Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Hey, Tough guy"

Or maybe, notsomuch. "Hey, Tough Guy" is the favorite term of endearment from the Chronoman when one is performing, er, _attempting_ to perform some act of cycling prowess, strength, or endurance. He usually utters it after the futile attempt, as a reminder that it didn't work.

I've made a conscious decision to ride the Fixed Gear as much as possible for the month of march. I rode a total of 6 hours on saturday and sunday, just over 90 miles worth. Yeah, I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but riding the fixed for 3 hours is a lot more work than riding gears for the same distance. Hauling it up hills, spinning it down, no coasting. It gets to you when you can't coast to stretch after 40 miles. My intent is to get up to the track in londonderry on a regular basis, and I'm going to need some skills with regards to riding at speed in a group. I have two brakes on the the bike, but I've been focusing on controlling speed with my legs and staying off the brakes. No, I'm not going to take the brakes off the bike as long as I'm riding on the road with it. Too dangerous - for me anyways.

For what it's worth, what's up with the track? Their website hasn't been updated since last fall. No 2010 schedule yet. I'd think they would at least be open weekends by now. Anyone has any info, please point me to the link.

I got my first commute of 2010 in today as well, on the fixed gear, through lawrence. No brakes? I say, nay nay.

so much for being a tough guy.


CB2 said...

Careful with the back pressure; you can injure you achilles tendons.
Brakes are good.

Il Bruce said...

My father in law, who ride a fixed wheel every winter for years maintains that it is not more taxing than riding a freewheel. I disagree.

Don't let Solo and Greg LeMond know what you are up to.

zencycle said...

@cb2 - I actually had some significant achilles damage a few years ago after a week long trip in the southern appalachians, and they're pretty solid now due to the rehab and strength training. I'm not too worried about leg-braking in the fixie, but thanks for the caution, it's a valid concern.

zencycle said...

@bruce - it is what you make of it. I'll assume your father-in-law didn't go on three hour rides where everyone else had freewheels. I'm sure he'd be singing a different tune.

Solo was there on sunday, he knows.

Lemond is bat-shit from lead poisoning.

(I may have those last two backwards)

Il Bruce said...

Ray, was one of the best juniors in Britain in the late 50s. They almost all rode fixed all winter. 4,5,6 hours at a time.

50 years may have dimmed his memory though.

zencycle said...

Yes, it would be very different - much easier - if everyone on the ride had fixed gears.

solobreak said...

Lemond and Ray have it correct. All else being equal, going slower requires less power. In this case "equal" means rider, weight, tires, not the gearing. If fixed is "harder" it's because it's a less efficient way of producing the same result. In other words, you are wasting energy. It is quite a stretch to think that wasting energy by propelling the bike forward in an inefficient manner would be better training than simply being as efficient as possible, and ultimately going faster. Unless of course you are so strong that you need a handicap to prevent you from riding away from the group. In that case I would contend that a little lead poisoning in the form of buckshot down your seat tube is the best remedy. Or heavy tires. YMMV.