Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stupid Human Tricks

I just learned to skid my fixed gear!

Yeah, I know, alert the media and strike up the marching band. But even with four years of coastless riding under my belt, I'd yet to skid, other than one magic moment when a car pulled out in front of me, my reptilian brain took over, and I accidentally laid down a messenger chic rubber streak just to save my own skin. I couldn't replicate it, though -- not that I'd want to under those circumstances.

So tonight, I'm putting the finishing touches on my fixie's much-needed overhaul, tooling up and down the block to make sure everything's settled, and during a test stop, I feel what I think is my cog spinning.

I ride gingerly to the garage, crank down the lockring, and try again. Same deal. And it dawns on me: I'm SKIDDING! So I tear-arse down the block and try it again.


The magic sound of a brand new rear tire being burned up for no good reason. It was like that first time I figured out that a coaster brake's true purpose was not to stop, but rather to leave stripes of tire behind you and impress your 10-year-old buddies.

I won't be making a habit of this, since a) I value my knees, and b) I value my tires. But I confess, I did lay down some wicked skids in front of my house tonight. I even managed a couple pathetic little skip-stops. No 10-year-olds were around to see them, though.

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