Saturday, March 10, 2012

henry on my shoulder

I am a recovered single speeder.
Almost 6 years now.

When I first started with gears I rode in the big ring all the time. (42) never came out. It was bad. It was the process, learning to ride gears again. After years of watching Kurtee, and Garvey, spin past me on the climbs I started working on my spin.

Higher cadence. Keep the legs loose. Be patient on the climbs, don't mash. Stay seated...

Last year, that worked really well for me. I was pretty happy with my efforts, and my spin. The (38) is my new favorite big ring.

This year, I've done my best to maintain the fruits of my efforts. I've tried my damnest to stay in my smaller gears, and keep the cadence up. But something has been different this year. I feel like 3/4 of the way up a climb, I sticking with the program. I am spinning, I am be patient... And then it happens.

It's as if I have a little Henry Rollins on my shoulder who just screams in my ear.

"FUCK IT STAND UP AND GO!" It's fucking Henry Rollins! Yelling in my fucking ear. I have to go.

I find myself dumping down a gear or two and jumping out of the saddle. Hands on the bar ends, mashing the fuck out of my gear. I often get to the top and can't pedal. Anytime that I might have gained I quickly give back trying to recover and get back to my normal cadence.

Single Speed Relapse? Strava? Anger Management Issues? I need therapy.


Jim said...

Being a singlespeeder is like being an alcoholic. You can kid yourself that you're all recovered. But you're just a dry drunk in the end. You get a little sip of that forbidden 60 RPM fruit, or a tiny taste of an hour in the woods in "the zone" where you don't shift, don't crash, don't slow down and don't remember a thing except for this warm and peaceful feeling... and it's all over.

Going fast on a single at race pace is hit or miss, it's not the perfect race tool for most people. As a complete antidote to mental clutter, stress and a lack of fun... it's never miss.

Into your heart, must you look.

zayne braun said...

I tried to ride the single speed this weekend, but man it sure lets you know how out of shape you are. I was missing gears up there in the PA mountains. I've come to the conclusion there is a time and a place for one gear and I don't have the time or the place to get it back, except that's all I have at this point...good times.

denS said...

Truthy-osity!.....Oh,Henry >

gewilli said...


spinning is winning dude. I thought single speeders can spin as well as grind.... or is that the conditioning of the hill.

Do you way under gear down the back side too?

Fatmarc Vanderbacon said...

Generally speaking I have tried to shift to one gear easier than feels comfortable for the past 2 years. Stand only to attack or sprint. That goes for climbing or descending. This year, I gotta say it's just been tougher, and the lure to jump out of the saddle has really been strong.

FWIW- Saw Rollins Band Live 2-3 times, he totally killed it. I actually stage dove a few times at one of the shows and stood next to him. I was terrified.


gwadzilla said...

I hate to say it... urban cyclocross in a parking garage is the race experience that you just missed!

I rode gears... brought the single
but I brought gears
and I used them

Anonymous said...

if spinning is winning.. i want to lose. Stand up and mash that hill fercrisakes! sit and spin was a toy from the 70s!

Possumrider said...

Interesting premise, gotta love standing on the climb and feeling the rush of power as your trusty steed surges forward. What about a standing spin which I peiodically drop in on those littleups that always get in the way?? My name is chris j and I'm a singlespeed-aholic.