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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-20-09, 08:31 PM   #1
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Giving In to THE DARK SIDE

Tonight, when I had just given up hope, a tall dark stranger appeared at my door....

It was the UPS guy with the wheels I ordered from Bike Island.

The fact that I was waiting all day for these wheels and here it was nearly 12 hours since the UPS tracker said it left to be delivered. I immediately inspected them, de-stressed and retensioned them and put them on my SE Draft.

However, there was a choice to be made with the rear wheel. That rear Formula hub is a flip flop hub and both sides have cogs on them. Do I do the freewheel side like any sane 50 year old would? NO! I installed the wheel with the fixed cog on the drive side. Used the chain to tighten down the cog and tightened down the lock ring.

Then I was off for my first fixie ride. Except it's dark out now. Instead I content myself to riding around the parking lot. Hilarity insues as I attempt to stuff my right foot into the toe clips of the pedals that can't be stopped. After several unsuccessful attempts I finally get the hang of it and take my foot out and stick it back in a few times while the pedals are still turning.

This is weird! It feels weird. I feel resistance in my hips as I fight the pedals to control the speed. First speeding up then slowly bleeding off speed and cranking the pedals s-l-o-w-l-y. Balancing the bike while barely moving at all. This is FUN

I'll give it another longer ride tomorrow. I .....think I like The Darkside.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:16 PM   #2
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I understand the allure.

Although I feel I am nowhere near ready for that, I file it away as something I may very well do myself one day.

It's interesting how open you can be once you get out of your own way and honestly consider each thing as a possibility in and of itself rather than immediately filter and discard whatever does not fit the preconceptions that can limit, define, bind and confine you.

I am happy for you. One day I may ride a mile in your pedals that can't be stopped.

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Old 07-20-09, 11:05 PM   #3
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Are you goind to do the Hotter 'n Hell on it?
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Old 07-20-09, 11:45 PM   #4
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It is my first experience with FG. Might not do Hotter n Hell, but Aug. 29th is when I'm planning to ride my age the day after my 51st birthday. I'll probably do the 51 miles fixed gear. I'll know more after I take a crack at a longish ride tomorrow.
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Old 07-21-09, 07:55 AM   #5
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Welcome to the dark side! You'll find that as time goes on, you'll forget to coast on yur road bike, too. You will also find out quickly if you have a lazy pedal stroke on the road bike, because after riding fixed for a bit, if you get on the roadie, you'll have little "bangs" in the pedal stroke from not having the fixed gear to pull you through. As you compensate for that, you automatically develop a smoother spin in your stroke.

What I love the most about FG, though, is the sheer zen simplicity of it.
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
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Old 07-21-09, 08:56 AM   #6
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Giving in to the dark side means going fixed gear? And here I was thinking you were going to a recumbent from the thread title...
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Old 07-21-09, 09:13 AM   #7
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I have just slipped as well over to the darkside at the age of 43. I'm using clipless pedals and love every minute of it!!
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Old 07-21-09, 12:50 PM   #8
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You got a recumbent?
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Old 07-21-09, 04:03 PM   #9
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Welcome to the Dark Side brother! Prepare to become a stronger rider...
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Old 07-21-09, 04:36 PM   #10
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Fixed gear riding is awesome. I think it has been slightly tainted by it's association with young urban hipsters and messenger-wannabes riding like jackasses but it's seriously fin and a great workout.

I see the wheels you purchased but what bike are they on? We need details brother!
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Old 07-21-09, 09:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
Giving in to the dark side means going fixed gear? And here I was thinking you were going to a recumbent from the thread title...
I was thinking the same thing, cod.peace. But a recumbent bike's only the twilight zone; if you want the full-on Darth Vader Dark Side, it's got to be a recumbent TRIKE!
- Bob
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Old 07-21-09, 09:50 PM   #12
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Well if we have to compare dark sides I'm sure there are people that will ride a recumbent before they would ride fixed. Of course there are probably plenty of folks that would ride fixed before they would ride a recumbent. I think we can all agree that the darkest side of all would be a fixed recumbent. Anyway.......

Okay, today I went on my first extended ride. About 25 miles. When I started out it was fairly cool. About mid 80's when I was done it was 97 with a heat index of 104. I felt like my butt was run through a wringer. Toward the end I kept having to remind myself that I couldn't just coast anymore and I was annoyed. Still the first part was fun. First thing I did was go to Performance Bike Store about three miles from my place to get a spanner so I can keep the lock ring snugged down.

Then I went on a couple more errands and decided to hit the closest thing we have to rolling terrain here in Houston.

First shocker. was this "reverse hill". The U lock kinda started swinging around and before I knew it both feet were out of the toe clips. Fun times!

I ended up in China. Actually this is some kind of Taipei Trade Association. I decided I would get Confucous to bless my bike.

Here's a better look at my bike with Buffalo Bayou as a back drop. It's a SE Draft. As you can see I changed the placement of my U lock after it got in my way again while I was sprinting through an intersection. Here I was riding Terry Hershey Park between Beltway 8 and Kirkwood.

A fairly flat section of the MUP. It was pretty empty. I think the heat, a lack of riding after I broke the spokes last time, anf having the Giant Cypress stolen plus not really being used to fixed really did me in.

Can't wait to ride again tomorrow.

Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 07-22-09 at 02:49 PM.
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