Friday, 17 February 2012

The Joy of Fix(ed)

Sometimes it’s the things that on the surface appear the most irritating, that can be turned to one’s advantage. This afternoon’s ride contained one such example. Coming out of Beckbury about 10km from home I felt the unmistakeable sensation of a rear tyre losing air. Never a great thing to happen whilst out on a ride, but it’s inevitable every now and again.

Forgive me for an anorak moment, but fixing the puncture gave me the opportunity to marvel at my Lezyne Trigger Drive CO2 inflator. An inanimate metallic object granted, but a real cycling trinket, and quite beautifully engineered. Every serious cyclist should have one! <Anorak removed and placed back in cupboard>

Puncture fixed it was time to put things back together. That’s when the thought struck me. Why not ride the last 10km or so fixed? It had been a while, so I flipped the hub round and put the wheel back in.

Immediately the feel of the bike changed. Everything seemed more focused, slightly sharper. My fixed ratio is a bigger gear as well, so the speed was also up. 30km/h and my legs had plenty left in them.

As I turned back towards Sutton Maddock on the Rabbit Run I planned to use the bigger gear to full advantage. On the drops it was time to apply some V. Riding fixed wheel really is a pure experience, all you have to do is pedal. Everything had come together, and I was fairly rattling along, I managed to get up and over the Wyke a fair bit faster than normal, and the final run into Shifnal was a blur of legs going round much much faster than any cyclist’s should. Dangerous, almost certainly, but bloody exhilarating nevertheless!

A great way to end an otherwise fairly mundane ride. If only every puncture was so much fun….

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