Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Circumnavigation


Even before I gave the RB-2 to my wife, the Apollo ($6 Fix) had become my favourite ride despite it's homely appearance. I've got the cockpit dialed in just so and the fit and feel are perfect. But I'm running 52/18 and no brake so I've mostly used it for errands and short pleasure rides. Yesterday I decided to see what it would be like to make the 22 mile trip around the island so I filled a water bottle and off I went. It was a perfect BC summer day, warm but not sweltering and blue sky overhead. About 3/4 of the way round I stopped for a photo op and while I was relaxing a bit, it occurred to me that riding a brakeless fixed gear bicycle with a tall gear in rolling terrain is a lot like marriage: It's all about compromise. A wise man chooses his battles carefully and doesn't sweat the small stuff. The correlation is that there are some hills too steep to climb with a 78 gear-inch drivetrain and others too steep to descend safely without a brake. So I just get off and walk when need be. I only had to do that twice yesterday, once down and once up. You might notice in the photo that I wasn't carrying a tool kit. I did have a multitool in my pocket but since I've never flatted where we live, I don't bother with a spare tube/tire/pump. Believe it or not, there is virtually no road debris. I have seen broken glass on the pavement only once since moving here 10 months ago. Hope I'm not jinxing myself...


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