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.


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


And this frozen pond.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


I paused by a field before heading back.


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.



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.



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



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.


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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