Happiness

For me, I love nothing more than to blast along the urban streets, in and out of traffic, fast turns into street corners and the hustle’n’bustle of crowded places, fast stops and riding along a banked wall near my home. Riding fixed makes me more alert, and I anticipate the movement around me, and judge exactly where my bike needs to be to surive. The simplicity of everything makes me smile…why did I not try racing track 10 years ago.

What makes each of you keep riding your fixie along the streets?

… just because I can …

… and all that s*** Rhino spruiked up above …

I dunno why.

But riding gives me the biggest smile, so I keep doing it.

Speed! Splitting moving trams and busses. Threading the needle with pedestrians. Knowing you are pushing the limits when you pedal clip.

Cause chicks dig it.

I’ve never been in it for the speed, much. What keeps me out there is all the gutter hopping, pedestrian dodging, splitting traffic, trying not to get caught in tram lines, riding two hours without putting a foot down, sprinting starts that get me across intersections before anyone has moved and then going to ride trails on the same bike.

And the people. Whenever I see another fix, I feel like I know part of what is going on inside that persons head. Sometimes that’s conveyed by a simple nod of the head or a wave, sometimes it’s a quick chat.

It’s the feeling that, I can ride in/through/around/over anything, well anything other than 1 in 1 flights of stairs which I haven’t had the balls for yet.

Simply put: riding fixed pushes me and it’s fun.

… and well put …

Belting down a hill, legs going about 1Million RPM’s and having that little zen moment where you are not driving the bike and the bike isn’t driving you.

Becasue it is so fucking cool to be part of a bike minging along.

It is freedom.

To be everything yet nothing at the same time.

TC - That is a pearla!

Love it.

Bike in Red, chick in red. Red goes faster…

It puts me in the zone. Whenever i need to sort of stuff, clear my head, get from place to place. There she is, just chillin in the hallway gagging for a ride. I look after her, she looks after me. To many experiances, too much adventure to sum it all up, i guess it just takes me places no one and nothing else really can. A place where you exist and bike exists and nothing else matters.

Basically sensational.
Pretty much wicked.
Hey look it just the vibe of it.

Its ironic, the comments I wrote in the initial post now seem a tad stupid. The realism of knowing someone who has been hit by a car puts our realative defensiveness wide open, I can honestly say, it will be a while till I am blazing through traffic again.

It has though, giving me a kick up the arse to get better flashing red lights on my bike, and despite years of saying no-way, the purchase of a trandy little reflective vest.

So true Rhino.

Whist its very easy to ride along feeling like your in control (and 99.9% of the time we are), the most important part of riding a bike on the street is to be seen and noticed by the other users of the road.

We all love the ebb and flow of the traffic, the thrill of just squeezing between two rearvision mirrors and blasting away from the cars.

And we are in control! We love this! We’re free. We’re Happy!!

But what we can’t control is everyone else.

Bright lights, and bright clothes are a must. I won’t be riding round in my warm thick black jacket at night this winter. I like you will have the reflective pack away jacket!

It puts it all in perspective doesn’t it?

I’d even modify your term to ‘complete defenselessness’.

If you drop into ‘Save City’ over at Cannon Hill shopping centre, opposite Paddys market (fruit and veg) there’s a place called Trad’s Liquidation Centre. They have cheap reflective vests IIRC, like $5.

I run a Cateye LD-1000 with two banks of 5 hi intensity leds, usually one bank steady, one flashing, very bright. I’m also going to add some reflective vinyl tape to the seatstays/chainstays and rims to try and ward off useless QLD drivers. (Though fat lot of good it did Nath).

I wouldn’t agree about ‘complete defensiveness’ but I think our best defense is our own wits and riding skills.

Regardless of your skills, wits, bright reflective clothes or anything else, sometimes you can just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let’s not let Nath’s terrible misfortune convince us all that cycling is too dangerous.

Poor choice of wording on my behalf…I will always love riding my fixxie.

Rhino "fixxed for life’…

I wouldn’t say it’s too dangerous, in some countries, it’s safer than driving! It’s definitely safer than plain old living (more likely to die from many many other things than a bike related incident)

But we should probably pause and look before blitzing that next red light.

There are some decent webpages with stats on injuries and fatalities for different countries and vehicle types, but here are a few numbers from the RTA (2001) for NSW.

Casualties (all types)
Killed 524 (QLD 324, VIC 444)
Injured 29913

Fatalities/100000 people: 8 (Q:8.9 V:9.2)

Cyclists killed: 13 (Of those, 9 were aged 5-20)

(Bad year, but not as bad as 1960 with 42! Consistent drop after 1990 with compulsory helmets)

Cyclists killed with helmets: 7

Cyclists injured: 1142

Fatalities (all)/100 million vehicle km have been dropping over the years, from 5.6 in 1963 to 1.0 in 2000. Due to the lack of speedos on bikes, we can’t calculate bike fatalaties/100mill km.

Of the total fatalities, cycle deaths represent 2.48% (injuries 3.82%), and you can bet that there’s nothing like 2.5% of the total kms covered in NSW in a year done on bikes, so the fatalities/100mill km are obviously higher. Subtract the young kids run over by parents not looking, idiots not using helmets, lights at night, riding on the wrong side of the road/drunk and the numbers would come down significantly.

Could you imagine the public outcry if 1737 Aussies died every year in Iraq? Yet we (the royal we) tolerate it on the roads year after year as we’ve accepted it as a necessary risk that goes along with enjoying our automobiles and the freedom they provide. Bizzare.

Enough of the somber numbers.

Blakey.

Hasn’t this thread entitled ‘Happiness’ all become a lil somber.

We all are safe riders. We all enjoy our riding.

Next time your out alone, the air is still, its dark, its quiet and you think about your mates who’ve had a bike accident, make sure you just think how much your enjoying this moment and how much they enjoy them. There is a reason why your there on that bike.

Its rare these days to find time alone for your own thoughts. To be happy in your own company away from the complexities of a modern commercial world.

But we all find it nearly every day of the year. At some point on a road somewhere, in a different place every day. We are lucky people.

Keep smiling fellas!!

Lats

Mastering the backwards circle made me happy, that an pulling a no-hands skid without getting bruised or falling off. NO where near being able to light a smoke like in that video clip…