My SS climbing indoctrination- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    SS Grrrrrrrl
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    My SS climbing indoctrination

    I built up my first SS at the beginning of February and have ridden it several times a week ever since. In this short time, I already feel great improvement in speed, power and recovery. Originally, my gearing started out as 33 x19. Then 33 x 20 and just last week I changed it to 32 x 20. There are lots of short steep climbs in this area as well as some moderate length (.5 mile 8% grade) climbs. The easier gearing does get a little boring on the flats, but it's almost a necessity (for me at least) so that I can make it up the climbs.

    On Saturday I put myself and the new gearing to a real test and drove up to the San Juan trail Orange County with one other SSer and a few gearies. The first part of San Juan consists of a 6.5 mile climb. The first 5 miles of which averages around 7.5% grade. It's approximately 2,400' of climbing to our turn around point (there is also an optional 5.5 mile 800' of climbing loop at the top that we wisely chose not to attempt during our maiden SS climb up this trail).

    On my geared bike I can ride about 99% of the trail (save for a few of the more technical switchbacks and up hill rock gardens). On the SS I was able to ride about 98% of the trail. I did have to stop quite a few times to recover and walk some of the steeper sections following switchbacks (damn... SSing adds a whole new level of difficulty to uphill switchbacks!) but overall I was pretty elated with how much I was able to ride. I finished the climb a few minutes faster than I ever have with the gearie. I wasn't nearly as tired at the top of the climb as I thought I would be. I can't wait until next time!

    Here’s a pic taken about 1/2 of the way up the trail. The ride starts in the middle right of the shot (stand of lighter green trees) and quickly makes its way up the hillside with 10 or so tight switchbacks, which can be seen if you look closely in the pic. It then winds along the hillside in the middle of the picture.
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  2. #2
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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    Good job! good on ya!

    while very challenging, i think san juan is a perfect singlespeed trail. that's a nice photo, too. next time you're there, do a clockwise loop around cocktail rock. it takes you through about 4 amazingly distinct terrain zones.
    i think one should be confident in one's ss-cred after climbing sjt.
    Last edited by eSSq; 03-29-2004 at 01:57 PM. Reason: i suck at reading comprehension.

  3. #3
    USB Rep'n
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    great job man. that is a fantastic SS trail! Doable but will test what you're made of. Nice work on it and thanks for the pic. Out here, its still mud, mud, and, oh yeah, mud.
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  4. #4
    ali'i hua
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    Quote Originally Posted by eSSq
    while very challenging, i think san juan is a perfect singlespeed trail.
    my exact thoughts on SJT!

  5. #5
    SS Grrrrrrrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by eSSq
    while very challenging, i think san juan is a perfect singlespeed trail. that's a nice photo, too. next time you're there, do a clockwise loop around cocktail rock. it takes you through about 4 amazingly distinct terrain zones.
    i think one should be confident in one's ss-cred after climbing sjt.
    I've done the loop (clockwise) at the top several times before. It's usually what makes the ride worth it. But on the SS, the first time, I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew so on this particular ride our group skipped it. I'm glad too.. the regular descent beat the crap out of me... I'm used to riding my FS bike up there. Perhaps on the next attempt we'll add the loop. Now, practically every ride on the FS feels like a pimped out night on the town in a limo with someone else pedaling (well... almost)!

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtcrab
    I built up my first SS at the beginning of February and have ridden it several times a week ever since. In this short time, I already feel great improvement in speed, power and recovery. Originally, my gearing started out as 33 x19. Then 33 x 20 and just last week I changed it to 32 x 20. There are lots of short steep climbs in this area as well as some moderate length (.5 mile 8% grade) climbs. The easier gearing does get a little boring on the flats, but it's almost a necessity (for me at least) so that I can make it up the climbs.

    On Saturday I put myself and the new gearing to a real test and drove up to the San Juan trail Orange County with one other SSer and a few gearies. The first part of San Juan consists of a 6.5 mile climb. The first 5 miles of which averages around 7.5% grade. It's approximately 2,400' of climbing to our turn around point (there is also an optional 5.5 mile 800' of climbing loop at the top that we wisely chose not to attempt during our maiden SS climb up this trail).

    On my geared bike I can ride about 99% of the trail (save for a few of the more technical switchbacks and up hill rock gardens). On the SS I was able to ride about 98% of the trail. I did have to stop quite a few times to recover and walk some of the steeper sections following switchbacks (damn... SSing adds a whole new level of difficulty to uphill switchbacks!) but overall I was pretty elated with how much I was able to ride. I finished the climb a few minutes faster than I ever have with the gearie. I wasn't nearly as tired at the top of the climb as I thought I would be. I can't wait until next time!

    Here’s a pic taken about 1/2 of the way up the trail. The ride starts in the middle right of the shot (stand of lighter green trees) and quickly makes its way up the hillside with 10 or so tight switchbacks, which can be seen if you look closely in the pic. It then winds along the hillside in the middle of the picture.
    I have been there!

    Nov 2002. Very SS-able and very fun (thanks Andy, Timan, tam, et al).
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  7. #7
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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    SSan juan deserves respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtcrab
    But on the SS, the first time, I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew so on this particular ride our group skipped it. I'm glad too.. the regular descent beat the crap out of me...
    its not a really demanding or technical ride, but it is very long and very exposed. you do need to stay sharp in order to finish unscathed. i've had great days out there and really really bad days out there!

    i think if it rains this week, my maiden voyage on the chameleon will be at SSan Juan.

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