Friday, September 5, 2008

The Pure Elegance of Simplicity...and Change

On Wednesday, I took the ferry over to Winslow and rode the Chilly Hilly route on Bainbridge Island. I can’t believe how fantastic it felt to jump on my pure racing bike. Two days ago I did a 52 mile ride on my new singlespeed, and loved it, and here I was, enjoying my multi-geared bike more than I have in a long time.

That 52 mile ride was a revelatory ride in many ways. First off, I had no idea I would love riding the Hipster to the point of craving to ride it! I had read all of the web chatter about riders not wanting to get back on their regular bikes after riding fixed/SS, but I thought they were blowing smoke.

Considering that I am burned out on riding the Tarmac really hard, it’s kind of shocking to me that I can’t wait to ride the Hipster pretty hard. I have had a simply incredible year, cycling-wise, and now I’m in the time of year where I decide how I’m going to ride when I throw my leg over the bike. I’m tired of a training plan with “structure”, and I’ve achieved my big goals for the year, so I just want to hang loose and enjoy the ride.

Change is a very good thing. If you have never tried Campagnolo, give it a shot; likewise if you have never used Shimano. If you have tons of miles with both, why not give Sram a shot on your next bike? Keep your old bikes, at least the one with Campy:)

I rode many, many miles without even the slightest curiosity as to why all of the professional riders wear only bibshorts. I was fine with my shorts, and didn’t see any reason to try anything else, until a friend of mine listed a couple of good reasons to try bibs. He’d been preaching bibshorts for a long time, and he has been calling for me to try singlespeed/fixed gear for just as long, as have my mechanic, and other riding friends.

It didn’t take riding ten feet for me to realize that I would never buy another pair of shorts that were not bibs. From my first ride with only one gear, I knew that I had really been missing out on something that I didn’t know I was missing. For roughly the price of a high end carbon crankset, I had entered a whole new world of cycling.

It’s hard to describe the elegance of simplicity as it relates to singlespeed. When the headwinds blow, you don’t downshift and slow down, you get low and pedal harder. You learn to refine your tuck like a downhill ski racer. As you approach a short, steep hill, you pedal to build your momentum that will carry you up the first part of the hill, and then you just stand up and power over it. No looking for a lower gear, no time to even think about it, as it’s over before you know it. Just jump on the bike, pedal, brake (yes, leave those on), pedal some more.

It just doesn’t get much better than this.

I hope to see you on the road.

1 comment:

padre angulo said...

great post. less bike is mo'betta!