Props to Brady for making me check myself, before I wrecked myself.
On the ride home after the truly fun and adventurous Cranksgiving race, I mentioned to Brady that I was thinking of converting my heavy Bianchi commuter to a single speed. He piped up right away, "Now why would you do that? What's wrong with the way it is now?" This reaction caught me off guard.
Usually when you tell a cyclist you're going to strip down to one gear, they shower you with accolades for being a bad-ass. I believe Brady was really just naively curious why limiting yourself to one gear would be a good idea. In the conversation, I tried to explain away how one gear is less maintenance in crappy weather, less possible equipment to fail, and a little lighter too. We changed subjects after that. But everytime I pondered what kind of fancy lightweight single speed specific wheel I could build up, or what gear I should use, Brady's question would again ring thru my mind. Then yesterday, I got the answer.
I decided to pick up a couple groceries on my way home from work, but made a little ride of it by heading out to the Hy-vee on Cass St and 70something-ith. My legs and back were sore from my fun mtb ride the evening before and there was a slight 30-40mph North wind. So when I turned north on the trail from Pacific street, I busted down to my 23 tooth cog in the back and spun easy. I was Sssssooooo glad to not have a 42 - 16 gear as my only choice. Plus, the side benefit is I won't spend any more money on stuff I really don't need.
So to Brady, Thank you sir for your astute observation of the glaringly obvious. One gear is not all you need all the time.