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  1. #1
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    Names have been changed to protect the innocent

    Two weeks ago I decided to enter a local race series to see how if I "still had it".

    I only race 2-3 times a year as XC racing doesn't really rev my engine.

    I was the only single speeder and the only rigid bike racing.

    I endured the curious looks and comments before the start:

    "You've got shopper bike bars" - On-One Mary's.
    "You've got no gears or suspension, are you seriously going to race that?" - Yes
    "Whats that thing hanging from the rear wheel?" - Trailer hitch
    "What size are those wheels?" - 29" baby !!

    The race was dry, hot and dusty...

    The start of the race was my downfall, a flat tarmac sprint for 50m before a tarmac climb onto the single track I didn't stand a chance against the geared bikes and I was 5th of 7 Sport Vet riders into the single track and had to just do a processional first lap.

    Clawed my way back through the pack and whilst I took 28 seconds per lap out of the guy in the lead his first lap lead of 1m17s was not going to be beaten on a 3 lap race.

    However..........

    I finished 2nd overall

    I am very very happy !!!!!!!

  2. #2
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    good for you! I like hearing this.

  3. #3
    Eat. Spit. Be Happy.
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    Do you think they took you serious after you placed 2nd?

  4. #4
    Ride to the ride.
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    Nice!
    Photos and adventures being logged at Dirt & Dogs.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeds82
    Do you think they took you serious after you placed 2nd?
    Felt like a fox among the chickens

  6. #6
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    Calculated the lap splits between me and the rider who placed first.

    Lap 1: 1m17s
    Lap 2: 13s
    Lap 3: 21s

    Damn that tarmac climb and the traffic on the first lap.

  7. #7
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    Good Work!!!

    I never raced mountain bikes until i got my single speed, my first race was this spring. Got some odd looking smiles and questions before the race as well.
    I got some really ODD looks when i passed some geared bikes on the climbs. I would give the courtesy on your left and i could hear them shift up a few gears followed by them saying holy crap dude....go get em!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob
    Two weeks ago I decided to enter a local race series to see how if I "still had it".

    I only race 2-3 times a year as XC racing doesn't really rev my engine.

    I was the only single speeder and the only rigid bike racing.

    I endured the curious looks and comments before the start:

    "You've got shopper bike bars" - On-One Mary's.
    "You've got no gears or suspension, are you seriously going to race that?" - Yes
    "Whats that thing hanging from the rear wheel?" - Trailer hitch
    "What size are those wheels?" - 29" baby !!

    The race was dry, hot and dusty...

    The start of the race was my downfall, a flat tarmac sprint for 50m before a tarmac climb onto the single track I didn't stand a chance against the geared bikes and I was 5th of 7 Sport Vet riders into the single track and had to just do a processional first lap.

    Clawed my way back through the pack and whilst I took 28 seconds per lap out of the guy in the lead his first lap lead of 1m17s was not going to be beaten on a 3 lap race.

    However..........

    I finished 2nd overall

    I am very very happy !!!!!!!

  8. #8
    CB2
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    Good for you!
    You have to look at your gear choice like this:
    You may be spinning your brains out loosing ground on the flats, but you're probably making it back up on the hills.

    I've been racing Cat 1 40-49, and haven't found the SS to be a liability. I am going to run a suspension fork this weekend for Mt Snow though. We'll see if it helps my crappy descending.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    Good for you!
    You have to look at your gear choice like this:
    You may be spinning your brains out loosing ground on the flats, but you're probably making it back up on the hills.
    That was very much how the race went. I lost time on the flats and downhills, which was frustrating because I had to freewheel the descents even though I was very much within my comfort zone (speedwise).

    It was on the climbs I advanced my positions.

  10. #10
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    Good stuff!

  11. #11
    PeT
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    Well done -- I like those stories, but I find plenty of respect for rigid SS around here.

    My story is that after 30 years of on-again-off-again racing on the road and trail (well over 100 bike races in that time), the only race I've ever won was a 25 person sport race last year -- on my SS. There was no separation based upon bike choice or even age (I was 2nd oldest). And it was my first race ever on a SS. I got bumped up to the expert group after that (the rules in the local series), so I haven't won again. In a XC race I am faster on a SS than with a multi-geared bike.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  12. #12
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    I race and I am on again off again with gears. A few years ago, I was racing at the Quantico Marine Base. I remember riding around the parking lot as some guy was warming up on his geared bike on a trainer. I was racing a rigid SS. On the starting line, this guy made some off color comments regarding my choice of bikes. Off we went and the first lap was hard. I think I was close to last place because I got caught behind some geared riders on a very steep climb and they broke my stride. Lap two was spent passing a lot of riders. Same for lap 3. I ended up 7th out of over 40 riders in 19 - 39 Sport and guess who the last rider was I passed out on the course? Yep, Mr. smart alek, warming up on trainer guy. It was oh so sweet when I passed him. I would be lying if I did not mention I looked for him the entire race though.

    Perhaps 2010 wil be the year I race the entire season on SS? Some of our courses are too flowy and not hard enough to be competitive against the geared riders. I find that I do the best against geared riders when the course is really tough and has a lot of climbing. I suspect that I am stronger now than I was before and would do better against the geared riders with some taller gearing (currently running 34-19 on a 29er). I do do know this is course and region specific though.

    Good for you Mr. 2nd place singlespeeder!
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  13. #13
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'm seriously impressed. I ride a rigid SS and I seriously doubt I'd be pulling past geared riders if the climbs were really long or steep. I'll take this as a hint that I need to ride harder.

  14. #14
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    Raced again tonight.

    Another tarmac sprint start and a much longer lap this time (by about 25%).

    After being stuck 2 weeks ago I bounced off the start and went into first place and tried to put as much distance between myself and the other riders as possible.

    Plan worked until final lap when one rider caught me and I didn't have the legs on the last climb to stay with him.

    Second again but the rider who won was very sportsman-like: He said at the finish that without gears and suspension he would never have been able to stay with me.

    That's it, my racing days are done for this year.

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