Singlespeed

Eight days later, I’ve had ample time to reflect on the Hampshire 100 mountain bike race. It was hard, real hard. Earlier this summer, I toyed around with the idea of getting a singlespeed mountain bike. When I signed up for the Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run, I thought about entering the singlespeed category as a push towards getting a new bike. I didn’t do it, but I’m still thinking about it for the future.

Last year, I converted my commuter bike, an Ibis Hakkalugi, to singlespeed. I’ve enjoyed the singlespeed experience. The 14 mile (each way) commute is easier in the morning because it is slightly downhill all the way to Hartford. In the afternoon, the ride takes 10 to 15 minutes longer because the route is slightly different (to avoid traffic) and uphill most of the way.

As for the singlespeed mountain bike, I just think the simplicity of it would be cool. I was definitely wishing I had a singlespeed at mile 60 of the Hampshire 100  when my rear derailleur was reversed 180 degrees and wedged in my spokes. I was thinking, “Gee, wouldn’t it be convenient to have not had a derailleur at all right now? I would still be pedaling instead of standing here on the side of the trail with my hands on my head and my derailleur jammed in my wheel.” Of course, I would have had to have ridden the previous 60 miles without gears. That isn’t easy and pushing a big gear all of the time can do a job on your knees. 

Check the results, there were guys in front of me who rode singlespeed. Gears aren’t always an advantage. The argument could be made that you walk more on the uphills and end up spun out on the big downhills, but that in the end, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. Your cadence changes depending on the grade, but for the most part, you ride steady. There must be stats out there that prove singlespeed bikes have less mechanical problems. Without gears and shifting mechanisms, they are lighter. 

I think I’ll make the switch for 2009.

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I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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