*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What a difference a few inches makes.

Misleading?  I am talking about gear inches on a fixed-gear bicycle for commuting through Tokyo.

I was running a 44 tooth chainring on a 16 tooth cog: 74 gear inches.  I can easily cruise in that, but coming off of the many red lights in Tokyo, and a hill at the end of twenty kilometers, it was a little higher than I wanted.  I switched the chainring for a 42 tooth, which though only 5% easier has made those two things much easier.  I do find myself getting spun-out sometimes, but that's the price you pay.  Suppose it is good for my souplesse.  Fact is I just needed to use that headline for a post.

Here's the best reason to ride fixed: never look away from traffic.  The real reason I have not had an accident yet ('knock on wood') is that I do not look down to shift, especially when I have no other gears, do not look down to clip into my pedals, and do not look at a map/GPS while moving, or when getting my water bottle.  These and a decent sense of propinquity.  Look ahead and shoulder check, and assume nobody's looking for you.

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