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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 04-21-05, 10:04 PM   #1
no one wants an alien
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brooklyn
Bikes: grandis track bike, cesare track bike, bianchi road bike
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Need for the Bike

i'm coming to the end of this book, and i really wish it had about 500 more pages. 'Need for the Bike' is a fantastic read about all sorts of cycling, and mainly about having a bond with the bicycle. i highly recommend this book - the author is at once hilarious and profound.

just so this doesn't get moved, here's a track/fixed gear themed quote:

"I'm a fan of the 'squirrels' [french cycling term for trackies]. They're the virtuosic froth of cycling. I see them as a little crazy, a little autistic, their eyes trained on the wheel in front of them, focused on their effort, locked into their virtuosity, powerful and feline, pulled forward by their fixed gear, without brakes, having chosen to be what the bicycle most radically is: pure speed.

Track racing is the essence of the bicycle, of cycling interiority, of the opposite. Bikes with pure lines, stripped of everything, simple and intense rules, a changing and intoxicating spectacle, a fundamental sadness among racers deprived of air and countryside, day and night...

...the little subtle tug at the neck every time you come into a turn almost horizontally, and which, as the hours pass, makes your neck and shoulders heavy as stone..."

there are many, many more eloquent passages... i can post some more if y'all want. i like some of the french terminology in translation as well. observe:

squirrels = trackies

going to meet the man with the hammer = hitting the wall

the witch with green teeth = bonking

wool eaters = wheel suckers

put your nose to the window = go to the front

it's really a great read. did i say that yet?
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