Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Derailleurless in Seattle

So the wife has been in China for two weeks exploring and sightseeing, which makes me a bachelor! Sounds awesome, right? Time to let loose and do all those manly things. I had all of these plans to do so much while she was gone. Things like visiting friends, maybe make some new ones, playing and recording music, going out to eat on the cheap ... you get the idea. Instead, I have been laying low at the house and catching up on sleep, eating easy to prep food and watching TV; I'm now up to date on Sons of Anarchy and I've finished Weeds. Damn if I ain't a ton of fun. A baller. 

I did do one thing I'm quite fond of, though. That one thing is converting my Gunnar Crosshairs into a singlespeed cyclocross machine. After ten years of ownership and having countless different setups that include the Gunnar being a road bike, a touring bike (with a triple chainring), a geared 'cross bike and faithful fendered commuter, she's now a bonafide simple steed. 

Perty, idn't she? (note the "hands holding a malamute" in the corner)

As most cyclists making the switch know, the "magic gear" is an extreme rarity and a bike with vertical dropouts will undoubtedly require the use of a chain tensioner. Not so for this project. I found the perfect 38-18 setup that adequately keeps a tight chain line and I couldn't be happier. I raced it last Sunday at the famed Silver Lake course, north of Seattle. It was a hoot and made me realize how perfect singlespeeds are for racing 'cross. No mis-shifts, no mishaps and no overthinking. Just riding as fast and efficient as possible.

And you know what? I'm not missing anything, except for my wife. 

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