Tag Archives: fixie

charliebucketcycles.com is where it’s at

The time has come, the walrus said…..in this case the walrus has indicated that it makes sense to focus my energy on the team blog, Charlie Bucket Cycles.  You can click on our logo above to get to the sight and I hope that if you’ve subscribed to ridefixies you will take the time to follow us at Charlie Bucket.

Why would you want to?  Well, there are plenty of reasons, but surely the most exciting one, is that not only are you dazzled by my writing genius there, but you will also be able to share in the lives of two of my closest friends, Paul and Andy.  We al love to ride our bikes, and it doesn’t really matter what kind of bike it is.  The important thing is that you’re getting out there and riding.

So don’t be shy. Come over to www.charliebucketcycles.com and follow us (the link is in the top left column).  It’s completely free and we won’t pester you with offers and advertising.  You only need to read what’s interesting to you, and frankly the only reason you would want to follow us is if you’re into riding bikes.

ridefixies will remain here for a while but all new content is going to be published at Charlie Bucket.  Thank you for following me up ’til now, and I sincerely hope you’ll come over to Charlie Bucket with me.

James.

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Filed under Misc.

Conservative estimate

I lay awake last night trying to work out how many kilometres I had done on the fixie.  It had seemed strange to me that I’d worn out the rear tyre, right through to the thread, but now that I’ve taken a moment to sit back and work out some basic calculations, I actually think that I was due a hole or two.

As my mate Bruce said to me last night, “You got your monies worth with those tyres”.  I think he is right.  Here’s how the math goes.

  • Started commuting to work on the Paddywagon in the second week of March
  • A conservative average of two return trips to the campus each week.  (Some weeks it has been three, even four, some it has been one, and I had a one week break in Connecticut)
  • A quick count of the calendar tells me that 28 weeks have passed
  • That’s a total of 56 round trips.
  • Drumroll please……….2,800 km
Not bad.  In fact, I have to agree with Bruce that that rear tyre did me proud.  The distance is one thing, but there are a couple of additional factors that make it all the most interesting.  One being that the fixed gear just takes more out of the rear wheel.  It’s a more aggressive ride and then there’s the occasional sliding, or skidding, that can happen when performing any kind of emergency stop.  The second major factor is the 30lb back pack I ride with.  As it is slung on my back it is right over the rear wheel adding a lot of additional stress on the rubber.  Every bump bounces that thing about and has surely caused more severe wear than if I was riding without it.  There’s also the fact that it pulls a lot more of my own natural body weight onto the rear wheel, so the usual 60/40 weight division (rear/front) is not respected.
All that to say, I have accepted that I needed new tyres.  Ride safe.

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Bread and fixie

Paddywagon leaning up against the cheese

The park has some bizarre sculptures, none more so than this giant plate complete with cheese (I think it’s a Swiss judging by the holes) and a fine French baguette.  How brilliant though, don’t you think?  I just love it.  It’s quirky and that’s kind of what Montreal is all about in my opinion.  You never know what you’re going to find just around the corner.

Dead straight forks on the Kona

This morning was all about spinning.  Maintaining a good high cadence and working the legs.  I didn’t practice any of the tricks as I wanted to have a completely uninterrupted ride, and save for two minutes off the bike to snap a couple of pictures that’s exactly what I got.  We’re coming to the end of August but the mornings are still lovely and warm, around 16c now at 6.00 a.m., and we’ve got a couple more months of mild weather before the autumn picks up in earnest.

Once again I opted not to take the Edge 800.  Rides like this I don’t need to know how fast I am going or which direction I am heading in.  I know whether I feel good or not and it is pure fun to ride without those gizmos every now and then, especially on this bike.  In fact, purists would lambast me for even occasionally putting on the computer.  It’s just not cricket!

Beautiful simplicity

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Filed under Cycling

Fixie vids

I was having some fun during some downtime on YouTube this evening and I came across a few fun fixie videos that I thought I would share.

This first one is a well shot 4 minute film set in London focusing on a girl and her boyfriend that are part of the local fixie scene.  I particularly liked it because of the shots of London, a city I miss.  Her name is Juliet Elliott and it turns out she has a few videos of her riding her bike and doing her thing through not only London, but Munich as well.

The next film that peaked my interest was one entitled ‘Bike Polo by Fuck Gas‘.  I mean, how could you not want to check that out?  I have to say, I think this bike polo lark is going to catch on.  What do you think?

I love this last one that features a bloke called Neil, a bike courier, doing a couple of balancing tricks.  The moves themselves are OK.  Nothing spectacular.  What’s brilliant is that he’s obviously supposed to be working because his walkie-talkie is going overtime and he is completely ignoring it.  Brilliant.

Ride safe people.

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Spotted….one Surly tied to a lamp post

So I was down in Burlington, VT today, celebrating 17 years of marriage with Marie and the kids.  Why we took the kids with us we’re not sure.  It seemed like a fine idea at the time.  You know, be with the family, all together, enjoy the day etc.  Well, by the time Marie and I had tried to settle the first three arguments between the kids, we were ready to turn around, or perhaps leave them on the I89 somewhere outside St. Albans.

But of course we didn’t do that.  We bought them something to shut them up.  You can save your lectures: I know that’s not the right way to deal with it.

Anyway, the point of my story is simply to share a fun sighting during our walkabout of downtown Burlington.  We were walking along, minding our own business, when Marie suddenly points out a Brooks saddle to me.  I thought she meant in a store window and I was getting seriously excited thinking that may be I could talk my way into buying one sooner rather than later.  But no, it was the next best thing, and that was finding one attached to a lovely Surly fixed gear bike.

Surly Steamroller with Brooks B17 Narrow seat. Awesome!

I almost bought a Surly Steamroller before I settled on the Kona Paddywagon.  The principle reason I ended up opting for the Kona was the price.  I got an extraordinary deal on it and I could not refuse.  I do like the Surly very much though.  It’s got lovely simple lines, and aesthetically is a very good looking bicycle.  The example above was no exception.  The only shame is that there was a gnarly looking kid’s mountain bike strapped to the other side of the lamp post, and of course the Surly was secured with its own “not-so-attractive-but-very-functional” locks that took away a little from the overall look.

The part that I was truly impressed with was the beautiful dark brown leather Brooks B17 Narrow saddle.  What a beauty.  This is exactly the model that I am looking for (thanks to some good advice from readers) and seeing one today atop the Surly sealed the deal for me.  It looked bloody magnificent.

The Kona being all black with some silver highlights (in the form of the logo etc) I am leaning towards the black saddle, but I would welcome any opinions from you on that one.  Could I get away with the dark brown saddle?  To me it’s more of a classic look.  Thoughts?

One last comment.  Our Surly owner had also locked the saddle to the bike, through the other gigantic lock that secured the overall package to the lamp post.  He was wisely not taking any chances with his pride and joy.

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Filed under Cycling, Family