Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Study in Contrasts... and a ride!

So today, like most days recently, I rode to work on my newly built "Tim-built" bike... actually, here and now I should just come out and announce that if I can get things together to produce more frames and bikes, I plan to do it under the name of "Goshawk Cycles". I've always had a fascination with raptors, and the Goshawk is fast and agile, something I think is good in bicycles!

Anyway, after work, with plenty of daylight left, I thought I'd go for at least a short ride. And for a change of pace, I thought I'd ride my Fuji Track Bike. As I was getting ready for the ride, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of them both in the rack outside the shop. The bikes are just so different, I thought it an interesting tableau.

The Fuji, on the left, is about as pared down as a bike can get. Okay, the track bike purists would leave off the front brake, but I like having it there for safety's sake. Otherwise it's a straight, fixed gear drive train... no shifting, no coasting, just a seemingly direct connection between feet and wheel. No extraneous parts, no frills, just a bare, light, fast bike.

The Goshawk, on the other hand, is about self-supported travel in a wide range of conditions... pavement and dirt, fair weather and foul. So we've got fat tires, full coverage fenders, racks, and a saddlebag, as well as the ability to carry more bags for overnight trips. The kind of bike you can load up with tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, etc., and head out on a long, long adventure.

Both are great fun to ride, and it's fun to have such variety in my little squadron of bikes. And for this evening's short ride, the Fuji was just the ticket. The fixed gear forces one to keep pedaling at all times, and also requires more of you on climbs. In addition, you use some different muscles in riding fixed, as part of the time you are using your leg muscles to slow the bike. A lot of fun, a bit of a challenge, and a great change of pace.

It was a lovely evening too. The deer were out in force, and the frogs were singing. Alas, gnats have also begun to make themselves known, and I was swatting them off my arms from time to time. But it was worth it to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of a warm spring evening. The lowering sun on the trees, especially the dogwoods, was particularly pretty, as you can see here.

After the ride, I noticed one other spring phenomenon... see the closeup of the Fuji frame here? See the light dusting of green? Yep, you guessed it... pollen! I was out on the bike less than an hour, and enough pollen had settled on it that it was clearly visible against the red paint, and on the black tires! Amazing. It makes me grateful that I don't suffer from allergies... and sympathetic to those who do.

Finally, I headed home, once again on the Goshawk... and while it's not as light and swift as the Fuji, it's a wonderful ride. Stable and sturdy, without feeling stodgy. I have to admit, I'm very pleased, and rather proud that a bike I made has turned out so well. Here's to many more!


doc said...

The green with tan accents is really growing on me. Very classy and understated. Goshawk is a good choice.

Tim said...

Thanks Doc! Always good to get your input.

Tarik Saleh said...


You have a fuji pro track too? I so want that bike. Since, like, 1986.

Anonymous said...

If you come to visit, please wipe the pollen off before unloading your bike in my shed.


Thank you.

And now that you've "outed" your intentions, it's high time to design a decal set, yes?
And tee-shirt. Mustn't forget the schwag to keep the natives happy...

Tim said...

Tarik -

Well, technically an "Intermediate Track"... at least that's what the Fuji catalog says for 1981. Funny, as it's the ONLY track model in that catalog. Doesn't "intermediate" imply there's something higher? And I have wanted one of these about as long as you have. We have remarkably similar tastes in bikes. Separated at birth?

Tim said...

Beth -

Duly noted on the pollen! I'll make sure I don't import any to you, you have plenty out there as I recall.

Anonymous said...

hey, i came across your blog wile looking for some info on my bike

i also have a 1981 Fuji Track bike, but other than knowing what year it was made and other small info like that i dont know much else about the bikes, and youre the only other person ive seen with one

what is the current going rate for one of these? unless im looking in the wrong places i would have to assume its a bit of a rare find?

if you could email me that would be great

heres a picture