Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Singlespeeds: Everyone should have one.

For one reason only - they are an eye opening experience in what one can do with less. I know that some feel that the SS version of a bike is quite possibly blessed by the heavenly hosts and anything other than full rigid SS is to be poo-poo'ed as capitalistic excess.

Silly, that.

But tonite was the, oh, maybe the third real off road ride on the SS Monkey. This one was a very familiar loop, one I ride all the time and I was not alone. I was with a group of friends. I have been feeling kinda slow as of late (see last post), but tonite I felt much better. In fact, I rode steady and strong the whole ride. You know what? Get on top of a gear (or even a little bit behind it) on a SS and you go fast uphill. Really fast. Flying, even. On a moderate section of fireroad climbing, I felt like Lance on this thing.

We regrouped at the saddle, and then the real uphill began, the kind you need to stand up on with an SS. I kinda figured something out tonite. I am beginning to understand the concept of pacing myself and using muscle groups differently to move more efficiently upwards and onwards. I had been treating standing climbs like one big sprint and it was just an endless cycle of ride till I passed out, recover, repeat to the top. Today, I approached the ascents with a bit less pace and allowed the bike to slow down just a notch. My brain was sending out warnings: "Danger, Will Robinson, you are slowing down and will lose all momentum and grind to a halt, fall over, and embarrass yourself. Pedal faster!" I ignored that warning (never liked Lost In Space anyway) and slowed the pace, but increased the pressure on the pedals, bringing more upper body into play. Gotta love those wide, carbon h-bars. It worked. As long as I had traction, I kept moving and even though my upper body was getting worked, I was able to keep my heart rate down enough to make it over the next rise without stopping. I hit the top and thought, "huh...I bet I was faster than on the geared bike." Maybe not, but it sure felt like I was moving well.

One thing for sure. It is an odd feeling of satisfaction when you are surrounded by FS, 27 speed bikes at the top of the hill on your single geared HT. Got me thinking about widening my horizons on this SS bike and seeing what I can do on other, longer rides. Not ready to sell the FS Lenz, I am not stupid, but it is tempting.

First 1x9, now 1x1. Weird. I draw the line at fixie. I swear.


slocaus said...

I draw the line at fixie. I swear.

That fact that it is in your mind means you will have to try it, just to see. ;-)


Enel said...

You are learning. Stick with it. It gets even more addictive. Pace is the key. Traction is nearly unlimited due to the higher gearing, even standing.