After the race I happened to overhear some one complaining about single speeders being in the Pro class. Saying that they shouldn't be in the pro class because they ride at different speeds then geared bikers. This was very strange to hear because it's usually the geared biker holding up the single speeder who is trying to power up a steep climb and needs a good head of steam to make it. It was like I was being singled out just because I ride with one gear. Ironic isn't it.
Well maybe they should have a pro single speed class. I don't know. The vibe I get is that the guys with the gears think that they suck if they are getting beat by someone with only one gear. I don't see the logic in this. The truth is that if I had gears I might be slower. Having those extra gears I would be in my granny gear wishing I had a smaller gear. I'm not trying to prove that I'm so much cooler with one gear and sneer at those with gears. For me it's just fun to have one gear. I don't have to worry about what gear I'm in during the race and I love to spin and feel the power of a straight chain line without being wound around other cogs. I don't even like the Singlulator. Also It's cheaper to maintain and not have to worry about busting off a derailleur.
I don't feel like it slows me down to have one gear. I ride with gears on the cross bike for road rides and use the gears because I need them to keep up with the other guys with gears. Riding in the woods is slower, obviously. I couldn't keep up on the road if I was spinning a 34x19. I would have to run a 42x17, and that would be killer on some of the long steep climbs we have out here. And too spinny for going down hill.
The other day I decided to "big ring" it up a climb that the day before I was in my 39x27. 53x24 was the gear that I used and I got up it. It reminded me of riding my fixie over the winter and powering up huge climbs just for the fun of it. I think I went the same speed. I think no matter what gear you are in it's the motor that determines how fast you go.
Now that I am way off course with that topic I will tell you about the race.
Going up against 34 Pro/cat 1 riders was super cool. I now know that getting up in the front row is what I must do for every race. I'm a fast starter (I guess) and It feels like I get a head start.
I did well at the start and was happy to not be waiting in line to get into the single track. It was cool to keep up with Foley and Carpenter and O'Keefe. It didn't last long and I was being cough by other guys like Hines and Powell. It was cool to see Powell with a Giant Kit and bike. Powell might be the next Adam Craig. He is really serious about riding. Way more serious then Adam Craig.
So I was actually able to stay with Powell on the Big climb and pass him on some single track. How I passed him was not very cool. It was quite dangerous. Remember the log you can jump over or go to the right around the stump? Well, he when around and I went over the log. He thought it was cool and yelled out "Nice" but thinking back I shouldn't have done it. I could have crashed into him and been on his shit list. I was thinking that I must have been doing well or he must not be doing so well. But since he got 3rd place he must have been doing well.
So now I'm kind of in no mans land and Mike Joos and Brent Mellen pass me up the big climb on the 4th lap. I don't know how Mike can come from all the way DFL at the start to passing me. That boy has some skills. And then Michel Bartlett caught up to me and is climbing everything. He had the right idea and was able to make some time on me because I was fumbling around trying to get back on my bike. This was my first real head to head racing I've done in the pro class. I knew I could get him at the last climb so I waited patiently trying to keep him in sight. Every down hill I was trying to get some rest knowing that the last climb would be it. This is where having a single speed can make the difference. I was already standing and powering up the climb and Michel was spinning in a small gear. I've been there before on the road bike where after spinning up a climb seated up a climb you don't want to stand up and push a bigger gear. So half way up the hill I opened it up and smashed. I didn't look back until I was on the flat section of grass thinking I would have to sprint for the finish but he wasn't there. In fact it seemed like a long time before he crossed the line. But he did really good.
If Greg Carpenter and Randall Jacobs didn't DNF then I wouldn't have been top 10. The bike worked. I was a little frustrated with the tire clearance in the back. The tires would cake up with mud and I would have to clear the seat stay. I just ordered a Hutchinson Python 2.1 for the rear in hopes for better clearance. I might have to put a Kenda Karma 1.9 on.
Charles Beal was happy to get 3rd. My fellow single speeder on the podium. Great job! Especially when Jonny Bold is in your class.
Rob (another single speeder in the pro class) had an unfortunate crash down some sick down hill. One tough mother. Unscathed and out of position, and I'm sure some of the race got knocked out of him. Just kickin' with a brew at the results.