Friday, March 27, 2009
I've banged out my message.
And my message to you is this - one gear conquers all, which is another way of saying faith in equipment replaces faith in oneself.
Thanks everyone for reading KISL.
Ride bikes - climb mountains - skate the big hills - surf the oceans.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Gelato is geared relatively low (44 x 18, 66"), which is light on the knees, fast on the hills.
When I go riding with my geared buddies, I know I can't attack on the flats, 66" is not a big gear.
So I wait for the hills and then I attack.
Single speeds are faster for sure on the hills as compared to geared bikes (most of the time). This is where I gain time on my buddies.
Of course, they all catch me on the downhill, but that's life on a single speed my friends.
You take what the road gives you, no more, no less.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
That means that I'm just riding with one brake, and that would be the front brake.
But that's not really a problem you see.
Fixed gear riding is all about control - speed up or slow down by applying pressure to the pedals.
Single speed is more about momentum - keep your speed up so that you can make it over the next big hill.
So when Gelato and I are freewheeling it, I really don't use the brake except in heavy traffic because braking just slows you down anyways.
Make momentum your friend and ease up on the brake(s).
Monday, March 16, 2009
We were perfect together, her & I.
Sadly she passed away in 2007 of a broken frame.
The replacement frame & fork never felt quite right to me.
I don't love the "new" her anymore. In fact, I haven't loved her for the last 2 years.
I'm not sure if I could ever love again, but a new road bike may mend a broken heart.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Well, due to school, work and being really sick, my fitness is nowhere to be found.
I'm in prison.
But that's OK. I'll do my time, put in the miles and pay my dues to society. I'll suffer thru the painful process of rebuilding oneself.
But when the warden sets me free for good behavior, I'll rip it up for sure.
Monday, March 02, 2009
It's because I'm content and happy with a single gear. Let me explain further - riding a single speed places certain limits on you.
Based on what gearing you select, you are only going to go so fast, the hills will always be a struggle and you'll spin out on the downhills for sure.
With a multi-gear bike, there is always this need to push oneself faster by shifting up to the next cog and so forth. It's like you have this constant mental pressure on yourself.
Don't get me wrong, I love speed and I can hold my own with the best of them while riding Gelato, but once I reach my cruising speed, I tend to sit back and enjoy the ride.
It's like when you visit some tropical island, after a few days of relaxing, you're on "island time".
Riding a 1-gear bike is a lot like being on "island time", which is not a bad place to be.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Airline travel is so common these days, it's like taking the bus. It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when people used to travel across country on the DOG (aka the Greyhound bus).
Here's my story about the DOG.
Roman Holiday boarded the DOG in upstate NY with my climbing gear and a jar of peanut butter, headed West via Rt. 80. About 3.5 days later, I was sleeping next to a river in Yosemite Valley with a nearly empty jar that same peanut butter.
Was it worth the 3.5 days sitting on my butt?
Heck yeah, I saw the land scape of the USA. I ate at truck stops. I met funky people along the way. I took showers in restroom sinks.
It was my own personal "Travels with Charlie".
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Go ahead & grab a beer, & let me take you back to the days before crashpads. First of all, you had to learn how to fall without breaking an ankle. You also had to known how to down climb if you ran into a dead end [editor's note: down climbing is a lost art these days].
In a nutshell, bouldering was a bit more dangerous & you had to be a bit more committed to the boulder problem at hand.
But I guess one could make the argument that with a crashpad, one can do higher problems. And I guess I agree with that to a certain extent, but in my mind, crashpads have soften the sport of bouldering.
Bouldering is the most pure form of rock climbing; it should stay uncluttered.
And yes, I don't own a crashpad.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Yeah sure, it's great to go for training rides and do some races here and there, but for me, I like to combine a little adventure with the bike.
Case in point -> Fall 1985: two poor college kids buy tickets to see The Clash. We throw a 12-pack on my bike rack & my buddy, who is missing brakes for his bike, pedal 25 miles to a ferry, cross Lake Champlain to Burlington, VT and watch The Clash in fine form.
Next morning, dragging a bit, we pedal home just in time to miss Calculus class.
The point is: adventure can be had with a bike, a little bit of money and a good outlook on life. You don't need all that fancy stuff to have fun.
And the kicker is, I still have my ticket stub from that concert and that buddy is still a close friend of mine. Priceless.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Monday, December 08, 2008
It took me a while to figure out the traffic flow in the City of Brotherly Love, but once I found my groove, I did enjoy riding my bike on the same streets that our Founding Fathers once rode on.
On the downside though, while I was doing a trackstand at an intersection, waiting for the light to change, some dude just punched me in the chest for no particular reason.
Where's the love bro?
Anyways, there's lots to do in Philly with the bike, so check it out if you got the time.
Just be careful of that sucker punch.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Something popped in my mind.
You see, Roman Holiday is the same exact bike I had in college 26 years ago. Back then, my nightly routine consisted of: study in the library until about 11 pm and then a few "buckets" of beer at the college pub, which was located below the library.
Then around midnight or so, I would hop on Roman Holiday for a quick 5-minute ride home. Unlocking my bike and riding home, while hitting all of the green lights, was the best part of my day.
Back to present.
I get my buddy back on a NYC-bound train and then I unlock my bike. With a few pints in my belly, I saddled up on Roman Holiday and blow through town. I'm home in no time.
As I'm flying through town, I am instantly transported back to my 1980's college days.
Bikes remind you of the past and move you forward at the same time.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Rock, rock, rock'n'roll high school
'Cause that's not where I wanna be
Rock, rock, rock'n'roll high school
I just wanna have some kicks
I just wanna get some chicks
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock'n'roll high school - THE RAMONES
The 2 sports that I love, mountaineering & cycling, both have long track records. My house is filled with climbing and bike books.
Knowing your place in history is important.
Without knowing who came before you, it's hard to move forward.
And plus, it keeps you from thinking that you're hot stuff. Lets say you just did a rad first ascent, you may be surprised to find out that your "first ascent" was done 40 years ago using crappy gear.
History keeps you honest.
So read your books & enjoy your sports knowing that you might be making history someday yourself.
but i know i can't last.
i'm not sure how long i can hang on
pretty soon they will be gone.
please don't leave me behind
that won't be very kind.
road racing is not fair
but who really cares.
i didn't make the cut
so now i go home and spend time with my mutt.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I've seen skateboarding go from surf-style to pools/ramps to street. And it's all good. But last week I was reading the Transworld Skateboarding magazine in my local library and I noticed that it was focused 99% on street skating.
This is a shame.
Skating means different things to different people and it would be great if all flavors of skating were represented in this way too glossy magazine.
I also noticed (which was hard to miss) that most of the magazine was filled with one polished advertisement after another selling clothes and shoes (lots of shoes). I thought folks just skated in Puma's, Van's or Chuck Taylor's.
When did skateboarding get so fashionable? Did I forget to buy a ticket for that bus?
Street skating is "in" these days, but everything always comes full circle (i.e., back to their roots). You can sort of see this with more & more longboards out there.
Enjoy it all.