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It wasn't planned to be this way. I was hoping to get a couple more weeks getting used to only having one gear on the flatter fenland roads.

The 48x16 gearing of the single speed is still moulding my legs into shape so I figured whilst setting out this morning to grab an hour that the riding would be flatter and faster.

But the fens do have a habit of spoiling even the best laid plans, and the stiff tailwind for the first couple of miles left me thinking that it would be ridiculously hard to get back down the Holme Road... therefore, I might as well climb up the valley road and zig-zag my way back using the hills for shelter...

Good plan eh?

So I headed over the A1 flyover at Glatton with more than a little doubt in my mind as to whether I had (a) the right gearing or ( b ) the right mental state to get up High Haden Road...

Fortunately there was company as to get up the climb I needed to join the route of the Richardsons cycle sportive that was headed from St Ives (Cambs) to Stamford.

As I chugged up the lower part of the hill out of the village it felt surprisingly ok. I even overtook someone (apologising for not being able to ride alongside them "I AM ON A SINGLESPEED AND I HAVE NO IDEA IF I WILL MAKE IT TO THE TOP") before the steeper part kicked in and I was out of the saddle trying to keep forward motion.

As it levelled out and I got into the wind I was still able to keep going and successfully make the Bullock Road.

But my legs were completely "jellified"...

I am not even sure that is a word, if it isn't I am claiming it. And all you cyclists reading this will know exactly what it means !!!

They gradually came back to some form of life and I pressed on towards Ashton Forest before cutting straight back to the A1.

The wind was bang on my nose, but despite flicking the brake lever to change down, no easier gear was forthcoming.

All in all though the singlespeed experience is proving to be everything and more I had imagined.

I know people say this all the time but it is cycling in its rawest form. Just pedal and pedal and pedal.

Brilliant stuff...

James has been blogging for road.cc for 5 years and racing bicycles (averagely) for 20 years. 

12 comments

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stever [65 posts] 6 years ago
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Welcome. I'm not surprised you're jellified ...that's quite a character building gear you've chosen  1

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 6 years ago
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it certainly was tonight in the stiff winds over the fens.

 20

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workhard [397 posts] 6 years ago
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stever wrote:

Welcome. I'm not surprised you're jellified ...that's quite a character building gear you've chosen  1

'Character building' aka 72ish inches. Not what I called it this morning as it and a head/cross wind destroyed what was left of my moral fibre on one short sharp climb.

But I know what 'jellified' feels like.

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stever [65 posts] 6 years ago
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workhard wrote:

'Character building' aka 72ish inches.

...up a bit!
 1

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antonio [1124 posts] 6 years ago
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Hi Jimmy, went to Stamford for the clarion easter meet a couple of years ago, rode fixed gear over the weekend. I didn't get jellified, but did get stupified on the clarion pub run, stick with it, Boots!

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workhard [397 posts] 6 years ago
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stever wrote:
workhard wrote:

'Character building' aka 72ish inches.

...up a bit!
 1

St Sheldon RIP says 79.1 inches for 700-25 170mm cranks and a 48:16

I say EEEKKK! No wonder a couple of the steep bits were tough.

Think I'll ask ebc if they will sell me a larger cog for thefixie side of things....

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 6 years ago
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I am going to go down that route I think.

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workhard [397 posts] 6 years ago
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ordered an 18t Surly cog for the fixed side from charliethebikemonger today. Will keep the freewheel as is for now as I sort of like teetering on the edge of a stall on steep country lanes during the rush hour... big adrenaline rush.

less said about today's fixed ride the better. In summary I can't remember the last time, before 15:17 today that I had a clipped in moment  3

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antonio [1124 posts] 6 years ago
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A Fenland clarion lad came up north to ride the Bolton clarion ten today Jimmy, he rode 88" fixed, not a bad ride either, stick with it, Boots!

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workhard [397 posts] 6 years ago
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dare I say riding 88" in a ten mile TT, when you are used to it, is a bit different to riding much further on a 79" when you're not  3

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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88" for a 10TT machine? pah. mine's gonna be a 99". bring on the hurt*

*okay, with the option for 90" too  1

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 5 years ago
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70 inch gear now on the new winter wheels.