3.28.2006

morning ride on the fixie

this morning I repeated the same prework ride as the day prior
took a few city streets towards Bethesda
then jumped onto the Capitol Crescent Trail
before I was even a mile from my house the turrets started to break out in full force
words left my mouth that would have had me immediately expelled from even the slackest of public schools
the fast pass of the tailgating cars was extra stressful on the unfamiliar fixed gear bike

managed to keep composure
trying to keep my blood pressure in check
and my fingers on the handlebars
no need to get into a road rage dispute first thing in the morning
actually it is best to avoid these conflicts all together
although soem drivers were issued gestures as well as words

so I meandered through the neighborhood streets pretty much going against the morning car commuter traffic
keeping extra careful for aggessive left turns in front of me and staying out of the door zone
once on the Capitol Crescent trail it was all down hill
just had to be respectful of other trail users

there was some trail maintenace and some bridge work being done
I took my speed down for the workers and for myself
then I gave my thanks to the workers for their efforts
yes... it is their job... but their clean up and repairs make for better paths and trails
everyone enjoys knowing that their work is appreciated
a paycheck is not the only reward for a job well done

riding a fixed gear is easy
it is the stopping and starting that is hard
at a few points in my trip I tried to coast then was woken up abruptly by my leg getting snapped back into rotation
there is much to be learned
I enjoy learning
the biggest thing to learn is to step out of second nature
having been on a bike for so many years I do things somewhat intuitively
the actions of a fixed gear are not within my mental framework
have to shut down auto pilot and turn things over to manual overdrive

at one point I had to pull over in traffic
not due to the tailgating pickup truck whose talk radio show was almost close enough to hear
but because I could feel some play from the drive side crank
initially I thought it was the bad marriage of the cleat and the pedal
but the level of play became visible
it was the drive side crank arm itself

this same arm had come loose on its maiden voyage
so I was shrew enough to throw the right size hex key into my commuter pack... just in case
well, it was just in case
which was good.... as it was earlier than any shop would be open
and I would hate to have to walk to the nearest hardware store just to buy one overpriced tool that I already own several of

the ride was a pleasure as most morning rides are
the weather was brisk... not cold... but brisk
the knickers were a good choice although my feet could have used a second pair of socks
as I rolled into town I passed various cyclists
there were so many photo opportunities
I lacked time and camera to consider stopping
as it was approaching time to show up for work

once through georgetown and in the more active business areas of town I ran into Cargo Mike, saw Kevin Dillard and a few faces I have photoed and a few faces I have wanted to photo
the warm weather really brings everybody out
as I rolled up the sidewalk in front of my office Scrooge rolled up to the office across the street
as much as I wanted to ask if he had a chance to see his image on the blog
I knew I had to start my work day

got inside
took a few minutes to take a shower... for the office as much as for myself
then started my day
well.. knocked a few things out
then made this post

last night I gathered a number of images from yesterday's walk at lunch
more good images of the cycling culture in Washington DC to come

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