Granny Gear

It was another bike to work opportunity. In the winter it's harder, because I have a lower temp limit of 32 degrees. Below that I need a full face mask and goggles and I am just unwilling to put that much on in order to get on my bike. It's sort of the same reason I never took up surfing on the West coast. I hated getting into a wetsuit.

The problem is that I also don't ride in the rain. So the days in the winter that are clear and no rain are also the coldest days. So I'm good to get two days a month in. 

One big difference between the Bay Area and Nashville is the hills. Yes, Nashville has hills, but the Bay Area has mountains. I bought my current bike for the dual purpose of commuting and hill-climbing. I loved going up Page Mill, Old La Honda and Kings Mountain, mostly for the challenge of getting to the top and the visceral reward of descending. I like going fast…

So my bike was what gearheads call a triple, with three cranks up front to provide a wide range of gearing, from an ultra-low granny gear to handle 10+% grades to an ultra-high gear to peddle when going 30+ mph.

In Nashville, I've never needed my small crank (where the granny gear lives). The hills just aren't steep or long enough to move down to that crank and I have to admit that it's with a bit of pride when I say that.

But I am slowly losing my fitness. My plantar fascitis has prevented me from running for almost six months, and I'm noticing things like my pulse rate increasing, my aerobic capacity decreasing, and my biking getting harder. So this morning I actually seriously considered going to my granny gear. And I'm almost ready to accept the fact that I'm now getting slower over time instead of faster. So as I approach the half-century mark, I'm trying to change my mindset that has driven me for all my life – faster, harder, more. I've got to somehow change that to slower, easier, less. And enjoy it. Wish me luck!


Screenshot 2013-11-15 10.29.21

Categories: Deep Thoughts

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