Thursday, October 4, 2007

Just another day commuting

Two things that happened with 3 minutes of each other riding home the other day:

1) A wanna-be fixed gear freestyler is trying to trackstand at the light in front of me, but he doesn't know how to do it so he's twisting his bars back and forth and rolling forward super-slowly. Then, the light turns green, and he responds by falling over because he can't get out of his toe clip.

I laughed at him as he lay on the ground, but it was a nice kind of laugh. He knew he deserved it.

2) Not even a mile later, the guy in front of me almost gets cleaned out by the car-turning-left-through-stopped-traffic move.

He shouts something expressing his surprise, fear, and disgust as he slams on the brakes.

The car that almost hit him stops on its way down the side street, the driver leans out the window and yells, "I DIDN'T SEE YOU!"

The guy responds with "THAT'S OK!!" and rides off happily.

And they say bikes and cars can't get along.

Unrelated news

Protip: Rotary Park is on top of a hill, and there's not enough flat ground up there for a cross race. I've done a MTB short track there and we had like, 4 steep climbs per 6-minute lap. Remember to bring your legs if you're racing in Maine Saturday. And put down the ice cream.

8 comments:

FELTSLAVE 10/05/2007 9:06 AM  

My commute is more, shall we say 'urban and country like', but when I ride my fixed I hit one light. On occasion my track stand looks good, and sometimes it looks bad, but one thing is consistant, I am not really sure the right way to manage the stand. Net of practice time, any tips on how to place the front wheel on a fixed?, or more simple to unclip?
Good job at the VT 50. Sounded like pain, but solid job finishing.

Colin R 10/05/2007 9:37 AM  

Ah, a trackstand question! Excellent.

I do all my trackstanding on a road bike, but I think it's basically the same on a fixie.

I learned how to trackstand on a steep hill. A really sloppy trackstand, after all, is just riding up a hill till you stop, then rolling backward a bit, then riding forward a bit, etc etc. As long as you can get your balance back going forward, you're all good.

The less steep the hill is, the less you roll back, and the better your balance and adjustment needs to be. Eventually, your balance during the roll-back phase gets good enough that you can also use it to correct your lean. And then you have all the tools to do a trackstand -- roll to a stop with the front wheel 45 degrees in whichever direction you like. Legs basically straight. If you're leaning to the right (with the wheel pointing left), roll the bike backward to keep it under you. If you're leaning left, pedal forward.

On a road bike you need a slight incline, because you can't pedal the bike backward. On a fixie you can do it even on perfectly level ground.

But the key is to get comfortable with the bike rolling backward underneath you.

And it's always simpler to unclip, but slower of the line and a hell of a lot less fun!

gewilli 10/05/2007 10:03 AM  

Trackstanding is for retards.

Take the opportunity to work on your cyclocross starts.

Foot down... Explode.

#1 gets ya good at clipping in, nothing really more challenging to clip into a fixed gear

#2 conditions the start response

#3 prevents you from looking like you are getting intimate with your bike before you fall over and looks silly.

:-D

just don't trackstand, m'kay?

TomN 10/05/2007 10:05 AM  

Thanks for the ProTip, sounds like Casco Bay will have plenty of climbing and/or run-ups. Should be brutally fun :D

Colin R 10/05/2007 10:12 AM  

G-

Would it be legal to start a CX race trackstanding? Because that would be awesome.

You're right about missing chances to practice clipping in. I can't say I've ever had much trouble with it, but yeah if you eat-sleep-breathe cross then you could probably practice starts at lights. But of course you won't look as cool.

josh 10/05/2007 12:29 PM  

protip.....wow. shouldnt you bring the legs to every race?

Colin R 10/05/2007 12:51 PM  

josh: i was hoping that most people would figure out that a "protip" from a guy who can't even remount might be a little bit in jest.

josh 10/05/2007 10:57 PM  

guess what i learned how to do today?

remount. no stutter step.

get with the program. stutter step = lamesauce.

that said, ill prbly somehow forget it overnight and do it all weekend.

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