Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Singlespeed Ramble

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

On Saturday, I took the Little 500 bike out for a spin. I rode down to the bike path that follows Sare Road. I’ve ridden on that path just a couple of times. That’s kind of silly, since it’s just about a mile from my house. My impression of the trail before was that it wasn’t all that great, but I hadn’t really explored it much.

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Quickly, I found this creek just off to the side.

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And this frozen pond.

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I made my way into a rather new subdivision that looked kind of fancy, but it was also a bit odd. The houses all appeared to be basically identical, except a few different-colored panels.

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I spotted another trail running behind the houses in this neighborhood.

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Considering that it ran right behind a subdivision, the trail had some nice wooded views.

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The trail was snowy and icy in spots. The singlespeed has 32mm tires, wide enough to manage well enough.

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The trail had been paved to this point, but the pavement ended. The trail was rather muddy, but still ridable. I rode through a field on a thin ribbon of trail.

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The trail reconnected with the first trail I had been on, and I rode on. I stopped by this pond, which also happens to be outside my doctor’s office.

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Here’s another pond right down the street, but this one was still frozen.

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I paused by a field before heading back.

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I rode home by way of Olcott/Sherwood Oaks parks. There’s a decent-sized ravine, with one park on top, the other below. This meant a good downhill, followed by a climb.

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I stopped at the bottom to admire the creek. As I did, a couple of other guys rode by … both of them were also on Little 500 bikes! They didn’t stop to chat, and I didn’t get a decent shot of them, sadly. I turned my attention back to the creek.

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I decided to extend my ride slightly on the Jackson Creek Trail.

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Now I had a good climb out of the ravine. I was curious how it’d be on the singlespeed, and it was just fine. Very doable. The gearing on the bike is rather low, at 42×18. It may take a while to figure out the ideal gear ratio.

By the way, here’s a closer shot of the weird rear brake configuration. Mike asked about this and mentioned I might be able to install a long-reach caliper. I *think* the bike was designed with this in mind, but I don’t know. Does the photo help at all? It’s hard to tell, but the rear bridge is drilled right behind the canti straddle cable.

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This was a great, if short, ride on the new singlespeed. I hadn’t intended to take it offroad, but it handled fairly well.

I put the bike to a much better test today — more about that soon.

6 Responses to “Singlespeed Ramble”

  1. Pondero Says:

    Exploring with the new bike. Sounds great. Good for the outlook.

    That rear brake configuration is new to me.

  2. Bill Lambert Says:

    Is that really one of the bikes they used in the Little 500? That’s cool!

  3. Apertome Says:

    Chris: Indeed, it was an absolutely refreshing ride.

    Bill: Yes, though it’s been heavily customized. Perhaps I should call it a “Little 500 Frame,” because little else is stock. Also, I’m not sure if this particular one was used in the race.

  4. Doug Says:

    How fitting that you live in Indiana and have a Little 500 frame. It’s kinda of like me living in Minnesota and having a Surly Pugsley (For those that don’t know, Surly’s World Headquarters is in Minnesota).

  5. Jon Grinder Says:

    Ah, singlespeed bushwhacking!

    FWIW: My favorite fixed-gear ratio is 42×17. Some consider that low, but it treats my knees right.

  6. Tim S Says:

    I know of 2 other SSers who would take a spin with you. ‘course, our gearing would be all over the place. Dave’s is closer to yours.

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