Yesterday was the day I rode my new fixie for the first time. Now I get it.
I bought the jet black Felt Brougham in a crime of passion at the Madison Bike-O-Rama a couple of weeks ago. Since then the weather has not cooperated so much. But this morning, with temperatures soaring into the 40’s and most of the ice gone, I pulled my new bike out of my basement. And in an act of supreme optimism for a guy who has spent his entire life in Wisconsin and understands the cruelty of April, I hung up my sturdy winter ride, a mountain bike with fenders and studded tires.
I was a little concerned about how the fixie (and my knees) would perform on the slight hills between my house and the UW campus, where I was headed today. But it was no problem.
Compared to the winter monster, my fixie flies like the wind. But that’s not what’s cool about it. It’s the simplicity that I love. At first I kept looking for the gear shifters, but once I convinced myself that they weren’t there I forgot about it. And just rode
And that’s it. The fixie is about just riding. No worries. No decisions to make. The simple joy of moving yourself forward. It’s not so much a bike as a philosophy. It makes little sense from a practical standpoint and it makes all the sense in the world to a person’s soul.
Happy spring. Just ride.