Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm a fixed gear veteran, now that I think about it

As I was pedaling down the road on my second fixed-gear ride of the day, it dawned on me that I have experienced several fixed-gear cycles over my lifetime.

In a comment on my last posting, the Redheaded Beach Dawdler reminded me of the experience of riding trikes, which have a fixed "gear," assuming a one-to-one ratio counts as a gear.

As long as the wheel turns on a trike, the pedals turn. You can go backwards or forwards. Or, after you gain momentum, you can resist the rotation of the pedals and TRY to slow the trike down or stop it.

Your success depends on your speed and your strength. As the Dawdler pointed out, if you can't control the trike you can always lift up your legs and let the crank spin. But be careful! It hurts like hell when those pedals hit your shins.

When I was a child, I also explored my little world on a plastic Big Wheel, which is basically a trike and therefore a fixed-gear cycle.

At some point around kindergarten, I graduated to a real bike – a single-speed bike with a kick-brake.

Like nearly every other bike on the road, it was NOT a fixed gear. It was a single speed with a freewheel. I could coast. Eventually I graduated to a three-speed, then a 10-speed and a 15-speed.

But along the way, I acquired another fixed gear cycle which I still own today – a unicycle.

So I'm a fixed gear veteran, and you may be too even though you don't know it.


Blogger Gordon Inkeles said...

Bigfoot would ride a fixed gear bike, if he rode a bike.

7:52 AM  

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