Monday, September 10, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend

What better way to say goodbye than a 45-mile ride through the countryside.

For the past year and a half, I have relied on my creaky old Peugeot bicycle to get me to and from work, traversing the perilous Boston traffic in both 0º winter mornings and 95º summer afternoons, alike. I resurrected the bike from a neglected life in a garage, stripped it to the frame and rebuilt it as a retro-inspired, fixed gear bike. "Fixed Gear" means that only one gear ratio is tied directly between the rear wheel and the crank. In short: if the wheel is turning, you are pedaling. It took about three months to devise a plan and locate the parts to convert this early 70’s French bicycle into a modern, urban commuter with all the bells and whistles.

It is no surprise, then, that I felt a bit of remorse this weekend as I stripped off the wheels, pedals and seat - leaving it helpless on the floor of my apartment - and took the bus to re-fit those parts onto a shiny new, custom-built track frame (more to come later). After serving me so well, I couldn't let it remain an amputee and have decided to replace the missing parts so that Peugeot can retire to a life of leisurely rides through the New Hampshire countryside. The new, nameless bicycle is now faced with the challenge of serving me as well as my old friend has for the last 18 months.

Interested in builing your own fixed gear? My only advice is to start here.

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