this one goes to 11

a classique bit from the eMpTyBeeR forums:

The Ten Phases of Singlespeeding

1. Build your first singlespeed -- inspired by others riding SS, you either convert an old bike or buy an entry level SS to get the flavor.. Ride it, bitch about how hard it is getting up the hills, think about where to ride next. Lather, rinse and repeat...

2. Upgrade madness -- the weight weenie / blinglespeed side takes over and you suddenly develop a need to upgrade. A combination of an empty bank account, an upset significant other or a weight weenie part failure ensues. You have parts shipped to work, so the wife won't see the bike parts you ordered. You start looking for ideas (like the MTBR SS forum) to further your obsession of the perfect SS.

3. Gear ratios - your brain becomes obsessed with determining the optimum gear ratio for the upcoming race or given terrain. You temporarily lose focus on just riding and being one with your bike. Your library of forks, chain rings and cogs/cassettes starts to rival the selection at Supergo or Webcyclery.

4. Realization - the entry level SS no longer is good enough. You convince yourself you need a better bike -- custom, SS specific, whatever..

5. Purism - you realize that you're almost exclusively riding your SS. Your other bikes are collecting dust. Under your breath, you sometimes mock others riding gears and work your butt off to one-up them. You use your SS as a tool to brag or as an excuse / handicap (I geared too stiff for the course...) Start hating RockShox and Shimano just on principle, and start thinking rigid forks and DH tires are the better setup.

6. Laziness - you go out and upgrade to a "proper" SS. Now that you it, the upgrade and gear ratio obsessions are fulfilled. You get lazy, and start trashing your bike without taking care of it. You forget about checking tire pressures, chain tension, broken teeth and don't even consider about the consequences. A wonderful delusion, until the bike leaves you stranded 5 miles from your car, and your cell phone has no signal deep in the woods...

7. Heresy - ride your SS so much, that when you ride your geared bike, you miss your SS. You take it one step further and actually sell off the geared bike(s) that you previously couldn't live without.

8. Fight club - start putting beer in your water bottles, grow some unusual facial hair (for the men), dress like a freak, and acquire the attitude that you don't give a shit about racing or beating the gearies. Riding a pink colored bike frame or wearing orange socks with your Birkenstocks to a bar after the ride doesn't even click to you as being strange.

9 (optional) Scorching - as if SS'ing isn't fringe enough, start thinking http://www.63xc.com is an interesting alternative. Give it a go, maybe even get hooked.

10. Approach martyrdom - actually leave the clique by riding so much that few buddies can keep up with you. You become one with your bike. You simultaneously learn a level of humbleness and let your results speak for themselves

check,meh,sorta,check,check (w/o the hate),
check,check,check,check, half-check
(there's that humbleness thing)

so what's next?
this thing has to go to 11.

The hundie gave me fresh perspective for the effort.
It was tough, sub-ten to get around that loop was
more of an effort than I recalled or anticipated.
Lot's of experience relied upon, patience to work thru
the typical 2-3hr slum. Then crash thru into the quiet
place and stay there. Not the cakewalk I'd hoped for,
and not the type of effort I'm looking to experience
again for a while. Well, physically, yeah, I'll go there
again, no denying that. But I think the inspirations
will be different, find better answers for "why?"
Time to play another game, where minutes and
seconds aren't determining factors.

Where the challenge is due as much
to raw discovery as it is to getting
from A to B as quick as you can.

Bit of a refocus on the horizon, it's
just a natural progression, at least
from where I'm pedaling..

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