The other day I stepped out of the bedroom to find Vic in the living room with a hacksaw modifying my rear dropout so that I could install a fixed speed hub and convert my sweet tour bike into something brutal for winter.
Then, sweating, I woke up. Vic sleeping soundly, the clock luminescent at 3:12, and my bike safe in the living room. I’m obviously sick: fixed speed bike lust.
Over the last month, I guess I’ve caught the fad bug that I’ve been mocking for too long. A couple years ago, it seemed the messenger set in brutally hilly Seattle started riding around on fixies, swooping with their architectural drawings and legal documents to a gloved hand brake stop against the skyscrapers downtown. I thought they were insane and still do. But here’s the deal: Boston is flat, my commute it short, and I’m lazy at cleaning my bike, so a fixie would be one way to ride on through the winter. My training book recommends it. Rationalization: yes. With a wind chill under zero, it’s hard to hop on a bike, fixed or not. Of course, the problem with lust is that the more I look around, the less I want the handy winter commuter bomb and the more I want something sexy like this Raleigh. Where in the hell would I ride this in Seattle? And would I feel any more confident that the thieves would leave it alone in Cambridge? How am I going to get the money?
See how invested I am in my illness. Fixie in 2006.