Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out For a Winter Fixed Gear Ride

A few days of mild weather has melted all the snow from this past weekend's storm. I was off from both the office and hospital. At a maximum temperature of 42 degrees Farenheit and clear sunny skies, it was a great day to take out Miss Pinarello for a spin on the South Fork of Long Island. This was a typical 40 mile ride from Southampton to Easthampton and back, the return made more difficult by a 20mph headwind coming from the west. This ride is very scenic, including huge mansions, uncrowded roads, and lots of water views.
This ride is on flat to gently rolling terrain, and perfect for a fixed gear bike. I have been riding fixed as well as geared bikes together for about two and a half years. Switching between them seems to cause my body no confusion during the interchange of riding styles. Among the many advantages of riding fixed gear in the winter are: less maintinance, silent geartrain, smoother rotation of the legs, superior low speed handling, and extra warmth on cold riding days. I will say that fixed gear riding has become my first choice, except when the course is hilly. It gives you a sense of purity, connection with the machine, and a great workout when time constrained. Unfortunately, it is also considered cool. Unlike some who ride with no or single brakes, I consider safety first and ride with two brakes always.


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