I just got in from the Friday night Richmond Hill ride and this time I changed things up a bit. Maybe it was seeing Little E three or four years ago rocking a fixed Nishiki Alien down Trace. Maybe it was watching Rich rock Farlow/Daniel fixed a year or so after that. Maybe it was Jeremy's recent post bringing my attention to the fact that 'e' is still riding fixed and is as fast as ever... but no matter, I dialed up Rich the other day and asked to borrow a tomicog and tonight I tried the dark elixer for myself. No rear brake. No coasting. No suspension. My first ever fixed gear ride. On road or off. Without waxing poetic about being one with the machine and all that I'll just mention a few lessons I learned this evening:
1. *light incense* *ring bells* *meditate* no, seriously, you and the machine are directly attached. AS ONE...
2. 34x19 is F-A-S-T FAST!
3. If you can keep it all under control.
4. If you come into a twisty turny rooty mess way too fast: Don't cram on the front brakes. You'll highside. (Ask me how I figured that one out)
5. Try Try Try and Try again. I figured out the one and only rocky downhill switchback at Richmond Hill and nailed it 4 out of 7 times.
6. On rocky downhill switchbacks: breath deep. concentrate. DON'T put your butt behind your saddle or your nuts will be sucked into that space inbetween the seatstays and the rear tire. DO remain seated and crouch down.
OK, that's it. Fixed riding is challenging. Next up: Trace Ridge. Let's add some real speed into the mix.
Here's the fixed green Waltworks at the bridge over the South French Broad River, headed up to the Richmond Hill trails:
and at the rock switchback:
and one more. On the way home I found a gaggle of 50-100 gooses hanging out near the bike lane. Smokey Towtrucks, Railroad tracks, Fast traffic, and wildlife. River Road.