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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hard core cycling 


Co-worker and club-mate Brian unwittingly put me up to the challenge when he said he was going to ride his fixie/singlespeed to work all winter.

Well, with that gauntlet laid down, how could I not ride my fixie to work too?

This morning I left a little earlier, and took the hard-core 40/16 (on 27" wheels) fixie to work. 15 pounds of lunch, clothing, and gear in the backpack, my legs on the pedals, and Snake Hill on Clarke Road ahead of me.

I was seriously unsure about whether I would be able to take the hill without walking. I routinely shift to a 39/24 (low gear) on my regular bike as I crawl up the hill at 9 km/h. Proposing to do the same ride on a fixie would be a test of will.

But stubbornness triumphed over sense. I pulled the bike up the steepest part of the pitch, an exercise that felt like it was as much upper-body as lower-body exercise. It hurt, but I felt like I had really achieved something when I got to the top of the hill.

The gearing was ideal: I just made it up my steepest hill, and I just made it down my fastest descent.

To-do: replace awful seat on this bike.

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