First Fixie

Learning to ride my new bike, which happens to be my first fixed-gear. Stumped by toe straps which seem to have overly complicated buckles. Distinct lack of success in adjusting front brake. I need pliers, or a third hand. I am too miserly to get either.
But the bike itself is fun. Was a bit worried my gear ratio (46/15) was too high but it feels about the same as the ratio I keep on my road bike (a ratio which I’ve not changed at all for a year, meaning I’ve effectively been riding single speed for a year, which is easy in hillless Chicago).

Have had little time to get acquainted with it. But a couple of short practice rides have demonstrated that it is much easier to control the bike and to keep your balance at low speeds than it would be on a freewheel.

Also, the bike is so lightweight and maneuverable compared to my clunky, heavy old Schwinn. To both my clunky heavy old Schwinns (yes, I have two, a Continental and a Varsity). No having the brake cable imprinted on your palm after lifting the bike around. No getting brake cables caught on other bikes as you lift it through the crowded bike room.

Stopping doesn’t seem too hard. My main concern now is actually getting out of the toeclips safely, and learning the most convenient way to get my pedals into starting position after I stop. Of course the best solution will be to learn to do a trackstand, but I have to move house (and bike) in five days, and I doubt that’s enough time in which to learn a trackstand. I could of course simply walk my bike over to my new residence but that would be immensely silly. (Naturally, dying in a bike accident because I didn’t want to look silly walking my bike over to my new residence is not as silly.)


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