Sunday, May 27, 2012

Roses, chivalry, and a single gear.

I cannot come to grips with why, when I think of doing a long, wandering, hard ride into the horizon, that I see myself on the singlespeed.  How romantic of me or what?  How stupid of me or what?

I think of this as I go through a mental check list in preparation for a Memorial Day ride with FFW on his newly acquired SS Salsa scooter.  Not a killer route, but it gets our attention on a geared bike and I think it will be quite adequate to shatter our old legs that day.

I always love a good ride, right?  Who doesn't?  And although riding alone has great perks, good company is sweet indeed and having FFW along makes for something to look forward to.  But honestly, despite the fact that this ride really is not best with one gear at my command, it is the SS factor that excites me the most.

How odd.  How difficult.  How romantic.  Don Quixote would be proud of me. Regarding 'The Don' - "While mostly a rational man of sound reason, his reading of books of chivalry in excess has had a profound effect on him, leading to the distortion of his perception and the wavering of his mental faculties."  Wikipedia knows me all too well, it seems.  Too much chivalry in my diet, no doubt.

I think that, if I rode a bit less within the group dynamic of the angry pack of weekend warriors looking to KOM the trail on 5" travel, geared carbon wunderbikes, and spent more time on my own in the forest, that I would go SS 100% and just live with the downsides.

"Wait...there are downsides?", says the romantic in me?  Rocinante, tell me it aint so?

Then of course, there are bikes to be tested and evaluated and all that and so it goes.  No chance of a 'single' existence. 

I pondered this when I was armpit deep into WRIAD.  I was seriously considering this as an SS ride and the reality of that thought was a bit less appealing after about 8 hours of sandstone and wind.  I was glad to have both gears and squish on that day, but now I find myself thinking that "next time", if there is one, would I go purist and eschew all that fluffery?

I wonder if this is akin to childbirth?  During the delivery and for some time after, reality is right there smackin' you down and the experience leaves you a bit shattered, wary, and not eager to do it again, or so I imagine.  Then time goes by and there is that romantic notion and the pain seems distant and reasonable after all and soon enough you are planning another go 'round.

Maybe I should ride with a red rose in my teeth, dashing cavalier knight that I am.  "Hello, ladies...I ride with one gear, slaying dragons and all that."  But that would not do, no that would not do at all.  I would suck in that rose in some fit of oxygen deprived hoovering and that would be that...aphids and all.  An inglorious end to be sure.

But just a bit romantic, as it should be.

Me and FFW.  I am the taller one on the right. After all, it's my blog.


David said...


This post deserves at least one comment - Excellent. What is it about ss mountain biking that brings out the philosopher in the rider?
This is defininitely one of my two favorites posts on your blog - maybe there is a little ss rider as well as a little Wall-E in all men.


grannygear said...

Thanks, kind sir and fellow gallant knight.

Re WALL-E and SS romantics in us all? Well, one can only hope.