So do you remember ever having that feeling after being on a boat of still rolling, or going roller skating or ice skating when a kid and afterwards feeling like you still had your skates on…… well that’s how my legs feel after today’s ride. They want to keep moving, spinning round and round.
Today’s ride was up the historic Rewanui Incline – a nice relatively easy ride from home. Starts out with a hill climb and pedal along the main state highway before turning inland at Dunnolie and then heading up the old Rewanui Incline – originally a train line leading to an old coal mining area. It is a gentle incline – you always know your going uphill mind you but it isn’t particularly strenuous – that is unless you’re on a single speed!
Stephen kindly decided to make me up a single speed and thought today would be a good day to give her a try out. Sure, why not. Have to say it was fun. Not so much the climb – I mean it is beautiful up the valley. We had clear blue sunny skies – very cold after the recent snow falls on the mountains during the week but a gorgeous day for a bike ride up the valley.
It is quite refreshing getting out on a single speed. When you’re not used it, its seems you continually want to go for your gears – of course there aren’t any – that’s why they call it a single speed!
We stop a few times heading up for photo shoots – naturally. It does give my legs a bit of a rest but then I end up having to bike further by biking up for the photo, turning round and coming back down for another, only to bike back up again. The things we do……
Eventually the top arrives and we stop to put on another layer – it is going to be cold heading back down! On with the jackets and also a bandana each for our heads – wow, how did we ever get on without these things. We may look ridiculous but at least it keeps the chill off our heads.
Now for the downward run. I thought I’d make this a bit more fun – can’t exactly go screaming down with just the one gear, it is a total spin out. I decide to try to see how far I can get without pedalling. The first couple of kms are ok, gentle downhill just the natural gradient that just lets me flow. I get down nice and low – Stephen laughing behind me making fun of how silly I look. Lance Armstrong however would be mighty proud of me – streamlined I think they call it! Stephen eventually disappears in front of me and out of sight, I will not be beaten though, this can be done…..mmmm….. or maybe not. Unfortunately there is a section that just seems to go flat – I don’t remember there being a flat section coming up, I’m sure it was all a grind, but no, definitely loosing traction and fast. Blast! Eventually I have to concede defeat. Stephen is long gone so I now put the pedal to the metal (or so to speak) and spin my way down to try to catch him.
Now I have to say, if Stephen laughed at me before and thought I looked silly, just as well he couldn’t see me now! I even felt silly, pedalling like a crazy woman and hardly going anywhere. Thank goodness we hardly ever see anyone when riding up here – and thankfully today was no exception. Finally my perseverance paid off and my legs were rewarded with catching up to Stephen. Back at the road and time for the homeward sprint.
Sprint you say – yep! Sprint is what I did, I spun those legs like there was no tomorrow. Stephen came up behind me when we reached Rapahoe asking “what was that about – you were hammering it”. Between breathes I managed to get out “stuffed now!” I did have a purpose though, it was to stay in the sunshine as long as possible. Didn’t want to be doing the last section home once the sun had gone down – cold enough already. After a bit of huffing and puffing (yeah, yeah, on my part only….) the spin out was worth it, we had the sun going down for the final hill – looked spectacular after such a gorgeous day.
Back home and the race wasn’t over – oops, race, did I say race – definitely……. final race to the shower! My first single speed ride – LOVED IT!