Fwd: [CR]Politically Correct Fixed Gearing

(Example: Racing)

To: Classic Rendezvous <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
References: <272489AD-2AD6-440C-960C-816D3DA1D3E5@mac.com>
From: "Mark Fulton" <markfulton5@mac.com>
Subject: Fwd: [CR]Politically Correct Fixed Gearing
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 18:50:47 -0700

Begin forwarded message:
> From: Mark Fulton <markfulton5@mac.com>
> Date: July 21, 2007 11:08:57 PM PDT
> To: "Steven M. Johnson" <grisha2@juno.com>
> Subject: Re: [CR]Politically Correct Fixed Gearing
> Hi Steve,
> Good movie, thank you, and great fresh California sea bass. Now
> then, I know you only asked about gearing for grass track racing,
> but I want to tell you a little about the racing. It's my all-time
> favorite bicycle racing from a competitor's viewpoint. Sure, racers
> fall a lot, but seldom if ever get hurt. I started grass track club
> racing as a junior, just after World War II, mostly on improvised
> courses set up on the grounds of local VA hospitals in Ohio. The
> really big time races were held on country club golf courses.
> Courses were marked using those baseball- diamond and football line-
> marking things that dispense lime or whatever. The VA hospital
> races were great fun\u2014once we got used to spectators mostly being
> young men in wheel chairs. Family and friends, theirs and ours also
> attended. The competition was less like track racing and more like
> road racing in slow motion. The races were organized much like
> motorcycle flat track races with short maybe five-lap heats where
> the racers went as fast as they could from start to finish. There
> was lots of leaning on each other and banging elbows in the turns
> followed by fierce side-by-side sprints of maybe 50 yards at most.
> The vets especially enjoyed being right next to the action and were
> unquestionably the most supportive fans I've ever experienced. To
> say that rough riding was encouraged would be an understatement.
> The bikes were regular track bikes, mine was a Swiss-made Seiber.
> The only differences were the gearing\u2014which we often had to change
> with the terrain and even the grass texture, length and so on, and
> the tires. We mail ordered special grass-only sew-ups from England
> I think. I don't remember the brand, but the treads were somewhat
> like current cyclocross tires. The first time I saw the current WTB
> Allterrainasaurus tires, I thought "grass track." Actually if I
> were going grass track racing today, I'd probably try a fixed-gear
> 29er with chopped riser bars. But then you should know that later,
> as a professional motorcycle road racer, I was known as "the guy
> who rides all the wrong bikes." (Successfully.)
> Mark Fulton=09
> "The Older I Get, The Faster I Was"
> Redwood City
> California