What started as a ‘reply all’ on a group email to a bunch of singlespeeders, quickly turned into the most humbling, jaw-dropping and generous offers to borrow, buy or build my very first (and very retro-cool) one speed plaything. After expressing an interest in scoping out a friend’s – let’s call him Rob – 2000 model Kath-sized Avanti hardtail, before I knew it he was hard at work in his garage pulling a whole stack of spare parts together to create what honestly feels like the most perfect onespeeder I can imagine. What’s more, Rob actually made me feel like I was helping him by clearing up extra shed space in return for a six pack of Belgian ales. Singlespeeders will do anything to recruit. I’m constantly blown away by how inclusive, enthusiastic and head-shakingly generous this breed of riders are.
The RobMobile (which has such a better ring to it than Avanti Pro Series Hammer don’t you think?) has a lovely, smooth ride feel, seems to almost always be in the gear I would choose to ride anyway (not sure how that happens) and I’m loving how the whole ensemble instantly takes me back to the era where mountain biking began for me.
My race bike is so incredible that it’s easy to become critical of small things that don’t feel right, or forget how much the bouncy rear end adds to your climbing skills, so I’m looking forward to this new rig reminding me to appreciate the riding experience that both decades’ technology have to offer. I also tend to spin the pedals on my race bike rather than put any power through them or milk the track for all the speed it can give. It’s time to throw those habits to the kerb as well!
Thank you enormously to Rob and the rest of the singlespeed community for their support and enthusiasm. I’m really looking forward to finding out about the riding journeys and trail experiences everyone’s so passionate about.