Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Henri Desgrange, worthy of consideration

He wrote in L'Equipe article of 1902,
I still feel that varable gears are only for people over forty-five.
Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer?

We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!

He's so right and yet so many other cycling disciplines have their place too. But I'm not going to defend all the other ways to ride a bike just now.

I love my fixey. It makes me want to see to building a velodrome in downtown Durham. It makes me want to junk all other bikes. Even with platform pedals, I feel more connected to the simple machine than I do to one with a freewheel even when I am clipped in. Fixey is so fun. It's so simple. It's tough. I want to try climbing huge mountains on my fixed gear bike. I want to race on the track. I want to descend with my feet off the pedals and tucked up as close to the saddle as possible as the crank arms fly around and around without my feet catching up and finding their place again until we soar through the trough or valley and gravity begins to slow the machine down just enough so I can stand on the pedals and help stomp up the next hill.
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