|Founding members of F.O.C.B.S.|
(l-r) Joe Bob, Anthony, Ray, Johncoe, James
And, it pretty much goes without saying that my new Surly Pugsley is yet another proof of this concept and my commitment to it. But this, dear reader, is not a post about my new Pugsley (though one's coming soon, to be sure).
No, this is a post about the Flagstaff Outlaw Coaster Brake Society, which is a recent creation of my old bike-shop boss, Anthony, who has a super sweet custom made Bomber Cycles cruiser which he likes to ride in the woods now and then, and until now, mostly alone.
Today we met by Facebook-invitation-only at the bottom of Schultz Creek trail for the Society's inaugural ride. Five of us showed up on coaster-brake bikes of varying vintage and questionable suitability to trail riding.
The King he'd been hiding in his trunk-bag for the whole ride, so, before we rolled down the mountain with only our antique coasters to slow us, we sat down for yet another period of well-deserved respite, this time with tasty, if not nearly luke-warm, bevies all around.
Good call, Ray!
The ride down was a hoot! And pleasantly uneventful, even by more appropriately prep'd mountain-bike ride standards: there was no blood, not one catastrophic mechanical breakdown, and zero flat tires!
Quite insightfully, James observed at one point during the descent that "we should put some better parts on these old bikes, maybe a derailleur and some good brakes, and man, then this riding-bikes-in-the-woods-thing could really be fun."
I thought his wry observation was hilarious.
Getting accustomed to using a coaster brake and a big, heavy, long-wheelbased bike with basket and rattly fenders on singletrack really isn't all that hard, just challenging, like anything else new. The only really scary part of the experience comes when your feet both pop off the pedals unexpectedly and you realize in that instant that you've just lost your brakes. Completely.
Fortunately, dragging your feet on the ground to slow your rate of descent works pretty well on most surfaces.
Below is a short video Ray shot of me during our inaugural ride: