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FLIGHT OF THE FIXIE

  • Posted on
  • By ARLEY MICHEL
FLIGHT OF THE FIXIE

How a fixed gear changed my life

A couple of years ago my life was transformed for the better!

by Arley Michel

I purchased my first fixed gear bicycle. A fixed geared bicycle also known as a “fixie”.

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“…She rode as a winged horse and yes… I named her Pegasus.”

Fixed gear bicycles were first developed as far back as the iconic “Penny Farthing”. They are a single speed bicycle (one rear cog) that has no ability to coast. One must keep pedaling whenever the bicycle is in motion. This also means your pedals are used to slow the bike. Purest fixie riders go brakeless. With no brakes, one must learn to skid stop. The process is started by leaning forward on the bike and relieving the weight on the rear wheel. If you have the balance to lift the rear wheel slightly off the ground, even better. Once the traction of the rear wheel has been taken out of the equation, use your feet to lock the pedals in a horizontal position.

Push down on the pedal coming up, and pull up on the pedal going down.

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This should slow the suspended rear wheel to a stop. Shifting weight back onto the rear wheel should cause the rear tire to skid, causing the bike to slow to a stop.

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Before going brakeless, check your state laws. Florida Stature 316.2065(13) states every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its rider to stop the bicycle within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level clean pavement. – See more at: http://floridacyclinglaw.com. The Florida law does not require both a front and back brake. The law says “brake or brakes”. The law doesn’t say what type of brake is required, or what part of the brake. The key part is stopping the bicycle within 25 feet of 10 mph on dry, level clean pavement.

Fixies are also used for training. It is “anti-lazy” with no coasting. It improves the rider’s cadence.

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Seeing the UPS guy bringing my new “Arrow for my bicycle quiver”… I felt as if I was seven years old, getting my first Mickey Mouse watch for Christmas.

As I was removing the partially built bicycle out of the box, I heard a choir of cherubs and angels, singing a Wu Tang song, as a delightful church hymn!

Upon seeing  the completed bicycle… all I can think is that Medusa and Poseidon collaborated to piece the bike together. A white steel (Reynolds 631) frame with gold components…

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Just enough gold accents to make “Mr. T” want it. My maiden voyage was majestic. She rode as a winged horse and yes I named her “Pegasus”. It was a true war horse, fit for Mt Olympus.

I felt like me and my trusty steed victorious against any terrain…

I was really one with the bike. Constantly aware of and sensitive to, any movements in my surroundings. I set Pegasus up with no brakes. Always planning my moves as a master chess player.

My glorious Pegasus is currently for sale here at JRA Bikes… It is time to do a new custom build and see where she takes me…

Written with love by, Arley Michel –