Training Run #2 and Fixed gears

Training run # 2 and I’m back in San Francisco.  I’m already starting to dread to the next 80-odd runs I will have to do in windy, foggy San Francisco.  I will have no shot at becoming a world-class marathon runner if I have to train in such conditions.  At least I have the beauty of the Mission District to run through in lieu of warm sunny weather.  I would gladly trade sunny/warm/glorious for blatant drug deals/trannies walking little dogs/fixed gears.

Because, that is what you get while running through the Mission.  To be quite honest, I was fairly surprised by the lack of overt drug deals I saw as I crossed through the 16th and Mission corridor of doom.  Only two open exchanges as I cruised through.  But what really got me was the sheer volume of fixed gears as I ran down Valencia.

From Duboce to 30th Street, I counted no less that 17 fixed gears cruise by me.  (I also saw two locked to parking meters.)  By my calculations, that is 1.187 fixed speeds per block on Valencia over the span of about 15 minutes.  This confuses me.  Throughout the course of history, we humans have made many advances in technology to make our lives more comfortable, more efficient, and generally just easier to endure.  We created the wheel to move things and transport ourselves.  Fire kept us warm and the steam  engine allowed the travel of immense distances by land and sea. Most recently, WiFi has unleashed the joy of bidding on eBay auctions while eating bon bons on the sofa in our underwear.

That is why I don’t understand fixed gears.  I could maybe understand fixed gears if everyone rode their bikes around smooth oval tracks all day.  But San Francisco is about the farthest thing from a smooth oval.  Wouldn’t you want a bike that made your life easier. Easier to ride up all those hills.  Are gears that bad? I mean, what is so bad about being able to shift into a higher gear to easily pedal up a hill?

That is what I thought about during Training Run #2.  Are gears really that bad?  Maybe a fixie with a beard, skinny legs, keys jangling from the belt, and iceberg lettuce bursting out of his Chrome bag could explain this to me.  That would be nice.

Training Run #2, The Mission, San Francisco – 4.03 mi, 9.28 min/mi

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March 2008
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Miles I’ve Run Since Getting Roped Into Running the San Francisco Marathon on March 23, 2008:

322.53

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