Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    train safe buelito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Reston, VA
    Posts
    801
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Skyline Drive--on a fixie...

    My goal was simple—to ride from Front Royal to Panorama—mile 32 (more or less) on Skyline Drive on my fixie. I was reasonably confident that I could do it, having ridden up numerous relatively short but steep hills. The goal was to see if I could handle the long sustained hills of Skyline Drive. The first 5 miles are uphill—not tremendously steep, but a sustained effort. Of the first 24 miles, 17 are uphill. Makes for a lot of climbing. There were 12 of us, but I was the only one on a fixie… they all thought I was a little nuts, but it goes with the territory

    I told one of my friends that I would see him at the top, as I really needed to maintain my cadence if I had any hope of getting up the hill. It was slow and steady. I ride a 48x18 (about 70 inches). I was surprised at how well I climbed. Most of it sitting down, using the full range of the pedal stroke. Then I would stand for a bit, just to use different muscles. I found myself with two others at the front of our group. Then we hit the first downhill… well, that’s where the ‘freewheelers’ had me. I had to use the brake to slow my cadence in order to keep control of the bike… The downhills were tough. Back on the flats, and on the uphills, I caught back up and the process repeated itself until mile 24 (Elk Wallow). We came down a three mile hill to get there. That hill was what I was worried about on the way back. From Elk Wallow to Panorama is a gradual downhill, and I was able to maintain a great pace. We all got to Panorama together. Four of the group decided they wanted to go on to the highest point on Skyline, which is about another 9 miles up the road. I was tempted, but opted to return as I had planned. This was a ride to see if I was able to ride the hills.

    The return was rather fun. The ride back to Elks Wallow was fast. A false flat (sort of) that just ate up the miles. A quick bathroom break at Elks Wallow, and it was up the toughest hill. I started standing, but then sat and used the whole pedal stroke to power my way up the hill. Again, we quickly broke away from the group (the same 3 of us as before), and attacked the hill. I was in a steady constant grind, and my partners were spinning low gears. They would go by me, then I would come up to them and go by. We did this for the full three miles. I didn’t feel bad at any time during the climb. It showed me what I was hoping to see—that the fixie is an efficient climbing machine if the rider is in shape. Then came the downhills. Again, I was dropped, but not as badly. I worked on my cadence and remained in touch with my two partners all the way back to Front Royal.

    Next time, I will go to Big Meadows and back (51 miles each way)

    All in all a very enjoyable ride, and now I am going out on a limb saying that if I get into Ride the Rockies next year, I am taking the fixie with me

    Train safe

  2. #2
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    mabra
    Posts
    4,528
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    this is quite a feet! I am going to make my first attempt at riding skyline drive sometime this week. I am just hoping to survive the first 5 miles with an overall goal of making it to mathews arm. and I am using gears!

  3. #3
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,024
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Much admiration for you, your fitness, and your nerve descending fixed gear...brakes or no brakes.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NoVa
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy recumbent, Giant Boulder SE with an Xtracycle attachment
    Posts
    300
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    -Kipling

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Glendora, CA USA
    My Bikes
    Easy Racers EZ-1 and Lightning Thunderbolt Recumbent Bikes
    Posts
    364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Since your sig sez you live
    in Virginia, I assume you don't
    mean Skyline Drive as in on the
    way up to La Honda on the pennisula
    of San Francisco - half way to Half Moon Bay?

    That is one hell of a hill too.
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  6. #6
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    My Bikes
    Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
    Posts
    6,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow! Great ride. Have you ever thought about riding Skyline and the Parkway start to finish?

  7. #7
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    6,411
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You must have quads that are pain resistant! Sounds like a very fulfilling ride. Thanks for the good story.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  8. #8
    hello roadfix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    thank you for asking
    Posts
    18,502
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice report... In general, riding uphill on a fixie is no problem with proper gearing, unless it's an incredibly steep hill. Most fixed gear riders will agree to that. Once you get in the rythm it's almost as easy as your road bike with climbing gears and you can pretty much keep pace with most, even on the flats. But those long sustained downhills are what kills you......you can only spin so fast, at the same time riding on your brake(s) all the way to the bottom.....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  9. #9
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
    Posts
    2,065
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nedgoudy
    Since your sig sez you live
    in Virginia, I assume you don't
    mean Skyline Drive as in on the
    way up to La Honda on the pennisula
    of San Francisco - half way to Half Moon Bay?

    That is one hell of a hill too.
    Or Skyline Drive across the Bay from SF in the East Bay Hills. I guess every place with hills has a Skyline Drive. When I lived in Berkeley and Oakland, I did a lot of riding on Skyline Drive. I went back there in the 80's with a fixie and did a training ride with my old club. No problem keeping up until we did the descent of Wildcat Canyon road. Very twisty, had to use lots of brakes. Had it been a straight run, I probably could have just spun the sucker down. Nick Farac-Ban ("the Bike Barb" for those who remember) was on that ride, and I heard he started riding a fixie shortly thereafter.

    Skyline Drive in North Vancouver is a short (3- or 4-blocks) and very steep section of road where the houses end and the rest of the mountains begin, and where I'm lucky if I can maintain 7 kmh on the fixie (42x16). The nice thang about the fixed gear is that there's no additional friction (jockey pulleys) and you lose the weight of two derailleurs, their cables, and their shifting apparatus. I would still recommend two brakes, though. I run my fixed gear without a lock ring; much safer, as the rear wheel will never lock up.

    - L.

  10. #10
    train safe buelito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Reston, VA
    Posts
    801
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This Skyline Drive I did is the northernmost 105 mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia-- the ride I did was about 6500 feet of climbing in the 63 miles--

    train safe

  11. #11
    hello roadfix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    thank you for asking
    Posts
    18,502
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    I run my fixed gear without a lock ring; much safer, as the rear wheel will never lock up.

    - L.
    I would assume this is in case you throw your chain?
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  12. #12
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    My Bikes
    Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
    Posts
    2,065
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    I would assume this is in case you throw your chain?
    Yeah, when the chain used to fall off. Actually, my first cycling coach back in the 70's was an ex-pro 6-day rider. He said the pros never use a lock ring because they never backpedal. Backpedaling is "bad for the legs," and if you ride the track, you learn to avoid sitting on the wheels of guys who backpedal to slow down. The smoothest trackies use the banking to adjust their speed.

    I learned that if the chainline is perfectly straight, the chain can be run extremely loose before it will fall off. If the chainline is slightly off, just the eccentricity in the ring and cog, plus a little bump at high speed are enough to derail the chain. The chain will normally come off the chainring and get stuck between the tire and chainstay. If you don't have a lock ring, the rear cog just spins off and you just coast. If you have a lock ring, the rear wheel will lock up and you start fishtailing all over the road or track.

    As long as you tighten the cog with a chain whip (or VAR cog tool - much cooler), it will not come off due to "floating" the pedals down a long, steep hill. If you thread on the cog by hand and depend on pedaling to tighten it, I guarantee it will come off. You simply cannot apply enough torque by pedaling alone to sufficiently tighten a fixed cog.

    I also disagree with only mounting a front brake on a road fixie, but then I live in a part of North America where the roads sometimes get icy and I do not want to lose front wheel traction, plus I never backpedal.

    - L.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •