Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Between Past And Present Tense.
It is still Spring Break and I continue to spend my time in an undisclosed location. Rest assured that in this location the weather is fine, people are often viewed riding their bicycles, and vegan rice paper rolls are available in abundance. Earlier this year the brake pads on my pub bike wore out, so instead of replacing them, I took the brakes off and flipped back to riding fixed on the street. I have a long history of making things more difficult due to my laziness, I believe beginning with the day I decided to keep a waterbottle in the shower for when I got dehydrated - you know, rather than simply getting out of the shower. And, currently, I need to put some oil in the car. I have the oil. I know how to put it in the car. But really, who could be bothered? So instead I'm riding my brakeless fixie everywhere all of a sudden, as if 2007 never ended.
Riding brakeless on the street demands more caution, which in turn means that I ride slower than I did when I rocked the freewheel. That's ok by me, because I have two weeks off, and don't need to be anywhere ever. I roll around, skip skid to a stop outside shops and cafes, use backwards pressure to slow down, practice monos, rarely bust out a proper skid. It took me a while, though, to remember the little tricks that make life a little easier - like, when you're stopped at lights and can't be bothered trackstanding, lifting the rear wheel up to position the pedals better; or taking corners a little wider to avoid striking the ground; or how to roll up to the cafe and dismount like a total pro. I gotta say, it's kind of fun. Like LAM says, however, riding a brakeless fixie is like picking a scab - it's interesting, and yeah, a pretty good time, but you know that nine times out of ten it's going to end in blood. For me that'll probably happen the day school goes back and I have to make it to Reservoir by eight thirts.