A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Riding Fixed

It was the fixie that I took out early this morning to get my morning ride in with. Click to enlargeI have placed some reflective tape on it to make it a bit more visible in headlights and to meet legal restrictions. The asthetics of my minimalist approach to visibility is still becoming acceptable in my mind, but it was quick, easy, and reversible with a heat gun. I suspect it will grow on me. It has kind of a retro look to it. I like it better than plastic reflectors tacked fore and aft.

I took the bike into the old down-town area, and found that I can get to the hospital quicker by bike than by driving. Of course, I have to be prepared to change clothes after the ride, and possibly ride home in bad weather. A couple of days ago, I took the freight elevator down to the first floor of the hospital, to see where it opened up. I could store the bike inside, but I had to get it upstairs discreetly. Nuclear med got their panties in a bunch when I exited the scarred up freight lift. Thus far, it looks like I will continue to drive.

I have finally tweaked out the bike and gotten used to the geometry, so I flipped the hub. I saw quickly that I will want to keep brakes on it for now. Old Xavier's knees can't take the strain of using pedal resistance to slow the machine. If I ride fixed, it will be at a leisurely pace, with brakes. Say what you like.......When you are trying to maintain tenuous knees against the prospect of two knee replacements, you will make the same decision.

Riding fixed was indeed a unique experience. Having the pedals push your feet as the bike traveled was both relaxing and strange. Decisions to increase speed had to be made with due consideration of the consequences. Yes, I felt much more in tune with the bike. It was actually easier to propel the bike down the asphalt in fixed mode, but of course, stopping was a different matter.

Finally, when the sun was high enough, I rode to the local bike shop where I had inquired about a fixed gear bike and been treated with an elitist attitude. I rolled the Sun Uno inside, dropped the kickstand and picked out a water bottle carrier. I figure I will need something to secure a bottle. I put my keys, money and other small items in the bottle.....Paying $5.99 for a bottle carrier instead of $1200 for an overpriced Trek 1 was sweet indeed.

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