Much ado about nothing
We neither want, nor expect any sympathy and we don’t want anyone putting us on the tough pedestal
As a singlespeeder, you have to answer questions, but I prefer to keep the answers light-hearted.
People ask questions like “What is the point of riding singlespeed?” and “Are you doing it to grab some attention?” or “Are you trying to create a new category because you still want to race, but can’t compete against geared riders?” Sorry, none of the above.
We have chosen to ride singlespeeds. No one has asked us to do it. No one is paying us to do it. Singlespeeds are just our preferred bike choice. We neither want, nor expect any sympathy and we don’t want anyone putting us on the tough pedestal. What if that space rightfully belongs to someone on a geared bike? It was our choice, remember.
Personally, I am against the idea of a dedicated singlespeed category. It’s just our bike choice, and we don’t see it as a huge handicap. If we feel we can compete, we do so. Once at joBerg2c I spotted a rider on a 26-inch hardtail with v-brakes. For me, that was more hard-core than the rides of the seven singlespeeders who were there and he managed to finish in fifth place. Some of those descents could not have been either pleasant or safe. We are not heroes, or looking for any extra attention. We have simply bucked the norm and chosen a different bike style, but a bike it still is.
All dressed up
Obviously, a singlespeed is still a singlespeed if you ride it wearing Lycra. We simply like emphasising the fun factor and fun is the only reason we like throwing in a little fancy dress and foamy beverages here and there.
Grant is the founder at Sprocket & Jack, an experience-centric biking and outdoor destination on the Greenbelt of Jozi.