Getting back in the saddle after the plague of sickness has ebbed somewhat, I got home and found I had no immediate plans and there was time for about 2 hours of riding. Fair enough. I would like a longer ride, but I have another biking engagement tomorrow. So, how to get more out of a shorter ride? Well, I could rent a small child and carry them on my shoulders during the ride or wrap rubber bands around my brake levers and get pedaling....all are silly, masochistic things to do to increase the workout.....or I could ride the singlespeed.
Cuz, I gotta' tell ya, there is a lot of masochism in the whole SS thing. This was really only my second offroad ride on the SS, the other one being a paved 8 mile road climb, so I am just figuring out things. Did I make the right decision on gearing? How about cockpit fit for standing so often compared to the geary?
So tonite I rode a pretty familiar loop and added a bit of climbing to it just to see how the ride felt on the SS. I would like to begin to do more and more of my normal rides this way to see how it compares and, quite frankly, to see how I compare. Can I do it or not? The goal of the SS, besides just the 'why not?' factor, is to toughen up a bit and rack up some fitness in order to ride longer and harder, etc, etc. I really do not expect to be a 100% SS convert. Not because it is so hard, but mostly it is too pokey too much of the time. And hey, gears are good and so is full suspension.
I kinda enjoy the 'stand and pedal till ya pass out...wait...do it again...repeat till you get to the top' aspect. I accept this as an acknowlegement of my level of fitness and I know it will make me stronger. So the hill climbs last night were not too bad, just hard. The downhill singletrack was fine as it was a coast fest, not much pedaling required. The second section was very fun as it rewards less braking and more momentum and I even made the 10' rock studded wall-o-death option in the canyon bottom. Excellent! In fact, I really think this is where the SS Monkey shined the most, dodging through the rough and narrow trail bed in the canyon bottom. That seemed to open the SS's eyes and it all felt fast, nimble, and fun. Later in the eve, back at home, I was reading the new BIKE mag and it was showcasing the Eastern riding areas. The pics of the winding and techy singletracks through the woods just cried out SS. I get it now, at least I think I do.
Back to the ride, after the singletrack I had to pedal home. Maybe 4 miles? Felt like 8. Hamster wheel of death, barely get anywhere, good lord do I have a taller gear here? I really like doing longer loops and I like to ride right out of the house, and a lot of that is on pavement. I guess I could do the dinglespeed thing...meh! That does not appeal to me right now, maybe later. The 32x20 feels very good off road, so I until I get a lot stronger or the hills get smaller, I think that is it.
Anyway, enough rambling. Gonna' ride the Lev tonite. Too chicken to bring the SS to a group ride and I know we are riding from the house a couple of miles to the ride. Not sure if they allow crazed hamsters on this one. I need to find some fellow SSers to hang with. Then we can all suffer together, but until then I do plan on sneaking the SS out on a couple of the local loops with the normal crowd. I bet I can hang and even punish them a bit, one gear and all. At least until we have to pedal back home.