Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Much more like Bruce Leroy...

There's something about riding gears that makes you think it's gonna be easier than riding a single speed. It is, if you want to be slow, but if you want to go fast it's actually harder. Much harder. A single speed bike is forced pacing....
Sunday 909 Pleasant Valley, N.Y. (while on the first trip up the infamous bulldozer climb) Aaron Snyder (Scott Bikes) decided the group we were in was too slow for his liking, so he jumped. Like a well heeled roadie, I followed.... Right move? Wrong!! Sean Cavanaugh (Bethel Cycle) would later tell me that there was no way he could keep with that acceleration and was amazed that I did. Well my single speed brother, I couldn't either. Sean caught me on the downhill after the ridge and then shortly after I took a spill. Like a pickpocket on the train he then stole 4th place from me, never to be seen again. No longer in contention and a little shook up from my tumble I began to look for the easier gears. Riding like this for a while Johan passed me followed soon after by Greg Waggoner. Not yet recovered from the early heroics I could grab neither wheel. Then It was Scott Feltmate's (Bethel Cycle) turn. Scott says "Monte, lets work together to bring these guys back". Sounds good to me and I jump on Scott's wheel. Scott sets the pace for a while then falls off, so I'm back in no mans land. On the final lap I can see Josh Wilcox (503 Cycleworks) making his way up to me. Shit!! Josh takes the lead on the descent off the ridge and I follow. He's trying hard to get rid of me but I dig deeper than I should and end up mounting a last minute attack to take my 7th place back. Three hours four minutes and change, 42min first lap, 45 second, 48 third and a 49 on the fourth lap. Not good, but better than last week.
So what went wrong? First of all I knew prior to the race I was gonna cover every move I could. This type of race plan is normally a mistake for me, I just don't recover after going that deep. Constant pacing is the way to the podium in a three hour plus race, but constant pacing often puts you alone in no-mans-land. Not knowing how to ride gears, I need someone to copy off of, "bootleg their style" so to say. Plus one of the reasons for me riding gears is so I can make that front group and you can't do that from 15 riders back with a "I don't want to blow up" mentality. The second mistake is that while alone I tend to get into a mindset of "oh, just finish now". This never happens on a single because of the sit stand or walk principle. On a single you either go fast or go home. Forced pacing, right?
I need to find the perfect balance on the gears, Neither too hard or too slow. So this weekend in a attempt to find some flow, I'll do what I know best...


  1. Rode the SS for the first time in a while yesterday. I feel your pain.


  2. "I dig deeper than I should and end up mounting a last minute attack"