[CR] fixed wheel with brakes.

(Example: Racing:Jean Robic)

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 12:11:34 -0700
From: "Colin Laing" <colin_laing@yahoo.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR] fixed wheel with brakes.

Regarding the note from Mark Lawrence,,,r.e Norman Taylor on his fixed wheel, this only came about in later years...when I began work there, the three brothers all rode on gear bikes, Osgears as a matter of fact, I showed up for a job on my fixed wheel bike ( since that's all I had), it was a "badge" that I was not in the B,L,R,C, or the massed start racing fraternity.I was in an N.C.U club and didn't know that becoming a cyclist also meant entering Politics.It was the mother of Jack, Ken and Norm who took me to task and I was in a bind because they had disbanded their club ( the Teesside R.C.C). It was Ken who convinced me to re-start the club , do away with my fixed bike and begin road racing...Ken let me have a set of his wheels, Norman loaned me his complete bike and a chap ( friend of theirs), named Keith Brown...gave me a heap of used tubulars to mend and use. I still used the fixed wheel bike to ride to and from work as it was a good 15 miles each way and often, in the Winter, would be riding on ice and snow....much easier  to avoid falling by slowing down the pedalling than braking.In fact from October until early March, everyone switched to fixed wheel to go away to Scotland "Youth-Hostelling" , to relax from the road-racing season. Norman later on joined the Hardriders and quite a few of their members did the fixed wheel thing and to be honest, in our area of the planet, we needed two brakes, for the climbing position and also the ultra steep descents...to only have one brake, or non at all would be suicide, especially riding in a tight bunch , even towards the end of his life, he still had his fixed bike for local jaunts, the three brothers were an inspiration and help to anyone who was interested. Up until very lately ( when illness forced me to stop riding), myself and a large group of guys here in the Phoenix area would go out once a month on rides ( up to 100k.m's), up and down the mountains on our curved tube fixed wheel bikes that I had made.....with two brakes. Please go to the Taylor Expo in Seattle in March and have Ken regale you with stories of the golden age of British cycling...it will be worth the trip...unfortunately, I'm too ill to make the effort... COLIN LAING, CHANDLER, ARIZONA, U.S.A