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So I Rode a Single Speed Today And…
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By Barn Door
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By Matt Gholson
Nov. 25, 2012 12:01 a.m.

We have a traditional Black Friday Mountain Bike Ride in the Shawnee, this year we suckered 17 riders to Frank’s Tract for a ride.  My primary mountain bike, THE BANDERSNATCH, may have a fatal problem, a crack has formed neat the headtube, its steel and might be fixable.  I got out my back up bike, a high tech Trek Fuel EX with 64 inches of suspension travel and all kinds of marketing gizmos.  All the parts on it are worn out and every time I ride it I say it will be the last.
So Friday I broke the chain twice, had a flat tire, broke the hanger, and broke a suspension bolt.  Great ride, I had to jog the last 2 miles pushing my bike.

Today’s ride, the monocog!

Today there was a ride at OHG which I wasn’t going to attend because since I don’t have a working bike.  My friend Joe loaned me his 29er rigid single speed.  I’ve never ridden a single speed but this is the same bike Joe took on our recent trip to Georgia and while it may lack bells and whistles its very sturdy.

An Overlook at One Horse Gap.

I was amazed how hard it was to pedal the single speed up hill.  Making the bike go up hill was like wrestling an ape, pull on the bars as hard as possible while pushing down as possible. The gearing is 32×20, which Joe can climb about anything on.  I ended up pushing alot.  When I wasn’t climbing the bike was great, responsive and stable in technical stuff, predictable, stout all kinds of good stuff, but since I like beging able to pedal up hill I don’t see myself switching anytime soon.

Don Paddick hops off a rock.

HE can ride up it too.

Got brave enough to open up my White Bros 29er fork and see what was wrong with it last night.  Pretty obvious, the oil bath had been replaced by a mud bath.  I think I can fix it!

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