Saturday, March 11, 2006

the new ride

Check out my newest ride. I've been sans fixed gear since I sold my old Trek to my bud Eric Reber (
Pedal Pushers Cycling Team in Lowry) last winter.

That's right kids, I caved and got myself the ultimate cliche' hipster bike. What can I say, it was dirt cheap, it's my size, it's mint because the chick I bought it from NEVER rode it, and it's already got a front brake and flipflop hub installed. In other words, it came with the 2 major upgrades I would have invested in had I ordered one stock, and I got the whole enchilada for less than four benjamins. It's a 2004, meaning it even came with the original cool solid silver WTB saddle, which my butt seems pretty happy with so far. I was concerned it'd be a torture device from all the bitching everyone else has done, but it seems fine to me.

In my own defence, I've been riding fixtes since way before they were ever cool or half the poseur hipster crowd owned one. I built my first one in like 1990 or so, and rode it all over for race conditioning, because that's just what you did back then. My old one had toeclips not because that was all cool or retro, but because no one but rich people could afford clipless pedals, of which there were 2 ridiculously expensive, klunky heavy models to choose from: Look and Time... and you for damn sure didn't put 'em on your crap winter rainbike / fixte.

The new scoot runs some of these badass old Time ATACS because I have 2 sets (and I think I spent like a grand total of $40 for both) plus they're idiotproof, weatherproof, easy to engage, and I wouldn't be caught dead using death cages these days. Yeah I know a lot of people swear by Crank Bros. but after having thouroughly minced my shins with a pair of (L)eggbeaters at Dirt Demo a couple Interbikes ago, I think I'll keep the ATACS and rock the retro grouch motif. Emphasis on grouch.

This right here is what it's all about. This is the fixed side. 48x16 baby.

I rode ALL OVER Boulder today. Up and down, in and out. Played in the traffic, rode up and down the Boulder Creek Path, in and around campus, etcetera etcetera. Scared some cars, scared myself, scared some college kids, it's all good. Basically I did a cafe' crawl from coffeehouse to coffeehouse, and made sure to stop in every bookstore, bike shop and odds and ends vendor on the way in between. I drank some awesome peppermint/chocolate black tea and picked up a new
Moleskine. It was a pretty crappy day, and it kinda snowed off and on, so the fixte was definitely the way to go.

I love this bike. I think the previous owner said she rode it all of about four times, which means I got it in showroom shape except for some FUGLY blue bartape which I immediately removed. I gave the whole rig a thourough cleaning, tightened the drivetrain, flipped the stem, swopped out pedals, re-wrapped the bars, measured everything up to my road rigs and man does this guy ride nice. It's light, stiff and utterly silent on the road. The geometry is dead on perfect and it's super comfortable too, even with the major drop from saddle to bars (not unheard of for track geometry). This frame shows as much seatpost as my Dream roadie, despite that it's not a compact / sloping setup. I can definitely see this one becoming my bike of choice for everything besides racing and group rides.

The sweetest part is that when I got out of Amante at 18.30 and realised it had started snowing in earnest, I just whipped out the 15mm wrench, flipped the back wheel (which takes all of 30 seconds) and rode home on the freehub side. I mean, I dig riding fixed and all but I'm not quite crazy enough to want to attempt the combo of fixed, dark AND icy... not out on U.S. 36 at any rate.

Oh and before I sign off tonight, give these guys a listen and if you like what you hear, hook 'em up with a membership. WOXY, one of the top 5 webcast stations online, a multiple award winner and one of the last truly independent stations still (barely) making it in a hostile corporate-clone ruled environment. If ClearChannel's craptacular programming has you pissed off, I guarantee this is the cure. Originally the home of Miami of Oxford's (Ohio) college indie station, their FM callsign was made famous as '97X BAM! The Future Of Rock N Roll' in the 1988 Academy Award flick Rainman. But seriously folks, I've been listening to this station for twenty years and they haven't played a bad track yet. When I moved to CO in 2001, I hooked into their streaming webcasts / netradio and they've always kept it on the cutting edge.




Blogger Byron said...

That is a killer ride... good times, great shots.

5:05 PM  
Blogger adamrice said...

I think by 1990, nobody I knew was still riding in toeclips on their roadbikes. I had made the switch in...oh...1985, I think, to an obscure pedal system called Aerolites. Perhaps it's just a matter of regional bike culture.

5:41 PM  

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