Track Bikes Make You Strong
There was a time when I rode nothing but fixed gear, but eventually I became more and more into other kinds of cycling, and these days I’m just as likely to jump on my road bike and go for a spin. I enjoy selecting an easier gear as I climb hills and freewheeling my way down without my legs going like the clappers. Don’t get me wrong, my truest love remains riding track bikes, but when my Charge Plug and I were recently separated – the bike was in transit, and then in storage whilst Dave and I made our way to our new home in Italy – I just rode my other bike and didn’t think too much of it.
Incredibly in the short time I’ve not been riding fixed gear, my legs seem to have gone all weedy, if yesterday’s hill climbing and bombing session is anything to go by. It’s only when you’ve not been riding fixed gear for a while and you go back to it that you realise just how strong it makes your legs, and just how quickly that strength disappears. I actually think riding road bikes too much has made me wimpy!
It’s not for nothing that cyclists used to ride fixed in the winter to build up their fitness – the fact you can’t stop peddling coupled with the brute force required to make your way up (and down) hills mean it’s a great way to increase the power in your legs. And as the bikes are so minimal, they’re easier to clean and you don’t wear through your expensive cassette and derailleur when riding in bad weather. So if you want to get fitter, build strength, improve your pedaling technique and most importantly have a whole heap of fun, put that road bike back in the shed and go for a ride on your trusty fixed gear.
Here’s to a winter of track bikes in every weather and on every terrain!
Pics of me: Dave Noakes, pics of Dave: me