Home > Uncategorized > Because I am a masochist…

Because I am a masochist…

…I built up a fixed gear.

Right, then…

So, to be fair, fixed gear and masochism are not always linked.  Fixed gear and living on the side of a hill and cycle commuting with about 15 to 17 lbs of stuff, plus being on the heavier side anyway….that’s masochist.  Also, did I tell you that I’m running 42/15 for a sweet 2.8:1 gear ratio?  That’s great for the hills, no?  Because I’m not an idiot, I put an 18T freewheel on the other side.

To be fair to me, I set out to get something closer to a 16T rear cog.  But once I got to Walt’s, they were all out of 16’s (I guess that’s a popular size).  Channeling my inner Veruca Salt, I wanted it now, so I said “Screw it” and got the 15T that was on the peg.  Using the magical Sheldon Brown Gear Calculator I figure I got 75.6 gear inches with the 15T; 63 with the 18T freewheel.  I think I’m over geared.  But at least I have a fixed gear bike, again…though I might be pushing it up some parts…  They say that you gain fitness by riding fixed…I sure hope so, or I’m about to subject myself to some serious torture for no good reason at all…

I also have a basket on it, now.  I ordered one of those Wald medium baskets because when I put fairly loaded panniers on the back, the front gets light.  So maybe I can put some clothes and shoes or something up front to even out the load.  It’s a bitch as the handlebars are a little too narrow and they rub on the basket, but I think I mounted it low enough that I might be OK.  The bummer is that the clamps for the basket took up the little free bar space I had for a light and bell. Regardless, I look forward to trying to ride with a load on the front to see how differently the bike handles.

As for training, I’ve found a loop that takes me from the girlfriends house along a routed with varying hills for 22 to 25 miles, depending on if I turn or do an out-and-back.  Last Sunday, however, a friend and I did 32 miles through Woodside, primarily on Canada Rd. I was on the Raleigh, which has taller gearing than the touring bikes, so it was a decent workout.  One day, I might be good enough to do that on the fixed gear.

Also, members of the bike tour group signed up for the 100K Tierra Bella route at the end of April.  That’s going to be interesting, I think.  I figure that if we can complete the 62 miles, then we’re in pretty good shape for the bike tour.  I got 2 months to get in to shape. Oiy.

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