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Single Speed Outlaw Blog Archives

Bike to work week  //   Tuesday - May 18, 2004

It's Bike To Work Week. No, you don't need a special week just to pedal to your job, but it can be a motivator and it sure doesn't hurt. With gas around $2/gallon you've got even more reason to make an effort. I made it in yesterday on my new route, 42 miles round trip of fixed gear luv. Got caught in a thunder storm on the way home and watched giant lightening bolts stretch from earth to clouds. Saw a gaggle of baby geese, on the way in and on the way back, all fuzzball like bunched up together pecking for food. Spotted a couple of deer on a wooded section of bike path in the morning. Got surprised by another one, dead on the shoulder of the road. Watched a squirrel get splattered as he tried to cross the road, driver not slowing one bit. Almost ate it when I tested the wet weather traction of the new Gatorskins when I took a corner too sharp and too fast. Eyed up some sort of wetlands bird hunkered down in the water while a big old crow swooped in for a perch on a dead tree. Listened to the cicadas crank up their humming. And on and on. Lots of things to peak all of the senses when you are on the bike. Yes sirree.

- riderx

Fixed 50/Red red wine  //   Sunday - May 16, 2004

Saturday was the official start of my so-called "training" for the 24 Hours of Snowshoe. Fifty miles on the fixed gear followed by drinking lots of red wine in the sunshine. Yeah, this stuff is energy recovery drink, right?

I've been riding pretty regular straight through the winter and spring and it seems to be paying off. By the end of the 50 I was still feeling strong, not worked at all. I felt like a machine, legs pumping like well oiled pistons, rolling right along. There was one flat on the ride at the most convenient spot smack-dab between two prisons that are stationed about one hundred yards apart on opposite sides of the street. Always a little surreal as I pedal through there watching the guards in their towers. I wonder if they think strange ideas like I am coming in stealth-like on my two wheels to perform some James Bond style prison break. Hopefully not 'cause I don't need to be taken out by someone w/ an itchy trigger finger. But I digress.

Other than the flat, it was a good ride, but not completely without incident. My riding partner, who we'll refer to as "Mr. X" for purposes of this story, did not have any flats or mechanicals, but rather some full body contact with a pedestrian. Motoring down a wooded bike path I approach a walker, call out "on your left" and proceed around him at a slightly reduced speed. He turns, acknowledges me (albeit with a puzzled look on his face) and keeps on his side (the right) of the path. Fifty yards or so behind me, Mr. X repeats my actions only to have the ped turn and move directly in his path. Brakes are grabbed but it's too late. Blammo! A direct hit. No one goes down but I bet someone was sore Sunday morning. Stay your course people, when someone calls out, no abrupt moves.

And I haven't even mentioned the springtime bandits on their hybrids cutting blind corners without a peep, crossing on to our side of the asphalt. Keep on your toes boys and girls, this here section is more hazardous than downtown traffic at rush hour.

Today I grabbed up some new tires for the fixed, the Continental Gatorskin. More on these later, but the test ride on them today was just fine and a lot faster and smoother than the Ritchey SpeedMax Psycho Cross tires I've been running.

- riderx


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