My bike only has one speed. Whether going down hill or making a climb, I don't have another gear to shift into. Me and my bike are a lot alike. I mentioned in my last post that I ride pretty aggressively in NYC. I wear a helmet and my training as a professional bus driver in college comes in handy as I zip through the winding streets of the West Village and the yellow cab dominated streets of Midtown. But now matter the neighborhood or terrain, I only have one speed.
Only having one speed is an incredible way to feel ever turn and know exactly what it is going to take to make it through an intersection or climb up a hill. Only having one speed means selling out to the effort you know it is going to require to grind through the backside of Harlem Hill in Central Park. With just one speed, there is no confusion about how to approach any kind of terrain, you just approach it like you do everything else and don't stop pedaling until you're on to the next one.
Yes, having one speed does mean your uphills feel higher and your downhills feel lower, but, knowing what you have and leaning into it makes the ride that much more personal.