Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Trace Experiment (aka Just a matter of time)

Is it possible to imagine life on a bike other than your single speed? I mean, once you straddled one for the first time you felt liberated; almost totally free from concern and (sometimes reason), but none the less, you felt like a new person. Your body likes physical activity, despite what fast food restaurants want you to believe. Your body thrives on being pushed to its limits; pushed beyonds its limits. So what other way than a single speed.

I know that the single speed "craze" has maybe hit a plateau of sorts, but everything does, doesn't it? Some things pass on to never be heard or seen from again, while others sneak back in to our lives for a brief moment only to be resurrected again later; but there is something about riding this simple machine. Ok, let me get to my point. Trace works with me at the shop and was a 100% roadie, I mean nothing could have been further from his thoughts than playing in the dirt, let alone on a rigid ss, right? I mean to the point where it was you will never get me on a mountain bike…ever. Now, I don't want to take any credit for this transformation because it comes down to the bike itself. Just like I tell everyone…just ride one and you will never (maybe too harsh) ride a geared bike. For Trace, it was a gradual road to freedom. Starting with a geared 26" On One Inbred (which I now own) and moving to an All City SS cx bike and finally a 29er Soma Juice geared and then converted to SS (which was mine that I traded for the Inbred, thats how us guys at the shop roll you know, trade and trade again).

Now, I have to say I really didn't know what to expect from Trace. I wasn't sure If he would be like eh, its ok or like man, this is awesome! I sorta knew it would be the later, but just had to give it time. I am proud to say that the later is correct, so correct that he has been on the mountain bike for two straight weeks! It has been awesome to watch as he has gotten better fairly quickly. There is some techniques and balancing that he needs work with, but it has come pretty fast. It is now to the point where we are doing longer rides with more elevation (he hates me most of the time when riding), but I am ok with that.

What I am most impressed is that he wants to go out and progress and hone his skills even more. We have a great time when we are out there and he gets to pick up some tips and tricks from me. I have to admit, I do go places at times that may be a little beyond his skill level now, but he is progressing pretty quick and getting a better idea of the terrain, how to balance through technical sections, moving the cranks around and pushing the bike down when climbing.

Traces' Gear Removal Machine
So The Trace Experiment has worked out great. Actually, he gets all of the credit because he allowed himself to step out of that box and he is a better rider because of that. You see, riding a SS isn't about being cool (ok, well it is), or being different (yep, it is), it is about pushing yourself beyond what your brain tells you what you are capable of. I know, you have to listen to your brain sometimes, but your brain can fool you into being complacent and dull…riding a single speed is neither.

So throw that well groomed, sleep on a dog pillow, crotch licking pure bread in the trash and emerge like the nasty, haven't bathed in weeks mutt that riding a single speed deserves!