Tag Archives: fixed
I had to take the hire van back to Carmarthen yesterday, so it was the perfect excuse to take the fixie on a 20 mile return journey over the mountain back home. Before I headed out I just wanted to see the Velodrome.
When I rode up the side and met this sight I could not believe my eyes. 405meters of smooth concrete built in 1899 still here and just about to get a make over as part of the £323k project to spruce up the park. It was so big I couldn't get it all in the picture.
So I cruised a few laps and then hoofed a few and ran out of gears even on a 48x15. The BBC website have some great pictures of it full right up in it's hayday.
Then it was time for the long ride home and the hills nearly killed me. Huge up. Huge down. Repeat all the way home with no place to sit and spin.
At the top I was mauled and stopped to eat peanut butter cliff bars and sip cool water in the hot sun looking over this field. Some days one gets the good jobs.
rode out from brick lane down to the tower of london. hacked over tower bridge and had a close shave taking pics on holey roads.
down to the tate. over black friars.
raced as fast as our legs would spin along the river then up into Trafalgar square.
We stopped and read all the signs that the protesters have put on their tents opposite parliament. It's good that people in this country can raise their voice. But do we do it often enough now we have comfortable lives?
Then we tracked back to Piccadilly and then headed home planning tomorrow mornings ride.
Breakfast at Rapha's place then itchy feet to see some outdoor stuff. Then work.
Tomorrow is shaping up to be another great day in Greater London.
we have been out hacking the streets on the fixies. we drove down from Wales and then did a midnight run, then today we got up early did the east end, into the city, into Trafalgar square where we got told to dismount, past downing street, met mike forham who was looking at the houses of parliament. (We had left him in cardigan as he's off on the photo shoot) onto the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace, down crazy Piccadilly, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, Oxford Street and then hoofed it back to the east end. All in hot sunshine.
Tonight we ride again.
And tomorrow morning.
I haven't slept well due to tight hamstrings.
And this morning I am a little dehydrated.
It was raining hard.
The head wind brought me to a standstill many times and made the whole journey just pain.
I couldn't spin in the saddle on the hills because you are a fixed wheel.
So I shouted out on the climb my hate for you , I cursed you and regretted choosing you over the bike with gears and it went round and round in my head, I nearly stopped to throw you in the hedge in anger, real tears came to my eyes as I tried to raise the pace over the last climb to work and I walked in soaked with sweat and empty legged.
Today I hate my fixed wheel.
when you ride a fixed the most important thing that you learn is never freewheel abscent mindedly.
one simple rule. and you do learn it, sometimes the hard way. you start by saying pedal pedal pedal in your head over and over, you have a few moments and the odd crash. but you train your brain.
and then no matter whether you ride fixed or free the switch is automatic.
but there are times when deep deep deep inside your brain other automated things you do on your bike over ride the pedal pedal pedal command.
last night on the way home i took of my glove, pulled the i-pod from the pocket, set a new track and then repocketed it. then i pulled the glove back on with my teeth.
and i always freewheel when i do that.
my head went into glove mode, my legs stopped, the bike bucked, my head went f--k, the bus skimed passed
Christmas 05 I was in hospital with a bad back. So bad I could only shuffle along on that zimmer frame and had to pee in that cardboard pot. Old men moved faster than me.
It was all down to years on the bike. Never fully extending my legs and not using my stomach muscles my ham strings shortened and collaspe came often.
Running has really helped, but today after a few days biking on the fixed collapse was back.
Today had been a day of touching toes, stretching thighs, keeping the stomach flat and driving to work.
Bad back, bad day, bad mood, bad weather.
Rest, stretching, water and fun this weekend.
as i left cardigan last night on the fixed i saw a biker starting the big climb. so i hunted him down and caught him just before the brow.
he had the aero helmet, time trial bike the works.
i was coughing up lung and snacks, but found a little more to open the gap.
i need a smaller gear.
The fixed finally came back from the black smiths with just 2 thin coats of clear lacquer.
It got a Chris King headset, aThompsom post, Azonic risers in place of the drops and an old XT brake lever. The saddle is a Brooks b17 in green leather and copper rivets. they clash a little with the gold on the CK, but...
And a new chain that would moor a ship.
And then the planned ride in this morning was thwarted as I had to take the kids to school.
But it does ride beautifully and I am looking forward to tomorrow arriving. Revamped toys are a good motivator for a commute that has not changed in the last 5 years.
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