Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Mayhem The Weird Way...

Did Mayhem at the weekend as a sort of last minute substitute for a mixed team - ultimately there were, erm, three of us, when there should have been five. That and a load of brooding storm clouds and incoming isobars meant that I badged up the single-speeded Rockyvento as a Maverick, slapped a Morvelo sticker on the fork and an Alpkit one on the chainstay and slapped a Ragley Ti one on the seat-tube for max confusion and packed a selection of mud tyres.

It was kind of odd being non competitive from the start - normally it takes me a couple of laps - but  had a really good weekend. For starters it never really rained properly. I saw loads of nice people I've not seen for far too long and met some new ones too. The Horror Cat got an outing with glowing red eyes and all. And surprisingly my singlespeed legs worked despite advanced mono-cog rustiness.

Ended up doing two double-lap stints then a triple on Sunday morning. I could have done a quadruple, but it felt like enough and I wanted to be able to get back into 24/12 training mode this week. So, seven laps at a briskish pace for me, lots of climbing, 70-odd miles of singlespeeding, sore hands from that final descent taken flat out every lap cos it was smoother that way, or maybe it was just over faster...

Lots of people thought the singlespeed thing was mad, but actually it worked pretty well there - lots of climbing, but most of it at an eminently singlespeedy gradient and the lack of weight, Rocky's around 22.5lb with no particular effort to keep things light and the lack of complexity help. There's a certain smug satisfaction from listening to folk desperately screwing up gear changes at the bottom of every climb while you just creak serenely on your way.

The Horror Cat did the steering, I turned the pedals, pulled on the brakes occasionally and came along for the ride.

Overall it was kind of reassuring that I could do that with very little singlespeed background this year and still feel pretty strong. Next stop, 24-hour solo at 24/12 but with gears.

Somewhere at the back of my head though, is an insidious little voice that keeps whispering about maybe soloing Mayhem next year on the singlespeed...

Floaty, fluffy, rest-day mode now.

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