When I first got into mtb, I was super fit from racing. So I hopped on my single speed mtb, whirlied my cranks down to the trail, did a few laps, then whirlied home. I don't have that kind of endurance now. Or strength.
I really like the single speed for trails, but it takes quite a bit of strength to punch it up those short steep bumps. Jewell park is near impossible for me on the single speed, but all other trails are doable. Like I said though, as my training/racing went away, so did my strength and endurance. Last year I found myself driving to the trail head, riding a couple laps, then driving my sore, beat-up body home.
Well now I get to learn it all over again. I just setup my mountain bike as a 1x9. So I have a 34t chainring and a regular 11-34 cassette in the rear. Plenty of choices to get me going on the roads and also not have to use my entire body to get a single gear over some steep stuff on the trail. We'll see how that all works out. I already made a mis-shift this morning on the way to work. Right after a stop light turned green, I tried to push a pretty big gear, but instead, my chain popped off. Crap. So I moseyed over to the curb. Nothing was broken, but I guess I can't punch it like I do on my roadie or when my mountain bike was setup as a single speed. Very interesting.
In other news; please donate thoughts, prayers, money, bike parts, good luck, bandages, or skin to Bryan. He's had a couple of rough months so he could use any help possible. Cause that's what friends are for.