Early 2005 saw the coming of a fresh winter coat on my Trek road bike, courtesy of Joanne Fabrics. People stared, kids wanted to touch it and it felt good to straddle in the nude. It made many appearances around town and received such memorable comments thrown my way, like “Hey it’s Big Bird!”, “Is your bike warm?” and the classic “How fur are you riding?”. Oh we laughed and laughed…
Since nothing is constant but change, it came time to shave the dirty, greasy hair and free the steel steed once again. After using about half a gallon of Goo Gone to remove the 3M brand spray adhesive that snugly held the fur in place, I was convinced that spray glue is evil and I will never ever work with it again (or until inspiration strikes for a new fur bike). In place of fur went numerous bike related decals to separate my bike from all the other red ’84 Trek 660s out there.
I found my groove during the stripping process and continued on to the last remaining brake on the bike. The front brake and brake lever were unbolted from the bike and dispatched to the spare parts bin. Being a fixed gear bike, this meant that my only means of stopping would be the ginormous leg power of yours truly. I have seen bike couriers ride like this but have never tried it on my own. This morning’s run for coffee on the Blvd would be the first test of the brakeless beast, and as Murphy would have it, turned out to be one of the sketchiest rides, traffic-wise that I’ve had lately. Drivers pulled stunts that kept me on my toes, hop-skid stopping and sprinting as needed to avoid getting a close-up view of their oil pan drain plug. But I passed the test and the bike shall remain brakeless for the time being.
Disclaimer: the Pucker Factor (PF) is high, around 8.5 so please kids, don’t try this at home. Well, try it at home, just not in 4 lanes of last minute Christmas shoppers with one hand on the cell phone, one hand on their gingerbread latte and a knee on the steering wheel.