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Old 05-22-20, 07:56 PM
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Location: Madison, Wis.
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Back in 1994, I was a bike mechanic at my home town shop on a quaint main street, and I built up something exotic at the time -- a fixed gear bike with a true track rear wheel, which of course was a tubular. The only problem was there was no lock ring. That stuff was scarce back then. But the collective wisdom was that I could tighten it hard enough so that it was not necessary. It's possible that my technique, at age 18, was not good enough. I thought it was leveraged on there to the point that the threads were about to break. But lo and behold at the end of the summer, I was coming down a hill and I felt myself spin off the cog under hard braking using the only stopping force I had -- the chain, naturally, as I was a purist. I remember a lot of things well. The first time I read Anna Karenina. The birth of my kids. But that moment was also right up there. There I was going down a hill with no brakes. You really feel like the captain of your soul at such a moment. I remember deciding that I could not delay, that I would only go faster. I steered into a deep grassy culvert ditch, plunging down then up over it and into a wooden picket fence. I dislocated my thumb and had a crazy row of bruises across my chest but the overwhelming shock was -- WOW, I'M OK.

I would never ride a bike (again) without brakes if the wheel didn't have a lockring.

Last edited by ljsense; 05-23-20 at 08:11 AM.
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