Yesterday morning I had an appointment to meet some people from the maintenance office to look at the floor to ceiling crack in my wall at 8am. After they left at 9, feeling motivated to at least get some ideas out for renovations I decided to take the day off; well that mixed with a burning desire to pick up the new rig and try it out. So after a morning spent drawing up plans for wall removals and other such absurdities I ran over to Proteus Bikes, and officially got my new toy.
Decided to try out a new park since I was a bit nervous about the hills of Patapsco on my first single speed adventure. Ended up heading down to Rosaryville which may be my new home park. Loved the trails there; very fast and fun. The ride was going great for about the first 25 minutes and I felt like I was flying and maneuvering very well until pop, there goes my chain. (PS fu shimano hyperglide). The chain had actually fallen off early in the ride but unfortunately this type of thing never occurred to me so I had no tools to tighten it. Plus being 30 minutes from home and not wanting to have to run all the way to get something I just kept going.
When the chain busted I felt like I was probably about half way around the loop so I just kept going. Looking back I can see that was a mistake as I ended up getting lost multiple times and after over an hour of wandering I finally while heading the wrong way again managed to flag down some park workers in a pickup that were kind enough to give me a lift back to my truck. Something like this has never happened to me before so the complete and utter frustration of being completely unable to pedal was a new torture for me. I really hope that never happens again.
Anyway, Proteus hooked me up with a new SRAM chain and shortly there after I loaded up the old Trek along with the new Jamis and headed for Wakefield. This time, the bike worked like a dream, though I was forced to take it easy due to a total lack of head protection. Apparently in my haste to pack up and get back to Proteus with my broken bike I lost/left my helmet. Not sure if it blew out of the back of my truck, if I left it in the truck I got my ride in or if I just tossed it on the ground somewhere but whatever it was I now officially need a new helmet.
I got some funny looks from people on the trails at Wakefield, and rightfully so as they eyed up my battered backwards baseball cap. But, after sitting through over an hour of traffic to get there I wasn't about to turn around and skip my opportunity to ride. This time everything went smoothly and the bike flowed like a dream. The fully rigid frame was a bit tough over some of the cobbled sections of Wakefield though I also was running a somewhat high air pressure in the tires. I am however officially in love with this bike. The single speed appears so far to be more of a blessing then a curse and I never once felt limited by the gearing (aside from the time I spent with zero gearing).
After this ride I spent another hour sitting in traffic over to Falls Church to sadly sell the old Trek. It was fun for the 10 years it was around; I was sad to see the skater ride off on the bike I had the longest relationship of my life with. I'm hopeful he will provide a good second life for her, though how much single track she'll see for the remainder of her life I would guess will be pretty limited. We'll call her retired but working; it's a part time commuter gig.