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Thread: Passion...

  1. #1
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Passion...

    I refitted the CCM last night and tore off the (heavy) coaster equipped 27 inch wheels and fitted my trusty old fixed wheels which I built up 5 years ago.

    These are some old Normandy Weinmann wheels that came off a Raleigh I salvaged and are fitted with a suicide hub... have put at least 10,000 miles on these wheels while they were on my beloved Peugeot and they have never let me down and are still as smooth as silk.



    The CCM was headed for the dumpster 5 years ago and I saved the frame and built up a retro path bike... it is really a jalopy that cost me next to nothing.

    Over the past year I have refitted a number of my fixed gear bikes and re-geared them because of health issues but have kept three fixed gear / single speed bikes as sometimes the body cooperates and there really is nothing like riding fixed.

    After a long winter of slogging through the snow I had forgotten how much I love this feeling... this fusion of man and machine spinning effortlessly through the night... the sense of almost flying.

    And it was not my usual ride.

    Riding home tonight my main route home was blocked and I had to take a long detour through the river valley and met up with some friends who were riding their nicely equipped and well geared touring bikes. One friend who rides SS on this route said this was going to be easy for them but not so easy for me... being that I was riding a fixed gear.

    I have heard this before... "you won't be able to climb that hill on one gear..." or "that hill will kill you..."

    The hill is only a km long, takes you up 800 feet and has some nice little grades and tops out to 22% right at the top... it is like the cherry on top of a sundae.

    When we hit the hill I told my friend that I was passing on his left and went into the corner hard and started climbing out of the saddle as it gets steep as soon as you make the turn.

    I've climbed this hill a thousand times... it has gotten harder over the past few years and I have avoided riding fixed in the river valley because of the grades.

    But not tonight.

    Hammer... hammer... and hammer some more until you reach the first break where the climb gets a little more gentle and then spin up the legs and catch your breath for that last section that many cyclists cannot ride up with any gearing.

    Spin faster and faster and up your breathing to get as much O2 as you can...feel your heart hammering as you wind things up... feel the hum of the wheels... find your rythym... and then you make that hill your personal biatch.

    Hit the last climb at top speed but it goes up so quickly you have to get up off the saddle and lay into things hard... and think something is going to bend or break... but it won't be you.

    There will be no walk of shame.

    Legs feel like fire and you think that you are going to hack up a lung and then you are at the top... soaked in sweat... muscles screaming.

    But it feels so friggen' good... and when you look back down the hill you wonder where the hell your friends went as you can't even see their headlights and wonder if they turned off.



    Then you see their lights through the trees and by the time they crest the hill you have caught your breath and then we continued the ride home at a leisurely pace. My SS riding friend asked what gearing I was running... 69.

    After my friends peeled off I kicked it up again and hammered it for the last 4 km to get me home and a few km from home it started to rain which felt great... because it was warm and it wasn't more god damned snow.

    The bike is now parked after a day of riding and I am having a cold one and all I want to do is go back out there and climb more hills because you really are never more alive when you feel like you are going to die.

  2. #2
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Cheers,
    I always enjoy looking at that bike whenever you post . I'm trying to make this night a little better since getting stranded by my tube blowing out
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rustybrown's Avatar
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    Aye, love affairs of the past rekindled.

    Immersed in the writing. Envisioned the ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The hill is only a km long, takes you up 800 feet and has some nice little grades and tops out to 22% right at the top... it is like the cherry on top of a sundae.
    I'm not sure i agree with your math there. Nonetheless, this is a ****ing great story. Up there with the roadie who outran the Harley Davidson. And 22% on 69 gi. Holy barf.

  5. #5
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    It's a love hate affair I have with hills... they have humbled me in the past few years and forced me to use variable gears even though I am 45 and have an excuse.

    Will be seeing more of those old lovers and I am not going to be gentle with them... will make them submit to being taken by a guy with one good leg and one gear.

  6. #6
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
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    I seriously want that frame.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rustybrown's Avatar
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    Progression, over the years, felt. One pedal revolution at a time.

    But it's outstanding to hear that you're in shape to tackle such a monster. And with the rake on that fork, and HT angle, at that. Makes my Peugeot feel insignificant.

    Take it from a fellow, 20-years-younger, I'm humbled every day. On, and off, the bike.

    Give 'em hills hell.

  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
    I seriously want that frame.
    It is one of those bikes I have that I would like to reproduce with nicer tubing and better dropouts... this frame is 60 years old with a reproduction fork and a bunch of stuff from the parts bin.

    Having stripped he frame can say that the brazing work was nicely done and at <5 pounds it is rather light for a double barred frame made of what is probably high tensile steel although the tubes have a nice high ring to them.

  9. #9
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    It is one of those bikes I have that I would like to reproduce with nicer tubing and better dropouts...
    YES. Cheers!

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustybrown View Post
    Progression, over the years, felt. One pedal revolution at a time.

    But it's outstanding to hear that you're in shape to tackle such a monster. And with the rake on that fork, and HT angle, at that. Makes my Peugeot feel insignificant.

    Take it from a fellow, 20-years-younger, I'm humbled every day. On, and off, the bike.

    Give 'em hills hell.
    It was just a little cherry... our city planners seem to have had a hate on for cyclists as there are very few nice ways to get out of the river valley and lots of routes are topped off by a little extra grade.

    Many routes have switchbacks as the river is old and the walls of the valley are to steep for straight roads... if you want to find hills here you don't have to go far but for the most part they are all short and vicious.

    Some places are too steep for some peds and the city is putting lifts in to carry people up and down... this will let a lot more people enjoy the beauty in the river valley as it is the getting out that is challenging.

    Most people you see in the river valley are riding geared bikes... well geared bikes.

  11. #11
    bedazzled fingernails Ultraspontane's Avatar
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    Cool bike. What kind of steel were they using for frames back then?

  12. #12
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    Fantastic story! Love the bike too.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottRock View Post
    I'm not sure i agree with your math there. Nonetheless, this is a ****ing great story. Up there with the roadie who outran the Harley Davidson. And 22% on 69 gi. Holy barf.
    I have guys on motorbikes pull alongside and give me a thumbs up when they see how fast you are going and if it was an old Panhead you might be able to outrun it.

    Friend used to ride his 50's Harley down to Sturgis every year and his wife followed him in truck with his mobile shop for the inevitable adjustments the bike would need.

    What we share is that passion to be on the open road with the wind in our face and the wind roaring in our ears... enjoying that freedom that comes when it is just you and the machine.

    I used to ride a motorcycle and that really cut into my cycling time... instead of a few hundred miles on a weekend I would ride a thousand or more and getting out the coast was a day trip from here.

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