Never underestimate the power of one wheel drive!


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Monday, 24 May 2010

The Only Way Is Up!

No folks, relax. I'm not talking about the catchy little ditty by Yazz!

What I'm talking about is busting my cherry for hill climbing on my fixed gear.

I have been riding Stig, my fixed wheel conversion pretty much exclusively since early January this year and had not tackled any even slightly daunting uppage, let alone what I would consider a challenging hill.

Anyway, Saturday saw me invited to a friends surprise 60th birthday hog roast (the hog roast was the surprise, not the fact that it was his 60th!). I had a feeling that I might be led astray and have more beer poured down my throat than would be legal, let alone wise, to drive home on. I decided to ride Stig to the bash. My rationale being it would be a damn sight easier to push Stig the 5 miles home than to push my Mazda!

Come time to wend my way home I was right. Too much beerahol to allow me to drive but I was sober. Being sober and thinking straight however can often be very unrelated and Saturday evening was one of those occasions. As I left the party, the options were turn right and have a nice flat 10 mile pootle home OR turn left and have a big hill in the way. I remember my thought process perfectly. "Fuzzy, you have never ridden Stig up anything more demanding than the bridge over the Thames. What are you, man or mouse?"- "MAN"- cue left turn and after 2 minutes my arrival at the bottom of Marlow Hill.

Marlow Hill used to form a daily part of my commute to work. I would descend on the way in and ascend on the way home. This used to be on an 8 speed double road bike though. Saturday was on a 42x16 69" fixed. On one descent I broke the 50mph barrier-
so I knew the hill was a challenge. By the time I got to the top however, I felt like my lungs had done an Alien Chest Burster impersonation. I made it without stopping though! The only close call was the traffic lights about 3/4 of the way up. If I had to stop at them I would never have got moving again.

The ride down the hill to home was entertaining! Hooning down hill on a fixed wheel, clipped in on SPD's is an 'Interesting' experience!

1 comment:

  1. Well done Fuzzy - You must have nerves of steel my friend.
    Your blog reminded me of when I used fixed gear back in the 80's I had a horrid time. We ended up doing 100 milers in the Lake District. It was brutal. Eventually, my knees caved in with the constant wear and tear. The first time I rode fixed gear downhill I went into a frenzy as the bike gathered momentum - almost ran a red light. Crazy days. Nige:-)