But on a road bike?
Come on, road bikes are easy. You just keep on shifting until you reach the desired amount of suffering, I mean resistance. How hard can that be?
I used to ride geared road bikes all the time, but since last Fall, I've been on a geared bike maybe a half dozen times.
Two of those time were this week.
On Monday, everything went wrong due to poor preparation (I'm firing my mechanic!), so Tuesday I was back on the Fun Machine as a sort of bicycle sorbet, to clense my pallet.
Pretty good ride too. My ride into work rivaled some of my quickest rides in on any bike.
So today, I gave the Univega another chance. I had gone over it last night to make sure I had crossed my "i's" and dotted my "t's".
Mechanically it performed flawlessly, but I felt I was fighting it the whole way in. I kept thinking "this hurts, why am I going so slow?".
When I got to the shop I was indeed slow; 1:45 slower than the day before.
WTF (that's "text" for what the fuck)! Why am I slower on a lighter geared bike than a heavier fixed gear?
On the ride home, I was grinding up the climb to Roger's Orchard, you know sitting and spinning, looking at my speed. Man am I going slow. Maybe I'm this slow on the fixed gear, but I don't realizes it because I can't see the speedo standing?
The climb after the orchard, I jumped out of the saddle and it dawned on me. I don't have sit and spin muscles anymore.
All the fixed and singlespeed riding has developed my muscles differently than if I was trying to do a Lancy-pants impression.
From there on I decided to ride to my strengths. Don't shift down to a spinny gear and sit, but stand and use my upper body, like I'm used to. Ride like "me".
By the time I got to RT10, I was equal on time to Tuesday's commute.
By the time I got to the spot I flatted on Monday I was 30 seconds up.
Finally, when I got home I was up by 55 seconds. I pulled back 2:40 on the ride home. This was in the rain too, so I couldn't capitalize on coasting down hills either.
So what does all this tell us:
- Geared bikes are faster
- fixed gears are more reliable
- Charlie has too much time on his hands
- absolutely nothing
- all of the above