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A timeline of bikes, love, pain, more bikes, and more love
By Sarah Hansing
Oh, I have a great idea!
I’m going to sell my geared bike, and only ride singlespeeds this year!
(This is actually turning out to be what may be one of my worst ideas to date, and I would also like to point the finger of blame towards a friend at work, who sucked me into her web of horrible ideas.)
Now, because I like to think of myself as at least SOMEwhat of a reasonable person, let me explain how I got to this point in my life.
Two and Half Years Ago
I meet this super rad person fell in love. It turns out this super amazing person is from Australia.
So I go to Sydney for a few months to hang out, go to beautiful beaches and dabble in road riding. I was not riding mountain bikes or maintaining my race level fitness in any way whatsoever.
One and a Half Years Ago
I’m lucky enough to marry this amazing human being from Sydney, who moved all the way across the world to be with me. And to be quite honest, I was way more into hanging out with my wife than I was into going on stompy, super long death rides on my mountain bike.
And another “rest and recover” year goes by without trying to smash Strava all over the place, and instead just occasionally pedal around in the woods at no particular speed at all, while also eating a lot of pizza, enjoying some beers, and gaining weight. As Dave Chappell has stated, “Marriage is about naps and snacks.” He speaks the truth.
So, MARRIAGE: Check.
Intermittently Over the Past Six Months
I decide that I am going to be “fast” again. I commit to riding 4-5 times a week. Yes, this has happened before. And it typically lasts about 2-3 weeks at a go, before something happens to either my bike, my body, or my mental motivation.
Never quite get over the fitness “hump” (so to speak) which means I’m pretty much in egregious pain every time I ride, thus leading me to equate bike riding with “everything is terrible and nothing is ok.”
Two Months Ago
I really Really REALLY mean it this time. I’m going to get fit and race again. I hang my full suspension bike up, and jump on this crazy idea going around at work that I like to call: Let’s Race Singlespeeds for the Juliana Factory Team!
Start riding 4-5 times a week on the singlespeed. Begin to feel hope for the future.
TERRIBLE IDEA: Check.
One Month Ago
Death flu. Stuck in bed dying to death for a week. I look forward to getting back on the bike, though, because surely ALL is not lost?
The day I am finally able to get up and out of bed, and actually DO something … I put a nail through the bottom of my foot, into the bone, and end up at Urgent Care. I learn that Morphine is not for Sarah. I have to wear a stupid boot and can’t ride my bike for another week and a half.
aaannd INJURY: Check.
I agree to sign up for Old Cabin Classic, in Women’s Singlespeed category. It is a 30 mile race.
! ! ! ! !
After writing all of this down, I have realized that much to my chagrin, my wife is right. I am NOT always a reasonable person.
Well, I’m going to do it anyways. I’m committed to the singlespeed life for this year and nothing says “You will never EVER let yourself get this unfit again” like extra punishing yourself on a singlespeed.
Hope to see you out on the trail, please smile and say hi as you ride past. I’m looking forward to three months from now, when everything still hurts, but I can go a little faster, and make all of the climbs without walking.
For now though, it’s time to get back to basics and accomplishing the little goals. Worry about pedaling now, worry about how fast later.
It feels like I’m pretty much a beginner again. Here’s to falling in love with bikes all over again.