Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Monkey Decade: Part 3

Intro: This year marks the tenth year I have been riding 29"ers. It also is my ten year anniversary of owning my Campstove Green Karate Monkey. There will be several posts throughout the coming months about my story with my KM and what is going to be happening to it now. Here's the third post....(see the first installment here The second installment is here.)

The Best It Ever Got: Circa 2006
 The Rides:

From 2003 till probably 2008 I rode the Karate Monkey on a pretty regular basis. In that time the bike was tweaked and tweaked until I was ordering custom bikes to imitate it "with improvements". Still- this bike, especially the 2006-2008 version, was probably the coolest, most fun single speed I've had going with the possible exception of my first Inbred or my Blackbuck. Definitely the best rides I ever had were on the Karate Monkey though.

Take for instance the time I decided to ride the aborted last 40 miles of Trans Iowa V2 from Cresco to Decorah. I only made it about a mile before my chain jumped ship and sawed off all the head in spokes on the drive side of my rear wheel before I came to an out of control stop on a downhill. the time it sucked. But it was a memorable day!

Or all the times I did recon for GTDRI rides on this bike and the hills I had to walk up. Many of those rides were in the 60-80 mile range. The Winter of '05/'06 was another especially good memory on the KM. I did a ride to my Mom's place all on gravel which was another memorable ride in that I rode into the evening and arrived after dark. The training rides for my first Dirty Kanza 200 attempt were all done on the Karate Monkey. I once did an 80 miler to Nashua, Iowa and back on this bike alone on a day off. That one was memorable for the dog that about bit me and the farm girl I saw mowing the lawn....... oh! s'cuse me!

Anyway, the biggest memory by far, and the biggest single day ride I ever did, was the very first Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational back in 2006. The route was 152 miles in itself, but I also rode the approximately 16 miles to and from the start point for a total of 178 miles in a single day, all on a single speed.

You learn to love a bike when you spend that much time and mileage on it. That or you hate it forever, I suppose. But either way that goes for you, all these big rides and small ones forged a love for the Karate Monkey and despite my not getting to ride it much anymore, I won't ever get rid of it.

Next Time: The Decline


Anonymous said...

Speaking of the time the chain broke and sailed ship-sucked yes,but like you said,often times the rides that seemed to suck-wind at the time make the bestest memories...funny how that works ain't it? LOL!

I remember reading some of the years you mention,brings back my own memories too,thanks Mark :)

The DC (or SS,or Hey You,Stop That! or something or other)

Guitar Ted said...

@Singlespeed Steve: Actually the chain never broke. It derailed mysteriously off the rear cog and jammed between the freewheel and hub flange, effectively becoming a brake of sorts.

I fashioned a chain guide/keeper afterward from a plastic freewheel style spoke protector, (Cosmic Ray deflector, for those in the know),which would prevent any future episode of the same thing happening.

Anonymous said...

Oddly,I had that happen similarly (though not as dramatically) on my old Redline d440 when I ran it as a 1x9...I see how it happened on the d440,as I shifted back and forth between rear cogs,the chainline was affected,it is indeed weird on your KM setup as a SS...