Saturday, 2 June 2012

Betsy's First Ride Out As A Single Lady

Hahahahahahaha,  Heheheheheheh, Hahahahahahahahah.............That ladies and gentleman is the sound of my inner child.  And that is how my little ride has left me feeling.

Going out on Betsy and my first ride on a single speed was something I'd been looking forward to all day.  The day weather wise has been nothing short of miserable.  The temperature had dropped and there was a constant murky drizzle in the air. It was late evening when I set off, so I already had in mind that it was going to be short ride.  An hour test ride was all I needed really just to get to grips and make sure there were no problems with the drive train.

Dropping down the short sharp hill onto the first bit of flat road that leads to my woods was a bit strange.  My legs spun and my brain said shift gear.  Ah no gears.  I realised that perhaps on the road the gearing was to easy and I'd have to just learn to cruise.  Turning into the woods I put the hammer down so to speak and spun Betsy up to speed. 

The bike felt lighter at the back end without all the extra gearing. She seemed to skip at the back more readily but this just made her feel more lively, hopping over ruts gliding through the mud.  There was plenty of mud, but I didn't really care and no matter how much the bike got coated in wet mud the chain kept running smoothly.  I was still finding it hard to adjust to not having that extra gear to push me on but I found myself trying to find the extra speed by using my upper body to keep traction more and allow the bike to flow beneath me. 

As the trail headed upwards I was expecting to find myself struggling but was pleased to find that my legs had the strength to push on.  I never found it too hard, I just got out the saddle more than I normally would and so pulled on the pedal stroke as well as pushed more efficiently.  I guess you could say I was just finding another way of riding.

None of this took away the pleasure of my ride.  It actually, just enhanced it and I can't understand why.  I found my inner child and found him a to be a little hooligan at times but the smiles it brought me can't be ignored.  At times I was so out of breath from blasting around those woods I felt dizzy. Was it even still raining?  I hadn't noticed.

My ride home meant only one thing though, and that was a hard road climb back up to my house.  Its not long as such but fairly steep.  Your average Jo blogs is often seen walking up it with their bikes and I tend to tackle it on a geared bike in a 32T by 22T.  Yet up it I went........and up I went with no bother.  I'm not sure if its because a 16T is easier without having to pass all those extra jockey wheels or not but it in my mind for now means the gearing is just about right.  Any lower and I would just twiddle to much on the flat.

So I'm happy.  The drivetrain worked without fault (small clap for me). I never was out of love with mountain biking, but I've just gained an even deeper desire to go out and ride till I drop into a pile of exhausted happiness.



Love this post Jez. I'm glad you are enjoying the single speed so much! Well done! I love those rides that make you feel like a kid again. So you've named a bike, eh? Very nice! :D

Well I thought it was about I did name her. Just need one for my road bike now.

In fairness, it doesn't take me much to be like a big kid!

Great ride post - I definitely need to check out the SS style!

Isn't it just great when the ride releases your inner child...Great post Jez.


Great post. First times (SS, night ride, full suspension,whatever) are just awesome.

Thanks Chris. I guess I'll still see if the loves there after some long steady rides or will I be scampering off to find my gears again!

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