thoughts on #ssaz

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With all the options available to you in this modern era, why ever would you choose a singlespeed?

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Pork Torta played the afterparty…and they were a Good Time!

It’s a question worth asking. Gears roll by with the booming system. Suspended fronts and backs make the trails so shmooove. Etc. Why- no, HOW could you limit yourself? Box yourself in? Willingly cast aside the options of making the ups easier and the downs faster?

Words can mumble how cheap it can be*, talk up the hard-man angle, scream that it’s punk-as-fuck, or whisper about the virtue of simplicity. Word up.

My answer? It’s fun. There is so much posturing and jocking in the (cycling) world. Frankly, it’s tiresome. I’d rather ride “fast” while partying than do any other kind of riding. There’s no need to whip out our ____s and see who’s got the ____est when the trails dictate for us. Suffer now, rip later.


Sure, dummies can ruin anything (cue comments…), but singlespeeds seem to weed most of them out.


The vibrations at #ssaz were the iriest, mi bredren. So much party and niceness. I had vague notions of the desert, never having spent time in AZ. Now, I have very specific notions of the desert and all the yahoos under the rocks out there. The people, the people, the people people the people, the people everywhere…really good folks out there. Like anything, the cycling scene is varied and your local determines what and how you ride. The trails in AZ are hard and out for blood. It was an eye opener, and I liked it.


Sedona? Y’all got so much singletrack! Flowing, shredding, over my head- all of it. Respect and thanks to your trail crew. Really nice (lots of hard) work. Really. If you like riding- go there.


Cave Creek? I was not aware of the variety of micro-climes the desert is hiding. Grassy, shaded creek-side singletrack? Yep. Saguaro forests and swimming holes? Check. The folks responsible for #4 Trail deserve praises, and the plastic bottle of Early Times I cached in that one creek crossing just behind the trail-side saguaro. Y’all don’t forget it’s there…


I’d let my singlespeed languish for some time before this trip. Some bike or other has been calling me and time passes. #ssaz was a nice wake-up. Seems like singlespeeding events have morphed from gatherings of folks who like to party and ride hard into gatherings of folks who like gatherings of folks who like to party and ride and wear costumes. If that’s your thing, cool- it’s not mine. #ssaz had all kind of costumed yahoos but the focus was party ride through some hard-assed country, and I especially dig that.


I will be back.


*Don’t kid yourself- there are plenty of blinglespeeds.

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8 Replies to “thoughts on #ssaz”

  1. Pingback: thoughts on #ssaz | PEDAL CANTON

  2. Singlespeed? Sometimes I wonder why one would choose a freewheel over a fixed cog. Usually while I’m riding my (rigid, 3×7) Gary Fisher. Hey, I never claimed to be rational.

  3. Great perspective. My first SSAZ but not the last. I’m not a regular SS rider but at the last minute a degeared a Karate Monkey and showed up. Damn glad I did. I described it to friends as a 3 day party with a SS mtb beat down in the middle.

  4. How about you dont have to worried about jamming your derailleur and being stuck out in the middle of nowhere,

  5. “The people the people the people.” Well said Reverend! I love singlespeeders and tough singletrack. SSAZ Has it all!…and whiskey trees!

  6. It’s not singlespeed bikes that are dumb, it’s singlespeed riders who are dumb. Constantly blahh blahh blahhing about it. Get over it already.

    A singlespeeder from 1998. Yeah, they existed back then, they weren’t cool though.

  7. Bruce,

    SSAZ was a gathering of the tribe that was more like the days of old. People stomped on hard trails and then partied like the wild desert creatures they are. Yeah, that exists today and it is fucking cool.

    Got a joke for ya:
    Why did the hipster burn his mouth on pizza?

    He ate it before it was cool.