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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-02-05, 07:36 AM   #1
Kogswell
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Canada to Mexico on a single speed



Kent (THE Man) Peterson is close to finishing the Great Divide Race on a SS.

click here for the GDR web site

He posted this report earlier today:

Hi Everybody,

I'm at Gary Blakley's place in Del Norte right now with
my laundry in his washer. I got in here at 11:20 PM last night
and I'll be taking off again this AM.

Way too much to report, but I'll try.

This is by far the hardest thing I've ever done on a bike.
It makes PBP seem like dashing off to the corner market.

Given the terrain, if I'm lucky I average about 9 mph.
Add in time to purify water, grab food, put on sunblock,
figure out map cues, etc and it takes me 12 hours to go
100 miles. If I'm lucky I get going by 6:00 or 6:30 AM
and I stop around 9:00 PM and I sleep like the dead. I'm
averaging about 115 miles/day with some longer (close
to 150 mile) and some shorter (80 mile) days.

The rain bit. The mud stopped Alan and I dead one night.

Whoever wrote that the Fleecer ridge turn is "near the
top" is wrong. It's way short of the top. 4 of 7 GDR
racers (including Alan and me) went too far.

In general the cues are good but the modifiers are
misleading. "Steep climb" could be easy and something
that has no modifier can be a real pain.

In general the climbs and descents are fine. I've
walked a bit but I think everywhere I walked some
of my multispeed collegues have walked as well.

Antelope can go from 0 to 40 mph in a heartbeat. I know
this because I suprised a pair of them as I dove into
a gorge at 32 mph.

The Monocog rocks. So do the folks at Great Divide
Cyclery in Helena. They hooked me up with a new rear
wheel (which we liberated of a Hardrock singlespeed).
Apart from that, the bike has been running like a
champ.

One of the smartest things I ever did was tie my
paypal account to my debit card. All those donations
from various iBOBs are getting turned into chocolate
milk and Payday bars at an alarming rate. You guys
are the best, I couldn't be doing this without you.

One of the dumbest things I ever did was trust my
tarptent to a single strap with a fastex cam buckle.
The tent flew off my rack somewhere between Breckenridge
CO and where I stopped for the night. I didn't see it
go and spent a very cold (but thankfully dry) night.
Gary is hooking me up with a tarp and bivy for the
rest of the race.

I've been taking tons of pics. I'm going to try to
zap them over to Gary's computer and maybe he can
get them somewhere where you guys can see them.

I miss Christine fiercely but I try to call her
every day. BTW, you would not believe how remote
much of this is. There are days when I see almost
no people much less see any phones.

This is the greatest ride of my life. When this is
done, look for an article in Dirt Rag, a lot of stuff
on my website and eventually a book.

Sorry to cut this short but I've got a lot to do and
I've got to get rolling.

Thanks again to everyone for everything.

Bummer about Alan, Scott and Pete. I hate to see anybody
drop out of this. We really aren't racing against each
other, we're all just trying our best.

BTW, I'm feeling great and have taken no ibuprofin
or other pain stuff. I am pretty sunbaked and windburned
but I'm feeling good.

Oh, and Powergrips rock. So does the WTB Rocket V saddle
and the Butt Buddy.

That's it for now, Kent
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Old 07-02-05, 12:35 PM   #2
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That looks amazingly intense... Kent Peterson is a great writer too, I've always enjoyed his ride reports.

I look forward to seeing his finishing time, and boggling at it.

peace,
sam
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Old 07-02-05, 12:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidauex
That looks amazingly intense... Kent Peterson is a great writer too, I've always enjoyed his ride reports.
I believe I read that he'll report on this ride in Dirt Rag.
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Old 07-02-05, 03:36 PM   #4
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That's awesome! I rode the Great Divide a couple years ago, but at a much more relaxed pace, on a geared bike loaded down with a Bob and way more gear than I probably needed, and with a group.

I couldn't help but wonder the whole time, if it was "doable" on a singlespeed. I started riding singlespeed off-road just about six months before leaving for the Great Divide. In those months I found myself constantly surprised at how much was rideable with only one gear. These days it's no big deal, as I ride pretty much exclusively singlespeed off-road.

I still think the Great Divide on a singlespeed (especially putting in the kind of mileage that he is) would be a monumental accomplishment. I'm looking forward to the Dirt Rag write-up.

I'm curious as to what kind of gear he's carrying, as the biggest obstacle I see to riding the divide on a SS would be the gear weight. The route is pretty much all doable on a singlespeed, but when you factor in the extra weight of the gear then it becomes much more daunting. I'd guess he's either running a really low gear or or packing ultra-light.

Guess I'll hafta go check out the website.

-Trevor
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Old 07-02-05, 04:02 PM   #5
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That's awesome. For an endurance ride like this you wonder what his gear was.
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Old 07-02-05, 04:08 PM   #6
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Here is Kent's "Monocog Log" which is a loose log of his efforts to set up his Redline Monocog for the journey. He is running VERY light, with a homemade rack (and home made wooden aerobars). He's got a tiny sleeping bag and bivy sack, a little preprepared food, and not much else! It doesn't look like a 'loaded tourer' at all.

Kent's main web page: http://www.mile43.com/peterson/rando.html
The Monocog Log: http://www.mile43.com/peterson/MonoLog/MonocogLog.html

As to the gearing question, I believe I read he is using a 36/17, with an ENO freewheel, and nothing on the other side of the hub. Hardcore.

peace,
sam
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Old 07-02-05, 04:32 PM   #7
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thanks for the links Phi. my goal in life is to pack as lightly as he. Hardcore!
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Old 07-02-05, 04:45 PM   #8
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Mr. Peterson's fenders are absolutely the wildest I've ever seen.
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Old 07-02-05, 04:55 PM   #9
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didja see? he makes them out of used political campaign signs (that corrugated plastic stuff)
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