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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 12-11-05, 02:36 PM   #1
eyefloater
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Put Up or Shut Up - Riding from Toronto to Montreal

This July I'm going to be riding in an HIV / AIDS benefit ride. It's 6 days long, averaging about a century tour per day.

I've never done anything like this before, certainly not of that distance. All my riding experience has been mountain biking or urban assault. Now that I think about it, I don't know if I've ever even ridden a bike on a stretch of highway (I can't wait to get buzzed by my first tractor).

Because I'm a bit of a mascochist, I'm thinking about doing this on a fg / singlespeed setup. I work at a shop, so I'll probably just pick up a Steamroller frame (finally, some good use for that slack geometry) and build it up w/ a fixed cog on one side and a double White Industries freewheel on the other (I'm thinking 48 chainring, 17 fixed, 16/18 freewheel).

Anyone done any extended fixed / singlespeed touring over wildly varying terrain? I could use some advice as to whether or not my gearing plan is completely off the mark or not. The maps I have are just road maps, so I have no idea yet as to what hills will be on the route (time to track down some topographic maps). I know there are some escarpments along the way though, so I might run into those.

Anyway, let me know. There'll be more questions to come (training tips, must-have items for the saddle bag, etc).

- eyefloater
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Old 12-11-05, 02:43 PM   #2
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hey, do you have any more information about the ride? is there a website?
being canadian and an HIV/AIDS researcher this is definetly something that I'd be interested in doing.
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Old 12-11-05, 02:47 PM   #3
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http://www.bikerally.org/home.html
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Old 12-11-05, 02:48 PM   #4
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That's the one.
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Old 12-11-05, 02:50 PM   #5
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sweet, thanks.
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Old 12-11-05, 04:53 PM   #6
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Eyefloater, You da MAN!
Holy CRAP eyefloater,
I second that!

After this you should go to Tour du Canada!
7500 Km going through 10 Provinces within a span of around 70 days.
Thats more than a century a day.
(thats more than the tour de france! **i think**)
http://www.tourducanada.com/
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Old 12-11-05, 04:56 PM   #7
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Sr, if I took 70 days off work I'd be living on the street when I came home.
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Old 12-11-05, 05:05 PM   #8
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haha,
I forgot about that point.
Maby I should get back to my job hunting :'(
*goes back onto www.torontojobs.ca*
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Old 12-11-05, 06:23 PM   #9
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I personally have not done anything like this because I am not up to it physically. My brother used a brown bean (whatever) Steamroller to ride the west coast of Italy last year. He rode south from Rome and bussed back. His gearing was 39/16-18 fixed. There are apparantly a lot of mountains to cross. He had a front brake. His only complaint was that messenger bags do NOT work for days on end. He said luggage must be fixed on the bike, because a bag causes too much strain on the back.
There, not my wisdom, but passed on wisdom. Oh, and one of his Look road pedals unthreaded itself from the shaft during a 2,000 foot descent.
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Old 12-11-05, 09:45 PM   #10
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Hey Eyefloater

I'll do it with you! We can do a spring run up to Kingston along the route. That'll be the only ugly part if memory serves (which it often doesn't or at least not well). We train up for the TNT hairshirt at the end of June and then do this ride at the end of July. I'm up for it.
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Old 12-11-05, 10:15 PM   #11
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*hi5*

That's the ****ing spirit.
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Old 12-11-05, 10:20 PM   #12
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I think you should consider a touring bike for this one, friend. Fixed gear is great for city riding, but for 6 days! Come on. That's what touring bikes are for.
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Old 12-11-05, 10:21 PM   #13
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It's funny, I'm trying to psych myself up for this and figure out how I'm going to manage it ... but I know a guy did it last year who went in for dialysis treatment every night after riding. The determination of some people absolutely amazes me. I just hope I can keep up and do my part for a good cause.
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Old 12-11-05, 10:27 PM   #14
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I think you should consider a touring bike for this one, friend. Fixed gear is great for city riding, but for 6 days! Come on. That's what touring bikes are for.
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Old 12-11-05, 11:15 PM   #15
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I think you should use a regular bike with gears but failing that i would advise something like 42:16 fixed with like a 20 free. Or maybe a nice 7 speed internal hub.
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Old 12-11-05, 11:57 PM   #16
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The daily rides are only 65 miles a day. The route has no hills to speak of as you follow the river all the way and the prevailing wind is from the West. Good shoulders and probably 40% of the ride is on designated bike paths but with a big supported group you will probably plug up the highway and piss off the locals.

This ride is a piece of cake. I did it last fall in 27 hours of riding on a cross bike.
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Old 12-12-05, 12:44 AM   #17
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You rode it in the fall? Just for ****s and giggles, or with some other group?
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Old 12-12-05, 01:32 AM   #18
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you might be interested in checking this dude's site out. he is from the UK and tours fixed; he even did a trip from Nova Scotia to T.O.

http://www.gordontaylor.co.uk/

i have also seen some other 'fixed' travelogs online, but do not have URLs for them.
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Old 12-12-05, 09:53 AM   #19
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I rode Toronto-Montreal twice last year with one other rider. I also did Kingston-Montreal once when the temp. was 5c and the wind was NE at 30kph. That was a killer as I averaged only 18-19kph.

I rode using my Marinoni CX and I never had to go lower than 42-23.
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Old 12-12-05, 10:06 AM   #20
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Thanks for the gearing info. I know this ride seems like a cakewalk to you, but having not done anything like it before it's still a bit daunting to me. Hopefully, I can get myself in good enough shape by July to take a stab at that 27hr time of your's.
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Old 12-12-05, 10:17 AM   #21
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man, if it's in july, i could totally come up from ohioland and kill that **** with you.
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Old 12-12-05, 01:08 PM   #22
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The biggest threat to your well being is not the distance. You will be riding with a lot of people who have liitle experience in long distance group rides.

People change their line or react to getting bumped and down you go.

A good way to get used to contact is get a friend and ride in a grass area and lean on each other and get used to the bumping. Cycling can be a full contact sport:-)

I don't do this type of ride cuz it is too tiring trying to watch everyone around me.
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Old 12-12-05, 02:14 PM   #23
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I'm interested in doing this ride too, if I can swing the time off work. I also want to do the hairshirt this year (with gears...now that would be a challenge fixed!).

Honestly, I don't think 100 km/day on a fixie would be bad at all. I've done it a few times, and it seemed pretty much like my geared road bike in terms of energy ouput. Ontario is pretty flat too.

Sounds like a fun ride anyway...good call.
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Old 12-12-05, 02:18 PM   #24
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You gonna put the URL in your sig for where we can donate? That's if I have any money...uhhh...I gave at the office.
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Old 12-12-05, 02:20 PM   #25
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I'm in!
From my time in Kingston I remember it being pretty flat. Certainly not like the terrain on this side of the country.

Now I'm picturing a custom S&S coupled single speed touring bike in my future.
DW? any thoughts?
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