by Rudy Nadler

"Under every grief and pine, is a joy of silken twine." William Blake

I had a cruel cold last week. #%$&!!! It's January, the sun is shining and it's a brisk 60 degrees.

How long have I run fixed off-road? Bout the same as you, or maybe less. Once I went back. To a freewheel, that is. For a week. My legs were freaked by coasting and bunnyhopping, and the bike felt all out of control on the downhills. I just figured I'm screwed and committed.

I haven't used a rear brake on a fixed setup but once. I didn't like the feel of it adding resistance to my legs. And, since I wasn't using the rear brake, I just got rid of it.

I'm five five and under 130 lbs. Not much of a sprinter, nor a short hill power climber, but make the rides long and steep and I'm happy.

In my mind I have a laconic way of riding. Relaxed, loose, out of the saddle, smiling often.

"Pop." What St. Jon of the bicycle said on Wednesday's night ride.

Life is beautiful man.

Peace, Love, Plants, and Fish Tacos

I rarely change from my 38:18. Even for cross town traffic. If things are long and roadie I might go to the 16t cog on the flipside of the rear wheel. I've done some dirt with the 38:16, but that normally gets me in trouble (washing out, if ya catch my drift).

Tucson's terrain is made of contrasts. Long flat open vistas against mountains. The climbs are often long and steep, and you can ride in the valleys and over plains that have washes to ride, washcrossings to go through, and miles of single track on hard pack. (Avoid contact with cactus.)

Oh, and rims wear long here. Real long. It's cool to you build your own wheels. I was so intimidated about building wheels that well... I didn't do it till this past summer. My first. A Mavic with a Phil Wood fixed/fixed hub.

I was eating a lot of Pho (Vietnamese-style chicken soup) while I had my cold. Blackened ginger, and onion boiled with a whole chicken with jalapenos, hot sauce, and fresh lime. Sometimes noodles. Sometimes not.

"Draw a circle round him thrice, and cover your eyes with holy dread, for he on honey dew hath fed, and drunk the milk of paradise." Coleridge

Amen, Brothers and Sisters. Now let us ride.


Rudy Nadler is an artist and cyclist. We hope to see more of him in

© Rudy Nadler 2004.

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