1.13.2008

the inaugural ride


the inaugural ride...

the inaugural ride
no... not the inaugural ride of the year

the inaugural ride of the franken fixie after the frame repair job by max
the inaugural ride of the year happened around One AM on New Year's Day as I killed time before registering for the SSWC
oh... sure I thought there was going to be a party at this friend's house
well... there was no party

that is a different story

today I took the inaugural ride on the franken fixie after max welded the frame back together
so I slapped the parts back on the bike
the front wheel selection was random
not sure what was on there before
no real reason why I selected that front wheel

I did pull the mustache bars
returning to some standard riser bars
then added a utility rack
both bars and rack scored from max

max was lightening his load before heading west
he got some money
I got some parts

the rack went on simply enough

although for me it is more fashion than function
the weight of that rack is without function

a bike that would be the lightest in my quiver may lose that spot due to this lead rack
but I am leaving the rack

so... today while dean was at a soccer themed birthday party and lisa hiked with grant and brutus in rock creek park
I hung in the basement with my bike in the stand
not sure how many songs cycled through the iPod before I was done
lisa left out for an errand
so I hung with grant until she got back


with lisa back I got on the bike
with no real great ambition I took the franken fixie onto a closed stretch of Rock Creek Parkway
I spun the small gear out past the Park Police Station on Beach Drive across the Maryland border

then turned around at the stop sign at the junction of a road whose name I can not recall

at the turn around I stepped off the bike and checked to see if the bike was still solid

I slammed the front wheel to see if it was vibrating loose with this odd rack connection
there was a jiggle of the cranks arms
there was a tug at the rear wheel
I examined the area of the welds for cracking paint

then got back on the bike

before pointing down the hill I had a staring contest with a young deer... doe or buck I do not know

the ride was short

but it was not meant to be a work out
it was just a getting out of the house and getting on the bike
everything seemed to be working well enough

feeling good about the build I decided to point it home
the clouds were dark on my departure
the sky was not any more bright after an hour on the bike

cranking up the sidewalk on Porter Street I moved at a steady pace

the gearing is small but I was hammering just the same
still in the saddle I muscled things up the hill at a solid pace

it seems that my build was not as solid as I had thought
I went from rock solid to that same lost feeling a person gets when they lean back in a chair too far

as it turns out the grips that had been spinning a little freely were not on tight enough for this sort of tork
I do not know if the grip made the sound of a popping champagne bottle
but I do know that I was venerable and I was scared
crashing on a mountain bike is part of my second nature
but this crashing on a fixie is totally new to me

with my left hand still holding the grip my body fell to the right
my feet still fastened to the SPDs
and the rear wheel and pedals still rotating in unicense
falling into the tall chain link fence was clearly a better option than falling in the path of traffic
a second of disorientation then back to moving up the hill

in the scheme of things it was not a bad crash
instead of going off the curb and getting flattened by a speeding metro bus I slammed into the wire fence
it was not as bad as it could have been
the fence caught me like a net
only not so gently
it was a slightly painful crash

the level of my injury did not seem serious
painful... yes... meriting a visit to the hospital... no
I rode for another ten minutes to confirm I was alright

when I did roll up to my house I did feel a bit sore

my wrist and thumb are sore
so is my elbow
that is all on the side where the grip popped free
while my shoulder on the other side is a tad sore... that is the side that crashed into the fence

2 comments:

Icon O. Classt said...

Good to hear you finall threw a leg over that saddle (and survived the virgin ride).

But, help me out here...so you were riding on the sidewalk when the grip slipped? (Fence, curb-drop potential both point to a sidewalk ride.) If so, guess it was for the better in this case.

Are those lock-on grips or what? Fix shit up, man, fix shit up!

And the gearing, 42x18? Details, man, details...

gwadzilla said...

no... not lock on Oury grips
just standard Oury's
grips that have been on various bikes over many years

they may be a little worn
they may be a lot worn

the gearing...
small
super slow spin gear

and no...
RickyD may say that the gear is good for wheelies
but wheelies are not good for me