Thursday, 22 December 2011

Extreme fixie

It's been over eight weeks since the clocks went back; since then I've ridden my bike to work two or three times, so respect to those who cycle all the year round. Since an ill-fated bike ride in the Las Kabacki forest in early 2002, I do not mix cycling with snow on the ground.

Cycle couriers who want to earn money in the busy run-up to the festive season (I read once that 40% of all the work done in the Northern Hemisphere happens between early September and the middle of December) keep on pedalling.

I caught this extremist fixie outside the Deloitte building on Al. Jana Pawła II; absence of any kind of braking mechanism is par for the course, but look at those handlebars! Barely an inch of metal between the stem and the index fingers! I ask whether this makes sense - the idea of shortened handlebars means it's easier to nip in between stationary or slow-moving traffic - but surely the widest part of a bicycle is the rider's hips and shoulders - there's little sense in having handlebars any narrower... Extend your arms directly ahead of you so they are parallel to one another. That's the optimal width for narrow bars. Anything narrower is a pure pose (or in Polish - lans).

This time two years ago:
Poland's worst railway station
(and it's no better two years on. Just two years shabbier.)

This time three years ago:
Last Christmas before the Recession?
(as it happened - no. This one unlikely to be either - in Poland anyway)

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