Fools Gold Single Speed, 2013

Posted: September 8, 2013 by Mark in Uncategorized

On Saturday, I raced the Fools Gold 100 mile in single speed. I had a great time at the race last year.

The Fools Gold race is in Georgia. The route covers a rugged stretch of the Chattahoochee National Forest. This sort of area has a much different feel vs. the the Piedmont of North Carolina. I was glad to have the chance to once again face the challenge of true mountains.

The big climb at Fools Gold is around seven miles long and for the 100 mile distance the my GPS recorded 12,329 feet of climbing.
Fools Gold Profile

A mountain ride is an enjoyable challenge on any bicycle. With geared bikes riders spinning hard up the climbs, power across the flats, or shift up and attack the descents. Using gears the rider decides when they want to go hard or easy.

On a single speed bicycle, the effort level is always connected with the terrain. We jog or walk the steep stuff. A small gear forces us to go easy on the flats. When gravity takes over, we must coast. The terrain decides what effort the rider must provide. The rest/work/rest cycle on the single speed is very pronounced. For me, the changes in rhythm makes long rides in the mountains very enjoyable.

In Raleigh, I normally ride a 38/22 but for trips to mountains I setup the bike with a slightly smaller gear. As you can see from the elevation chart the Fools Gold race starts with a good bit of climbing and what follows is a mix of up and down. For Fools Gold, I used 36/22 and think it was a good selection the day.

The race went very smoothly and I was happy with my performance. My fitness this year is not as good as it was last year but I road a smart race with good pacing and was happy with my finish time.  I placed 7th this year and while it was not as good as the 5th place result from last year I was still super happy with how the day went.

There is also a nice write up of the event on Cycling News.

  1. James says:

    Congrats Mark. Wish I was still there riding with you…we could have car pooled…or did you ride your SS to the race? ;)

    • Mark says:

      Ya, I road my single speed with 36/22. I actually have not ridden a geared bike since I built up that first single speed and had so much fun at Bushwack.

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