Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fall and the Single Speed

Sunday in Wine Country was simply gorgeous with the colors of fall on full display.  It was a day designed to be outside and I took full advantage of it.  With my sinus infection behind me I was starting to feel stronger so it was back to my routine of running on Sunday morning and riding sometime later in the day.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Crouch
After my morning run with a couple of friends, Sherry and I ran a few errands, which included picking up lunch.  Back home, we enjoyed a leisurely hour of lunch and football.  On some Sundays, this is about time I will decide not to ride but this Sunday was too beautiful to pass up.

I decided to ride The Vegas (the single speed), which has been a favorite of mine since the first time I rode it.  It’s a great bike for recovery rides if the wind is cooperating.  I hadn’t ridden it in a while because of my new routine of running on Sunday morning.  

Running in the morning and cycling in the afternoon typically means dealing with wind.  Lots and lots of wind.  And while I love riding the single speed, it’s hard to do a “recovery” ride with strong wind and no gears.  However, this Sunday was surprising wind-free so out we went.

The first couple of miles on the single speed, or the cross-bike, is always a bit odd.  The geometry on both of these bikes is different than the road bike.   For example, I sit a little taller on the single speed.  There’s nothing wrong with it, I just have to mentally adjust to the difference.

We’re finally out of town and into Wine Country.  This is where I love the single speed the most.  I don't have to worry about what gear I’m in.  I simply turn the pedals and enjoy the scenery.  I did take one small hill just to check my form and I went up and over it just fine.

The Vegas (single speed)
After exploring Wine County, I headed home through the town of Sebastopol.  As I cruised down the street I passed two young girls selling cookies.  Noticing that there was only one cookie left, I did a quick U-turn.  If they lived up to their West County reputation, you could assume the cookies were homemade and organic.  You also might not be too surprise to find a little cannabis mixed in however given the look of the two young ladies I felt safe on that front.

I rolled up and asked how much for the last cookie.  The reply of 50 cents confirmed my assumption about the lack of cannabis.  They also confirmed that the cookies were homemade and organic.  I decided to award their entrepreneurial spirit and gave the two dollars.

After enjoying my cookie, which was pretty damn tasty, it was back on the bike to finish the ride.  I cruised through town to the bike path and headed for home.  It was now late in the afternoon and I was reminded again that it was fall as the temperature began to drop quickly.  I managed to beat the chill by rolling into the driveway just about the same time I needed to put on the arm warmers.

This ride reminded me of both why I love riding in general and how much I really enjoy rolling along on the single speed.  You can bet that next Sunday if the wind isn’t howling, the single speed and I will once again be cruising along the roads of Wine Country.  But not until I finish my morning run.


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