gears and coasting. Perhaps it's my obsession with pro racing that fuels this derailleur lust. Perhaps it's just time for me to move on, or at least to let some other horses into the barn.

One thing I've never quite understood about what I'll call the "fixed gear community" is the way (and yes I'm totally generalizing) is their need to denigrate other cycling genre. I see stickers like "Fixed Forever!" and "No Fucking Gears!" the latter of which is pretty funny, cause bikes don't actually go with no gears. I think what they meant was "One Fucking Gear!"

Still, to each their own.

I like bikes. All kinds. I jumped on the BMX bandwagon when I was a kid. Next came ten speeds. Then mountain bikes. Then I rode road bikes for a bit, before going back to mountain, and then fixed. Rather than seeing a problem with my lack of consistency as regards my cycling preferences, I think the world is FULL of bikes I haven't ridden yet. I look forward to a whole lot more bandwagon jumping in the coming years.


Dan Ronken said...

Been a while since I've been around. I'm still here and so happy to have stopped by this morning because not only was this a great post, my friend, your(new?)header just put a big ole smile on my face this morning. Funny! Nice message in your post; stop the judgment.

Da Robot said...

Good to hear from you Dan! When are we going to see back around the table?