Friday, March 10, 2006


I've been thinking a lot lately about why I ride.
It keeps me fit -- body and mind.
It keeps me in touch with my community.
It is social -- I get to see my friends again (something I missed after having kids)
but I think most of all I love cycling because of it's purity.

Cycling is simple. You get on and pedal. You can go anywhere, anytime, and feel exhilarated.

So then I got to thinking "how can you make cycling more pure?"

The single speed.
No cogs to clean, no derallieurs to adjust, no thumb shifters to get in the way.
Just you and a simple steed. How much better can it get?
So then I thought "well what about it?" and I started to investigate.
Now when I used to race it was all the rage to have a winter single speed -- more often than not it was a fixie as well. I rode many winters like this. Maybe it is time again.
So in my investigative travels I have seen some wonderful rides.

On the "low end" and sort of in my price range are the Surly Karate Monkey and the Redline 925 . The Karate Monkey appeals to me for it's 29'er single speed thing -- maybe I could ride the Shore on it? The Redline is pure and simple with wonderful moustache bars -- very nice.

And then there seemed to be a huge jump. This jump included the inspired A.N.T Major Taylor. Wow. What lines. How retro, but the price, ouch.

Then I realised, I live half way up a huge mountain, and I'm not getting any younger. Is it realistic or for that matter practical to get a single? Probably not.

So I did some more detective work.

I was a Different Bikes the other day and saw Jeff building up a Moots with a rohloff 14 speed internal hub as a cross country winter rig. It looked great and practical with that single speed look. But price -- again prohibitive -- frame and fork ~$4000.00 cdn for frame and hub -- really ouch.

But then if price were no object I think I would have to do, what I think, looks like the most beautiful bike around. The Merlin Roots

But then money is always part of the equation. So if I really want a single speed,maybe I should rig up my old Eddy Merckx track bike. Sure it was in a house fire, but a paint job and some new to me parts. Hmm this sounds like a good winter project. Next winter perhaps. This year I'll be happy with what I have, and enjoy cycling for it's purity -- regardless of the gears.


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