No Coasting.. Only Rolling.. On A Roller Coaster Ride..

The road began to become a blur. Everything was spinning at a furious rate; the wheels trying to keep up with the road; the pedals trying to keep up with the wheels; the legs trying to keep up with the pedals. The calf muscles trying to catch up with everything began to cramp up. The legs tried to stop pedaling and get out of the toe clips. No!! The bike began to wobble and headed towards the railing. Hell began to break lose and finally a brain wave escaped the brain that joined the calves in cramping up. Brakes!! Brakes!! A screech and the bike slowed and eventually stopped. I got down and began to breathe again. Phew!!! What a ride!!!

Last night, I flipped the wheel on my Redline925 to the fixed sprocket side and tried riding in the parking lot. Even a simple task of getting on the bike and getting my feet into the toe clips took me a while. Then I almost fell down when the front wheel hit the foot when turning. But after a while I began to get the hang of it.

Today, I decided to try my first fixed gear ride. I headed towards Middlesex. The legs began to smoothly roll and the up hills that I previously struggled to take on with my geared MTB suddenly became less threatening because of the 42/15 ratio. But my real fear was the down hills ‘roller-coaster’ ride that follows every decent uphill effort. With coasting out and only rolling in, the fear was very real. But the first couple of down-hills went by with the legs rolling smoothly. Encouraged by the ease with which I made progress, I headed towards Moretown. That stretched the planned thirteen mile ride into an unplanned thirty mile ride.

I reached Moretown in around 50mins and headed back home. A rather steep climb that nearly stretched 500-600mts on the onward journey meant that there is a serious downhill ahead. Remembering how I was able to handle the previous down-hills, I tried to maintain a smooth motion and continued to pedal. But the pace grew with every second and the spinning became crazy. Calf muscles began cramping up and I almost ended up on the road. Thankfully, remembered using brakes in time and the pleasurable ride remained pleasurable.

After they got a decent workout, the calf muscles are making their presence felt. But, thankfully, the cramps did not get serious. I managed to stop in time on the couple of occasions they began to act up, drank water and moved on.

Ended up covering 29.6miles in 1hr:42mins, at an average of 28kmph. As far as I remember, I only averaged 28 or above only during a couple of furious dashes to reach the rides around Hussain Sagar, when I was late. I never averaged 25kmph in Vermont riding my MTB. I think the increased cadence forced by the fixed gear combined with thinner tires and a relaxed gear ratio helped.

So, I guess, it’s not a bad start to my fixed gear experience.

Today’s route:

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