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Things I Learned at Single Speed UK

"Don't be a dick." Charlie the Bikemonger knows a few things about brevity. He's also fluent in sinlge speed races, or "reliability trials," or "liability trials." Whichever.

Maybe this doesn't make sense to folks who weren't there, but that's ok. It doesn't need to. All you need to know is that Dorset in the UK is a very hard place to get to, but very much worth the effort. Gut-twisting climbs up massive seaside mounds always paid off with stunning views and rebel yell descents. Cold clammy camping was tempered by the friendliest bonfire in the English (or some variant thereof) speaking world. And single speeding is still alive despite the efforts of all of us.

This is what I remember:

Camping provisions are best eaten with the Official SSUK GPS Device.

 

This is almost never a bad thing.

 

Something in England is "about this tall."

 

The "start" of the "race" was pretty "tense."

 

Going up is hard.

 

Looking back down made up for the hard.

 

A few racing firsts were achieved - stopping at a museum to see dinosaur footprints for one.

 

A local selling fancy cheeses at the finish line was another.

 

And I now feel that every race should have a poet scheduled at some point in the day.

 

The two on the right won (though we're not entirely certain how that was tabulated). The two on the left were ineligible - one for organizing, the other for being far too American.

 

So, if you're ever in Swanage, or possibly if you're in Birmingham next year, ride a bike with one gear and you'll probably learn something vital. Either that, or you won't. Still... do.

 

-Skip

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About Skip Bernet

Eric is one of the best people you’re likely to meet. He’s one of the folks you’ll reach if you call or email us. In fact, for more than many years he has answered questions about choosing the right model, what size you should get, and why toe overlap probably isn’t that big a deal. He is often Surly’s front man at events, easily recognizable by his tall height and probably unnecessary megaphone. Eric works remotely from a small office in the beautiful singletrack-rich town of Decorah, Iowa, where he lives with his lovely wife and son.

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