I rode the Schwinn to work today. It was a much better and less physically taxing ride than the last commute. The repacking job might have done the trick! Of course, it may have something to do with the ~27 mile brisk group ride I did on Saturday with time to recover, or that the temperature was a pleasant 20s or 30s instead of single digits with -10°F wind chill, or some benefit of the fixed gear. Y’know, little details like that….
It was an interesting adventure… The fabled mystical connection between fixed-gear cyclist and bicycle hasn’t developed yet: for the first few miles, it was more like the bike would clear its throat pointedly and try to toss me in the air when I tried to coast. That only happened about five times, then my legs relaxed a bit more, and kept moving. Since they kept moving, they kept pushing a little bit, and I made very good time home, a roughly 12 mph average speed. I wasn’t too tired, although my legs were a little shaky after a half hour of near solid spinning.
I need to get fenders on this bike before I do that again. I hadn’t needed them before, but today’s ride was a mixture of slush, puddles, and puddles of slush with occasional patches of dry pavement (or ice, which at least has the decency to stay put on the road), a lot of which wound up in a nicely-defined brown line down the seat of my pants. Of course, I had taken my spare clothes from the office home a couple weeks ago, since I hadn’t been using them. I just tried not to walk away from too many people at the office. That worked OK, but fenders are more effective