Tuesday, August 31, 2010

bomb hills, speed kills back to school tips and tricks


school has already started for me and i'm guessing alot of yous (yeah, i just said yous, you wanna fight me?) just got into fixed gear riding over the summer or just need some guidance over some things having to do with general riding etiquette. so thought that it would be a good idea to do a post of what i've experienced over the years.

1) dont be a dumbass: pt I- check yo'self before you wreck yo'self
this doesnt only count for school in general, but for riding before and after and during (if youre like that) school. just because you have a "KEWL FiiXiiEz" doesnt make you any better than the next schmuck. not only does this make you look stupid, you may attract potential bike thieves. yeah this is to you, you silly high school kid. busting skids into oncoming traffic. oh, and if you have a setup that's flashy or expensive, leave it at home. i bike in your possession is better than a bike that is stolen from you.

2) dont be a dumbass: pt II- know your limits.
if youre not confident about skidding to a stop, then slap a brake on. sure it kills your steez, but at least you wont get killed. if there's a hill going to school, take it on if you can, if not go around it. and dont go out slicing the streets if you dont have the proper means to stop- if you find yourself in an accident where it might seem like youre not at fault, people can manipulate the situation where it seem like youre at fault. think about the  thought process: no brakes, only means to stop is your legs, whipping through traffic, etc.

fixed from David Holfelder on Vimeo.

3) dont be a dumbass: pt III- know the law.
if the law says not to run the sidewalk, take the lane. but be smart about it- stay on the right  (unless youre in a country where the left is the shoulder), and when no one is in the lane, take it. dont hold up traffic for the sake of the law, it pisses people in cars off. and mad people in cars kill cyclists intentionally- they have a few hundred horse power, you have one dude (or dude-ette) power. if the law requires you to have a brake, get one- you dont have to use it if you dont want to. (though i dont legally recommend it) or get a fake coaster brake mount. let's not ruin this fixed gear thing for everybody by pulling a berlin.

a well maintained bike is a bike that will function better and last longer. squirt some chain lube on there, check your bearings every once in a while, make sure your wheels are true, grease shit up, air up them tires... i can tell you, it doesnt matter how expensive your hubs and components and frames are, if it's not maintained it's not gonna run well. hell, i exploded bearings in my previous suzue promax hubs because i ran them too hard. but i digress, fixed gears/track bikes are great for learning basic bike maintenance (less parts = less to learn). oh but be careful before you pull a sliced finger.

5)lock it up: pt I- bigger is better
no, that walmart special combo lock wont cut it. invest in a bigass lock, preferably one with a key. think like a thief, steal the bike with a dinky combo lock or steal the bike that's locked with a towing chain and the front wheel locked via cable. i think he would start sawing at that smaller lock. getting a good lock is an investment, sure it's heavy, but it sure beats the hell out of coming out of a building and finding your bike stolen. and anyway some of these locks come with insurance where if your bike gets stolen, the lock company can give you up to $2000 bucks (which would be great if you had a shitty bike). but then again...

6)lock it up: pt II- do it proper
you wont be getting that insurance money without proper locking technique. ive seen it before, dude locks up his front wheel only, goes to class, comes back with the whole setup gone sans the front wheel thats locked up. with a u lock you can lock up both frame and rear wheel,by threading one end through the wheel, and the other end in the main triangle of the frame. if you can lock the front wheel (with a cable), frame, and rear wheel (with a u lock, or chain), you have a greater chance of deterring thieves.

7)be prepared (for everything)
always bring with you these things: a bike tube (if you get a flat), a bandaid or two (for them boo boos), a 15mm or adjustable wrench (for getting your wheels off), a patch kit (for when that second bike tube fails), a c02 air pump or hand air pump (what, you think you were gonna get home riding on rims?), tirelevers (to get them tires off), a multi tool (for anything else), and (if you can) tweezers (for that chunk of glass stuck in your tire). oh and a couple dollars if you get stranded or need to go to a shop and get yourself a tube. also if your bike gets stolen, have your serial number, make and model, and know how your bike looks like so you can take that up with local authorities. if you can, get it lined up with the national bike registry so if your bike shows up in iowa or something, you'll be notified.

this is all i have right now, but if you have any more to add, please feel free to comment up. have fun out there!



Unknown said...

If I gather correctly, you´re making an example of Cooter and giving him advice on how to not be a dumbass?

"check yo´elf before you wreck yo´elf" and "know your limits"?

J.mika'ele said...

what can i say? i type faster than i think sometimes... =\

Anonymous said...

"if you rear end somebody and hurt yourself and you sue"

does anyone else find this statement absolutely ridiculous? the "don't be a dumbass" article discredits itself before the end of the 2nd paragraph...

J.mika'ele said...

anon: fixed? i dont know, sometimes i miss things.

Raphael said...

big ass lock as in strong ass lock, correct?

bigger shackles are not better.

J.mika'ele said...

Raphael: that may be true, but the name of the game is deterrance. the more menacing and difficult a lock setup looks, the more likely a thief will overlook it and start working on a wimpy looking lock. granted, the wimpy looking lock could be stronger, but thats the one that's going to be attempted....

but then this is all useless when one lacks proper locking technique.

if that makes any sense. =]