For years he has been trying to get me on board and for years I’ve been telling him he’s crazy. For years I’ve been telling everyone who rides a single speed they’re crazy. I was wrong. There I said it. Read it quick before it self destructs. 🙂
Feeling burned out and a bit unmotivated after another episode of lost Mojo; I was unexcited to think about racing or really even riding. I was in a vulnerable state and I finally let my dear husband wear me down. With my Fate Hardtail feeling unloved for the past few months combined with the fact that I didn’t want to spend any money, the decision to convert the Fate into a single speed came as a fairly obvious answer to some.
The group was out there for me this day. A quiet initiation into the single speed club. My expectations were not all that high when I left the house. Which maybe was a good thing…It turned out to be the most fun I’ve had on a bicycle in a long time! Who knew?! Oh Yeah, all you single speeders out their knew. 😉
It’s the shear simplicity of the whole experience. There’s no thinking. Just pedaling. No deciding what gear to be in to make it over this rock or up that hill. I just rode my bike. If I couldn’t get over something, I put my foot down and I figured out a new way to ride it. I felt like a kid peddling my bike as fast as I could go wherever it would take me. I wanted to yell out ‘weeeee!!’ through the entire ride. And it’s quiet. No banging thru gears or a chain slightly stuck between them. It’s not totally silent, but a relatively peaceful way to ride. I liked that… a lot. Then I had an epiphany: I could do more than I thought I could. I can micro-burst! I spun my little legs around those pedals as fast as they could go. I can mash! I pulled up on the bars with every muscle and all my might to climb over rocks and up big inclines. I chased those boys in front of me that day, some on gears and some not, and discovered a new love for my bike.
I don’t know that much about the gearing. I basically ride what my husband- who also happens to be my main mechanic- puts on there. “You be aw-ite.” His standard way of telling me to quit thinking about it and just do it. 🙂 The engineer in him enjoys the mathematical aspect of figuring out what gear to use where. I don’t care much for the numbers, other than now knowing how my standard gear of choice measures up to those around me; but I am learning exactly what those gears mean in terms of how I ride. I am beginning to understand more of how to choose what gear is right for me depending upon where I may be riding. It’s good to know these things. I know the gear I rode that first time out felt way too hard; today, that same gear, I know is just right for me here.
I am now going to say what I thought I would never say to anyone and I will now be one of those that some of you all call crazy…everyone should ride a single speed…at least once in a while. It’s a great bike to have in your fleet for when you just want to get on and ride away from it all. An awesome experience, especially if you’ve been riding for a while and need just a little change up…it will give you new and exciting motivation!
My first official race on my newly converted FrankenFate1 will be EpicRides Tour of the White Mountains in Show Low, AZ. I’ll be there representing as a GU athlete, so keep your eye out…I’m pretty excited to try something new, give it everything I got…and hopefully pick the right gear for the ride!