Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Excess baggage

Today marks three months since I left Dunder Mifflin. If someone offered to restore me to my old job, I would decline. To celebrate, I went out and rode my single speed for two hours on one of the climbier (is that a word?) routes around here. You see, I'm thinking about going all single speed all the time. Dug has been that way for a few years, and Rick has recently announced his intentions to ditch the geared bike altogether. Brad and Kenny are also single speed only guys, but they're genetic freaks, so they don't count.

What's the point of multiple gears if you can only ever use one at a time anyway? Moreover, what's the point of having a geared mountain bike if you don't ever ride it? There are only two trails that I ride my geared bike on anymore, and today I did one of them on the single. I had to get off and push a couple times, but my time for completing the circuit was still faster than on the geared bike. The other trail I have done on the single and swore afterwards I would never do it again, but that was early in the season when I wasn't as fit. I need to give it another try.


  1. If riding single speed is what you enjoy, go with it.

    For me I still enjoy riding my geared full suspension bike. At times I resent the extra weight, but it helps me on the climbs (lower gears to grind up the steep stuff and the suspension keeps the rear wheel on the ground) and it's a joy on the downhill as I can use the higher gears to accelerate and the suspension eats up the bumps and keeps the tires on the ground for the corners. And the suspension is fun for getting a little air. I'm, sure you noticed all this on our recent rides. I'm just like a kid on the bike, goofing and having fun.

    That said, the single speed is intriguing. Mark N. got one this year and I've been with him on a few rides. We're about the same fitness and it looked tough, but he did OK. Rick offered to let me try his old Rig when his new Niner is built up, and I'll take him up on that offer so I can have the SS experience.

    Gotta love the breadth in cycling - plenty of variations for riders to explore.

  2. Kris, what you said about breadth in cycling is what I enjoy about the single speed. I've ridden geared bikes for as long as I've ridden, and I've had full suspension bikes ranging from XC racing rigs to long-travel all-mountain bikes. I enjoy them immensely.

    Right now, I'm just really enjoying the challenge of riding the same kinds of terrain on a bike that punishes me on the climbs and on the obstacles going down rather than encouraging me to just smash through them.

    I rented a freeride bike for a day last time I was in Moab. We shuttled Kokopelli, UPS, and Porcupine Rim, and it was a blast.

    I'll be interested to see what happens after you try Rick's bike for a few days.

  3. a rigid single will not necessarily be lighter, will not necessarily hurt you on the climbs, will not necessarily keep you from getting traction, and will not necessarily make you slower on the downhill. It most definitely will not keep you from getting a little air.

    you will, in fact, be MORE like a little kid on a bike, goofing and having fun.

  4. What climby route did you ride? It's always fun to try new trails when I'm in Boise visiting my folks.

  5. UTRider, I rode from Ft. Boise up Rocky Canyon Road to Orchard Gulch, up Orchard Gulch to the top of Five Mile Gulch, down Five Mile Gulch to Rocky Canyon Road and on to Three Bears, up Three Bears to the top and down to intersection with Shane's Loop, Shane's Loop back to Ft. Boise.