16th and Lincoln

March 7, 2008

Waiting to hear from the queen on if I will be going back to London was giving me an ulcer , so I hopped on the bike for a nice relaxing ride. I was also planning on picking up some new cleats.

After a few laps in City Park I headed down town via 16th. As i started spinning down the last hill into town I remembered why I don’t take 16th into town, at the bottom of the hill is Lincoln (one of Denver’s busiest streets), a skyscraper that is placed so there is no way you can see around it, especially from the bike lane, and a stoplight that is always red.

Half a block to the light I lift up a bit, pull hard with my right, kick back with my left and pop, my right foot comes out of the pedal, my left crank crosses the height of its rotation, and swings me down, bashing my balls on the top tube. I grab the front brake, bash my balls on the top tube again, and then get the pedals spinning slow enough that i can clip back in and stop at the light.

As I cross Lincoln, I have a vivid memory of that same hill two years ago on the way home from Macro-Monday, a ritual centered around macrobiotic food, and a generous amount of sake. I was going faster and braking later then I should have. I lost it on some black ice and slid to a stop in the second lane of Lincoln on my side as a cab flew past in the third.

My close calls can be chalked up to youthful ignorance, worn cleats, and too much sake, but it is one of Denver’s most dangerous junctions. The problem is, there is not a good way around it. Colfax/15th is one of those roads you just don’t ride on (like Oxford st.). 17th is the wrong way, and the 5 way junction at 18th is a prime spot for drivers cutting across 4 lanes of traffic with out a glance. 14th is the wrong way, and you cant ride down 13th with out a stop off at City O’ City for a Buffalo Tofu wrap, or checking through the local music section at Wax Trax.

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How To Skid

February 4, 2008

You just finished building your first fixed gear, you take it for a ride, get going fast, and then the car in front of you slams on the breaks, you think stop, then you think how do I stop? Grab your iPhone, and CrashBlog is about to save your life.

1. Find a long empty flat space free of debris, cars, and large pot holes or cracks.
2. get on your bike, feet in the cages/ clipped in, and get going kind of quick. Skidding is a little easier at higher speeds, but it hurts more if you mess up.
3. Deiced what leg you want to have forward, this should be your strongest leg probably your right. If its your left just change left and right in the rest of the instructions.
4. As your left leg passes the bottom of your stroke start to resist the motion of your pedals (push against the forward momentum). This should push you up out of your seat.
5. Lean forward and put your primary sex organ on your stem, your shoulders should not be too far forward of your bars.
6. As your right leg reaches about the 2 o’clock position kick back with your left and pull up with your right leg.
7. Lock your legs. You should now be skidding. If your not don’t worry, just try again and push a little harder.

Practice this a lot before you rely on it to stop you in traffic at full speed. After you get pretty good with your strong foot forward learn to do it with your other foot, this will double the life of your tires. Also practice stopping in different distances, the more weight you put further the longer your skid.

Once you get all that practice skidding and pushing your rear wheel to the left or the right. If your really into practice skidding around corners.

Note: this is just want works for me, it might not work for you I’m not any kind of expert, I just like riding bikes. Be safe ride with a brake unless you are an experienced rider.