Fixed Gear Bicycle Zen
Volunteer Park Seattle | photo by Don Ehlen
As a highwheel bicycle rider for over a decade, I understand the feeling and motion of fixed gear riding...but I had never had a chance to ride a fixed gear safety bicycle. I am completely blown away. Safety bicycles have been around since the 1880s. The pneumatic tire brought a boom in sales starting around 1890 that brought us to today. Fixed geared bicycles ride like highwheels...you can't coast...(if you don't know about fixed gear bicycles and you have read this far and did not go to the Wikipedia link above, you are missing out here! You may want to read Sheldon Brown's write up on fixed gear bicycles here)
Fixed gear teaches you how to become the bicycle: You are the gear, you are the brake (for road riding, I use a front brake, but it is not as necessary as you might imagine). You learn to use your body and your technique to locomote yourself. Your body becomes strong. You become a purer, more integral part of the transference of energy into forward motion. The bike needs you as much as you need it. You become one beautiful, powerful expression of movement that is both practical and playful, art and science and human-powered speed.
I am going to be doing a lot more fixed gear riding...and turning other people on to the joy of riding a pure bicycle. Come on and join me.
PS. By the way, my FeelMax Niesas (soon to be available in the US) are excellent bicycle shoes. They work well with my Power Grip High Performance Pedal and Strap Kit.