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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-27-06, 09:24 PM   #1
zapb42
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Obligatory First Ride Thread

Yeah it's that kind of thread. Feel free to skip if you don't care, I understand.

So my Mark V Pro arrived today, (IRO's pics: http://www.irocycle.com/scratchdent.html that wonderful UPS beat the crap out of the box but the bike was cool. Put it together, went over all the fasteners and made sure that was all good, then made the obligatory ride around the parking lot. Holy crap the thing is light, and SILENT! Some of that is me never really having the nicest bikes ever, but I was certainly impressed. I fell victim to trying to coast every little bit, but the bike nudged me back and kept me in line until I got used to it, then I took a short ride to a meeting I was late for. I wasn't sure what to expect with the gearing, but 44x16 seems pretty decent so far.

It took tons of concentration, and not having done much of anything physical all winter I was more exhausted than I should have been. Throughout the meeting I was thinking "what have I gotten myself into? This is going to take tons of practice!"

I rode back home. I decided to attempt a short sprint, which only resulted in me attempting to coast then just about getting thrown, then again, then again, as the cranks went 'round, all in front of some attractive ladies that probably had a good laugh. After that I took it easy, then felt a little more comfortable by the time I got home. I then kind of geared up to take a gentle longer ride away from traffic and the Hill (overpass over trainyard, only real elevation around).

I was doing pretty good for a few blocks, then was about to go through a yellow light (dumb on a ride I am unfamiliar with, force of habit) until a car coming in the opposite direction decided to turn in front of me without signalling. I knew to use my brake, but kind of forgot to keep pedaling and ate it pretty good kind of tipping over right out in front of everyone (no cars right around me or anything). With a nicely bleeding knee, and a lesson learned (don't push it yet, you don't know what you are doing) I carried on, and the rest of the ride ended up being fairly pleasant.

It took tons less effort concentration-wise after a while, but not having ridden a bike for some months, I was certainly getting saddle-sore. On a lark, I decided to visit the local liquor store and grab some celebratory Pabst Blue Ribbon (I know, but I've been drinking it forever anyways and like it, and it's cheap) Got some wonderful stares from the probably already drunken college students stumbling in there (It's "thirsty thursday" after all) but hey. I made it back no problem after that.

Basically in the end, extremely well worth the wait for the package all week, and pretty much any anxieties I had about the fixed gear-ness are gone. I did learn that I need to be gentle and take it easy for now, plan ahead, and concentrate on what I am doing. My legs aren't completely learned yet and will need lots of practice. I am looking forward to an awesome summer of riding and transporting myself around town on the thing. It'd be cool to meet any other fixed riders that might be in town, there's gotta be some!

Anyways thanks for toleratin' my semi-intoxicated gush about my awesome experience!
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Old 04-27-06, 09:34 PM   #2
koyman
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Congrats! Welcome to the fold. It's ridiculous how much fun riding fixed is. I love these kinds of threads, because it reminds me of my first (blissful) ride. Long live you and long live me, too.
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Old 04-27-06, 09:46 PM   #3
hellbent
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mark V is my first fixed as well. Seems like you enjoyed it as much as I did. As a newer rider, like yourself, the one thing i can suggest is: double straps. DOUBLE STRAPS. best 60 bucks i ever spent for my bike. have fun with the new toy and it sounds like you might want to wear a helmet.
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Old 04-27-06, 10:06 PM   #4
zapb42
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I'm definitely wearing a helmet I get funny looks around here because I pretty much never see anyone else wearing helmets except the hardcore roadies, but oh well.

I'm currently using some economical single-strap clips, and have noticed that they don't feel tremendously secure. Might start looking at those double straps.
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Old 04-27-06, 10:34 PM   #5
Moximitre
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the first fixed ride is always a blast, I remember when I couldn't get in to my straps the first time, cause I was so used to doing it whilst coasting.
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Old 04-27-06, 11:35 PM   #6
humancongereel
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yeah, getting in the clips while moving is fun. ha ha, and riding into a busy intersection because you were focusing on that instead of the traffic. that's how i learned to skid, just to slow down enough to not go into the intersection and make a hard right (hockey stop style, but not stopping)...

oh, man...it's like learning to ride all over again. i remember how it was exhiliarating, nerve-wracking, trying, and oh so fun, all at once...and how it felt so natural, but still had to be gown into...like a baby learning to walk or something. natural, but to be grown into.
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