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Single Speed - Yeah Baby

Damien's picture

By Damien - Posted on 08 September 2008

Re: This ride meeting: 
Angry Doctor & Irate Intern 2008
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Wow and holy crap what a hard race.

In the weeks leading up to the doctor I kept referring back to the profile for this race and wondering just how it should be tackled I was scared from what I had heard people saying about it. So after a lot of thought and only five weeks of preparation I decided I would treat it more as a ride than a race. And while I rode hard I never tried to push too hard or prove anything on the hills In fact I decided to walk any hill that looked like it would raise my heart rate too much this worked well and I still managed the first 50kms in 3hrs/13mins I felt good at the half way point and my strategy had left me with a fair bit in reserve for the second half of the race.

The second half of the race was a lot easier for me than the first I was pretty much over some of the slower switch backs and the more open flowing course from the half way point onwards was a lot more fun I found I had plenty left to start passing people on the climbs, firetrail and road sections and even on the downhills somewhere out there I managed to hit 67kms an hour (on a singlespeed) it was a blast. I only got a bit sloppy at around the 95km mark so I decided to just cruise the last 5kms to the finish for a respectable time of 6hrs/37mins.

All in all a good race no cramps or physical dramas bar a little bit of back pain which started too disappear and feel ok later in the race (no painkillers) and best of all no mechanical's gotta love the simple speed. My food was 9 gu's at 45min intervals 2 litres of weakly mixed powerade per 50kms and one sticky bun as I rode past the last pit stop.

Only 365 or so sleeps to the next one can’t wait.

Well done everyone that finished or didn’t it was a hard race like someone said somewhere it is the hardest 100km race out there.

Carlgroover's picture

time on a course(in my mind) that really doesn't suit single speed, I was swapping places a bit with a guy a SS and thinking how much I like my gears. Good work Damien.

alchemist's picture

Actually it's a good course for SS, you can gear for climbing the hills and then recover on the descents. The Dirt Works 100 and the Highland Fling are much less suitable as there are long flat sections which are very frustrating

Damien's picture

It was well suited to SS and as long as you have a good level of fitness climbing on the SS is a lot quicker than on a geared bike you are forced to work and there is no where to hide and if you have to walk as a last resort most everyone else is killing themselves in granny gear anyway while you get a restful walk up the hill.

The only time I find a single speed slow and a little frustrating is on flat or very slight down hill sections I probably need to harden up and chose a taller gear but the nature of the doctor is either up or down so there is nowhere really to get left behind and my top speed was just as fast as the guys with gears anyway.

I am looking forward to another crack at this one again next year I am finaly pulling my finger out and doing something about my fitness so 2009 might be a year to put in some effort and get some results on the board.

lozza6's picture

No doubt SS gets you fit....

hmmm, is it something I should try?

Damien's picture

All I can say is that they are not as hard to ride as you might think. If your thinking SS I wouldn’t look at anything other than the bigger wheeled 29er's they are fast and fun.

Unfortunately you will lose all thumb strength and a complete lake of interest in gears and derailleur's you will hear nothing but the chain efficiently doing its job with no fear of breaking you will quietly giggle at the sound of crunching gears and immanent derailleur hanger failure of the lesser bikes around you. You will ride with pride as you mash up that descent smashing to bits the spinning granny’s. Um but don’t ride anywhere flat or only very slightly downhill or you will be left behind in the wake of the dog.

As for fitness regular consistent structured training improves fitness I did 5 - 7 training rides a week in the 5 weeks leading up to the Doctor 3 - 5 of which were on the road and 2 a week offroad including the Oaks up and back every Saturday morning for 5 weeks I would say that was the absolute minimum for me to get through the 100km on the SS without any dramas.

Bottom line is single speeds are great fun.

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