Took the new niner out for the first official trail ride last night at Luton. Temps were low 60's, sun was out and the trail was dry and perfect. No leaves on the trees yet, so you can see inside the forest for quite a ways.
This was some of the most fun I've had on a bike in a very long time. And I've had some good ones. The ride was so simple - no shifting, no suspension - NO chain slap (love that).
I determined there are two rules to piloting a single speed rigid bike:
#1 Pedal or walk (no in-between, no guessing - either get off your lazy ass and pedal or give up and walk the walk of shame)
#2 Be extra vigilant (watch for every imperfection in the trail - small hidden roots, holes and rocks that would normally be soaked up by your cushy shock - now all of a sudden really matter)
There was lots of standing up and pedaling. Which is good for me, because I'm not much of a climber, so hopefully this helps with what I have always been lacking. My hands really hurt - combination of no shock and just lacking "bike muscles" and my middle and lower back were crampy later. I think just from having to stand up and pedal.
I really did feel like the 29" wheels carried more momentum than my old 26". There were spots that normally put me down for granny gear that I felt like I was carrying up most the way just by momentum. Or else it could have been the combination of...1000mg of Acetaminophen, (1) Hammer Fizz Tablet, (1) Reese Peanut Butter Egg and (1) fat guy on a brand new mountain bike.
Overall, a super fun ride. I was under no time constraints. I was solo. Peaceful and quiet.
I showed up to ride happy, and that's exactly what happened.