Tuesday, May 27, 2008

back on the horse

I took 15 days away from mountain biking after bombing the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde.

Lots of time on tarmac since then, and let's not forget how good that can be for fitness. I did a couple 4 and 5 hour rides that left me pretty gol-darned shelled.

My ribcage is feeling quite a bit better. I can stand on the bike now.

So for my Monday ride this week, I decided to dust off the singlespeed for a little dirt and singletrack. And it was good. And I did not crash!

One of the really good parts of my ride yesterday was running into my friend Matt. He was on a Backyard Bicycles rigid bigwheel singlespeed with rim brakes. Damn nice bike, but without all the technology. I had been thinking about something all the way up the climb that Matt caught me on. It was about how fast my Lenz is, and how fast I ride it. Slamming along in a 44/15 gear, on a bike that is capable of soaking up whatever at that speed--how long before you get yourself in trouble. Well, look at my history since I've been on that thing.

So that was on my mind, then Matt came up and we had a conversation about how much faster modern bike technology is taking us, and the implications of that. When you crash, it's bigger and badder.

OK, this has become so cliché, but here it comes. What if all I rode was a singlespeed? Hardtail singlespeed--no big ring to drive me over 20 mph, no sophisticated rear shock to keep that wheel on the ground when I'm going faster than an antelope with a lion chasing it.

I know what's going to happen here, 90% of you out there are going to give me a big ol' RIGHT ON MAN and welcome me to the 1FG tribe. Maybe that's not so bad.

I dunno. I guess I better go try to ride up the Bear Creek Road (local hunk of Rocky Mountain puke-inducing jeep road climb) to see if I can hack it without a granny gear then think about it some more...


Chris said...

I love my rigid single but there is still a place for gears and FS :) You can always just ride a little slower. haha.

I guess that doesn't mean much from a guy who doesn't own any modern MTBs at the moment.

Gary B. said...

OK, right on brother... seriously, I think you're on to something. I know I am slower on the down hills than my buddies on their FS rigs but I think I'm having more fun than they are, and I KNOW my bike is much easier to maintain. A couple of suggestions- don't expect to climb like you can on your gearie till you give the single speed six months of dedicated riding. Then you'll be amazed what you CAN ride. I'd also suggest losing the suspension fork and Thudbuster, but that's just me. Keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

Wow Tom.... I think Gary and I were separated at birth. I was going to say almost exactly what he wrote.

I value my testicles too much to put anything scissor-action that close to them.

Grizzly Adam said...

Some days a SS is perfect. And you think that you will never, ever ride gears again. But other days gears and suspension are perfect, and you think you will never ever ride the 1 speed again.

It's great having the choice. I love both my bikes.