I had an amazing epiphany yesterday. I now understand why most bicycles have gears.
Wait, wait. I know you’re rolling your eyes, muttering “she’s realizing this NOW?”, shaking your head, clicking onto the next blog in your reader, or all of the above. But it takes a while for things to sink in, okay?
When everyone told me I “needed” a geared road bike, a part of me agreed because, hey, can you really have too many bikes? But there’s a learning curve with those things…I just didn’t get why there was so much shifting back and forth involved. When I said that I could mash up the hills just fine, people just said something like “well, you want to be able to walk when you’re 40, don’t you?” or “what about your knees?”
Okay, fine. Apparently you can go longer and faster, when you can shift up and down and all around. I understood the concept, but not really how it was going to change my life.
But then, yesterday. Out on the usual 2hr ride, I was hauling ass to get a negative split for the entire ride, not just part of it. When I wasn’t fighting wind, I got a really good pace going; my thighs were aching, but nothing unmanageable. And then, just when the wind died down for a bit, I hit a flat stretch of road. Hunkered down in the drops, neatly clipped in, I was spinning out.
My initial thought was to knock off a tooth in the back…and then I realized that I wouldn’t be able to climb all the hills if I did that. AND THEN BECAUSE I’M AN IDIOT AND KNOW NOTHING BUT A SINGLE-SPEED, MY NEXT IDEA INVOLVED GETTING A SMALLER COG, PUTTING IT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY REAR WHEEL, THEN FLIPPING MY WHEEL [TO THE FREEWHEEL SIDE] EVERY TIME I HIT A HILL.
Do you want to know my next thought? It was: …but that would be such a pain in the ass…I wish there was an easier way to switch between the two—OHHHHHHHHH…!!!!
Cue light bulb turning on [finally] over my head.
Yes, I am a dumbass.
Hours later, my face in my third coffee of the day at [my favorite] Cafe Fixe [yes, I can drink my weight in coffee. Don’t judge.], I revealed my life-changing realization to Matt. He snorted, rolled his eyes, and laughed, saying:
“I like how you do everything in reverse.”
As if I would do it any other way.
[But for those of you who want to follow by example, for less than the cost of my saddle, Walmart is now selling a "fixed-speed" bike for $150.]