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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 08-10-08, 12:48 PM   #1
middy
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My First Bike was FG

I hadn't thought of it in years, but when I started reading this forum it reminded me of my first bike. I don't know where my dad found it, but I seem to recall him saying he found it in the trash somewhere. It was yellow and rusty and it had solid rubber tires and the cranks would not stop turning until the rear wheel did. I was about 4 years old and it had no training wheels, and I remember falling and crying and getting so frustrated that I couldn't ride like the older kids could, until finally, after a couple hours of trying and some coaching from Dad, I could actually stay up and ride.

I had that bike for 2 years, and I remember realizing I didn't have real brakes like the other kids. I didn't really go fast enough for it to be a problem, but I could slow down by resisting with my legs. If my feet came off, and the cranks were spinning too fast to get them back on, I'd have to drag my feet, often with the pedals whacking the backs of my legs as I tried to slow down.

Two other things stand out in my memory about that bike. One of my neighbors, a native American kid a few years older than me, used to borrow it and do long skidz, his weight forward over the handle-bars just like I see the fixie riders doing today. I tried to emulate him once and ended up getting thrown off, which was particularly embarrassing and frustrating since it was my bike and not his. Another thing, that bike would absolutely kick my ass when I got a shoelace twisted up in the crank or chainring. I later got a freewheel bike, and I remember being so surprised that I wasn't laying on the pavement and bleeding after getting my shoelace caught.

Anyway, I haven't ridden a fixie since, but I thought I'd share the story of my first bike.
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Old 08-10-08, 12:57 PM   #2
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thanks for sharing the nostalgic moment -- good stuff
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Old 08-10-08, 01:13 PM   #3
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That's awesome. Reminds me of my neighbor's bike. It just said "track" on the downtube and I think it was a 16" wheeled bike. I witnessed him doing many of the things you mention here.
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Old 08-10-08, 10:48 PM   #4
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that sounds like it was fun. the only skids i was doing was with a coaster brake
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Old 08-10-08, 11:21 PM   #5
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My first bike was also a fixed gear, which is surprising because it was probably just some Wal-Mart bike. I don't remember anything about how it looked anymore, but I think it might still be hanging up somewhere in my grandmother's garage. The only thing that comes to mind now is that we put on spoke beads. I just mostly remember feeling a wee bit jealous that my older brother could spin his wheels backwards while riding and I couldn't. Thinking about it, I want to find it now. Maybe in several (many, many) years I could fix it up and make it my first child's bike or something.
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