Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Technology Debate

Best Bike Ever...and Fully Rigid

Things have been heating up at the GDR forum. One of the latest hot topics is regarding single speed and rigid forks. The question of the day is how much slower is it? I know that there are road tires that say they will cut x amount of time off of a 40km time trial but this is a little different. When I switched to single speed I had routes that I did faster based solely on the fact that I could not grind up hills in the granny gear, I had to charge at the slope and bust it over the top. The GDR has plenty of climbing and plenty of paved road, both favor different gearing and thus any gear ratio choice will be a penalty. I could go on with some mathematical evaluation of the single speed but it isn't necessary.
The only thing that matters for me is that I probably wouldn't do long events with gears. I just plain don't like them. I need simplicity. I would spend more time rigid if it wasn't for some issues I have with my hands and my thumbs in particular. Perhaps my custom frame will alleviate those problems enough that I can spend more time fully rigid. I have only had two bikes with suspension so I am far from a techno-weannie for my recent use of front shocks.
As for the online discussion, whenever the chatter takes this turn I keep going back to what Mike Curiak has said, "Most people doing this event are doing it for themselves" It is a personal challenge. It is personal discovery. In some ways everyone has to do the race differently because we have our own operating systems. Not only do I not have the physical ability to ride the course in 16 days I don't have the right wiring in my brain for that level.
Perhaps, when I finish the route my time will fall below an arbitrary line that separates racing from touring but that wouldn't matter to me. The first rule of the adventure is to finish, everything else minutiae.

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