This bike is NOT made by Salsa Cycles!
Last Saturday I was scheduled for a ride with "Big Buff" and the plan was simple, have some fun, recover a bit and enjoy the scenery. Hell, why not break out the single speed and really keep it real?! I must admit I was a little skeptical about busting out the 26" wheeled single due to the fact that I've become quite accustomed to cruising through single track for 12 hours at a time on my Big Mama. Oh well, it was just going to be for fun right?
I met "Big Buff" after doing a little warm up in some famed Duluth single track. I felt I had the bugs worked out and things were clicking off smoothly when we "knucks" and commenced our ride. Immediately we assessed each other's gear ratios and did the whole "that seems like a good gear", "dude, I'm geared out harder than you are" thing. We started our ride and soon I began to abandon the notion that this ride was for fun. I stared at the non speaking end of "Big Buff" for most of the day as I chased and chased. At times, I was out of the saddle for minutes while he told a story I couldn't hear and cleaned climbs without breaking his cadence or rising out of the saddle. Occasionally I'd call out "Cool!", hoping that generic response would fit in with whatever he just said that I didn't hear due to the sound of my own heart beat pounding in my ears. Despite being on the same trail the whole time I found that I was absolutely blasted with mud, while "Big Buff" looked like he just got back from a wedding. How could this be? I had seen him hit the same wet spots I was hitting. It had to be my little boy wheels. Soon, every disadvantage, every climb I couldn't make, every spin out that screwed me up had every thing to do with my little boy bike.
The day wore on and I decided to just call a spade a spade. I had no more shame left to hide. When I fell behind I began to call out "DAD...WAIT FOR ME!!" I'd hear a chuckle and some barely audible continuation of a story that he thought I'd been listening to for the last ten minutes. At one point I went so far as to call him out on his gear ratio. I might as well as called him a liar. He maintained his ratio was true. I went on to pretend that I knew it had something to do with a physics thing that I'd never understand, big wheels vs. little wheels. I could have sworn that I once saw Guitar Ted write something about it, I sourced him anyway as to where I'd come upon this knowledge (G.T., hope that's o.k.).
The day taught me one important lesson, my next single speed will no doubt be a Salsa Cylces "Big Boy" bike and I can't wait.