Monday, November 24, 2008

Surprisingly Intimate

Recent fixed gear rides with the cellist have turned into synchronized flights closer than any ride we've shared on multi-speed bikes. Riding identical gears, our rhythms match with every change of terrain.

I'm stronger and have decades more experience, but the fixed gear bike teaches technique unconsciously and rapidly. If you don't hate it in the first fifty yards you will love it within the first 100. So it seems to be with her.

I don't think she's just doing that thing I want that none of the other girls would do. She really seems intrigued. She gets it. If you get it, too, you know exactly what I mean.

She remarked right away on the pleasure of instant control through the pedals. I see her doing things she may not even realize she's doing. The bike shapes the rider if the rider is willing to let it.

After one training ride on the easiest ground, she wanted to go farther on a blustery, cold day. The longer flat ride went farther downwind than I thought was a good idea, so I suggested a shorter alternative with a bit of up and down. She was nervous about that, and the dirt section it included, but she went for it anyway. I knew she had the skills to master it. She had to find that out for herself. With that out of the way, that 15-mile loop can now be one of her standards and the longer ride, with more time on a milder day, will be that much more fun for her.

The turns, the climbs, the descents, the changes of surface called for all the subtle shifts of weight and cadence, the hip-steering and line-choosing a single fixed cog demands. In addition, I maneuvered around her, reacting to her movements in a coordinated dance. As she learns more, she will notice the pleasure of these synchronous movements herself.


getinlost said...

You are a lucky, lucky man.

cafiend said...

One day, one moment, at a time. I wish everyone full measure of the same.