The story of the St Gothard bicyle is not yet finished.
|St Gothard as a single speed|
The bicycle had served me as a fixie for some time - a very short time to be honest, as I couldn't really identify with the fixie setup. I tried to feel the advertised "mistycal connection of a rider with the road" - but all I got was few more things to worry about: chain falling off, sprocket unscrewing, leggings of trousers geting into the chainring, constant allertness to the traffic and when to brake. Finaly I realised I'm too old to play the hipster and turned the bicycle into a single speed one.
|The track where I tested |
St Gothard's cyclocross abilites
It's my main town-bike now. Sometimes it does unusual thing too. Once I rode it through the 2 km track of an cyclocross race. The second time I rode it to the second place that bears its name. It's a little village in Slovenia called - as you may guess, of course - Šentgotard. The place is situated close to a small pass called Trojane, which is probably second bigest tourist attraction in Slovenia, second only to Postojna's cave. Trojane is reknown for its apricot-marmelade-filled doughnuts. Even now, when the highway was built with the tunnel that evades the pass, people still take a turn off to buy the pastries. I made this little trip (40 km each way) one summer Saturday morning. It was a ride of 40000 wheel revolutions. A very nice experience indeed. On the way to Trojane I was accompanying a friend on a road bike and the single speed setup gave me the opportunity to train fast cadence and smooth pedaling technique. A nice little workout on a fresh morning. A little shower that we waited out on a bus station came at the right time to freshen up before the final 3 km climb. Then I made a shorter and steeper climb to Šentgotard and - after a doughnut - rode back to Ljubljana.
|St Gothard at Šentgotard|
The road form Trojane drops for 20 km, not very steeply but too fast to pedal, so I coasted for almost 20 km. I may well say that was a "mystical feelling of a connection with the road". Riding a single speed obviously engages a bit different muscles, and at the end I felt some strain in shins and hands, but it was well over till the end of the day. All in all this was a pleasurable episode that may become a regular summer pilgrimage. Maybe it will be part of the project to ride to all of the "St Gothard" places of the world?