Legs of steel
I’m sure I used to round that corner and dread that climb. I’d get to the top with my lungs fighting my heart to see which would escape out of my chest first. These days I just round that corner and pedal a bit harder until I get to the top. I actually enjoy that bit of trail these days. Clearly I’m getting fitter.
Part of it is down to riding singlespeed, I’m sure. You just can’t say “sod it”, stick it in bottom gear and then spin all the way up. You have to attack the climb. It’s all or nothing, and nothing is an admission of defeat and a walk to the top. That’s not to say that I don’t admit defeat from time to time, but more often than not, I’m getting up the climb in one go, or at least forcing myself to get back on and ride the rest of the way instead of walking.
Speaking of the singlespeed, I’m trying to put thoughts of shiny new bikes out of my mind by attempting to tame this beastie. I’ve always felt that it was a bit too big for me. These days I’m not so sure. It’s a bit long in the top tube, but since I cannibalised the shorter stem from the downhill bike and moved the seat forward a bit, it’s become somewhat easier to ride. It’s by no means perfect, but i’m no longer quite as stretched out as I was, so it’s a load more confident through the tight singletrack and I can actually ride it down some of the steeper stuff. Bonus!
Of course, I still want the shiny new bike aswell…
It still needs a disc-brake compatible back wheel (v-brakes are 100% of poo), some nice new forks, and another seatpost, even if only to stop the infernal creak that’s emanating from the RaceFace XY at the moment. It’s fine until you get a bit of dirt in there, at which point it creaks and cracks loudly over every little bump. Grumble. Clearly I’m just far too hardcore for it.