So, you've already heard about my friend Tanner and his adventures in Europe. Well it's not enough that just one of my friends is off in Europe having a grand old time. This is Jake and his new touring bike, as we speak he is likely pedaling it through Croatia. Jake is pretty new to road cycling, in fact before he left for the trip his longest ride was about 50 miles. But he is the kind of guy who just like to roll with it. After he graduated from Skidmore he spent a year ski bumming it in Montana. Now he's doing a five week bicycle tour through eastern Europe ending in Italy. I hadn't heard from him in a while and he ran into my wife while at the beach. She told me about his plans and that he was back in town. So of course I called him up and told him we were going for a ride.
This was Jake's maiden voyage on his fully loaded rig. A test ride if you will, he picked me up that morning and we set out from his parents place. That's his dad on the recumbent, he can't ride more than a few miles on a standard bike without experiencing back pain so for him recumbent is the way to go. The plan for the day was to go 50 miles, which we did slowly. To anyone out ridding who may have encountered our little posse we were certainly a sight to behold. I can just imagine the stories, "Yah I was out ridding the other day and I saw these three guys out ridding together. One on a recumbent, a road racing bike, and a touring rig. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what the fuck was going on". Good times.
Jake had also never ridden or even really heard of a fixie before. So the last time we rode together before he left, I figured I'd blow his mind a little and let him try out my 17 pound steel magic carpet. For someone who has never ridden one he took to it quickly. After the initial shock, of the "oh shit I can't stop pedaling" he hit the open road and was off and running. We had just ridden earlier and Jake was on his touring bike which even loaded still had considerable heft of the bike. But once I got him on the single speed, it was like he hit warp speed. He was cursing at least 5 miles an hour faster. But I guess losing 8 pounds off your bike and rolling on some aero wheels will do that for you, by the end of the ride Jake was already thinking about his next bike.