Going Single

A few weeks ago I wrote about my first experience riding with the wolfpack. It was exciting, and challenging, and I’ve been back every week since then. Sometimes I’ve gone further, sometimes I’ve gone faster, but in all cases I’ve pushed myself much more than I ever have before. I’ve never been much of an athlete, in fact skateboarding was about the extent of it for me. But there is something about these rides and seeing what I can actually do, and then trying to out do that, that has me completely addicted. Tonight is the one year anniversary of the Wolfpack Hustle rides, and what better way to mark than then with a 100 mile ride. Yes kids, tonight will be the Wolfpack Hustle All City Century. Seriously, click that link and look at that route. It covers the majority of Los Angeles, which means we’ll be covering the majority of Los Angeles. On Bikes. Oh yeah, and one new twist – I switched my bike to fixed gear.

Yes I know that’s right about the stupidest thing I could have done, hell I’ve even said so myself. How many times have I pointed out that I’m way too big of a pussy to even consider riding on a fixed gear? How many times have I said that single speed with a freewheel is about as crazy as I’ll get? How many times? I don’t know, but a lot that’s for sure. My friend Michael just bought a fixed gear and mentioned something that stuck in my head. He said that he felt like he was getting twice as much exercise with each of his rides and that he was getting more out of them. I didn’t think about it at the time, but in context of the above, of wanting to keep pushing myself further than I ever thought I could go, well, I decided to try it. I have a flip flop hub on my bike meaning worst case I can just flip the wheel and go right back to the freewheel, so why not at least try it out? So far I’m really enjoying it.

I don’t know if I’ll be enjoying it X miles into a 100 mile ride, but I guess I’ll find out. Previously my record for a single ride is just shy of 50 miles, and in 24 hours I’ve done closer to 80 (two rides with sleep in between) so I really don’t know how much of tonights ride I’ll be able to do, but I’m going for it and that’s all that matters. To me anyway.

On Friday I made it over a hill that I’ve never been able to go over without stopping before. I did that on the fixed gear. Right now, with everything going on in my life, it’s these little triumphs that make it all worth while.

I’m not going to be able to ride a bike much in Europe, what with not having one and the cold/snow/etc so I’m trying to get in what I can before I leave, and hope I don’t come back too out of shape.

Update: Aftermath post here.