I'm often amazed at the generosity of some people. Since we put the NEBC Junior Development Team together last year we have received a number of donations from club members and friends for clothing and goods. Earlier this week my friend Jason donated his old, complete road bike which he'd been hit by a car on. Despite the damage there were still some good usable parts to be had, which will be put to good use. Another buddy Rich donated a vintage purple Zaskar and a box of parts that have been put to good use as well as those donations made by countless other friends and club mates.
Over the past season these donations have resulted in us being able to get team race and training clothing on the backs of the kids on the team. We have also been able to piece together numerous cyclocross and mountain bikes for the team members to use. Friends have donated tons of new and used goods to the cause and it has made a huge difference.
Yesterday, a friend gave me a shout with a potential donation. He asked if I was interested in an old single-speed mountain bike for the team. I told him that I certainly was and thanked him profusely. I've been putting single-speed MTBs together for some of the kids over the winter so this was perfect timing. I've got one of the kids on my spare SS MTB and built another for one of the other kids from an old TREK donated by my friend Chris.
You see, I'm a huge proponent of single-speed mountain bikes. If you haven't guessed, I'm kind of old-school. I say let them learn to ride on a rigid single-speed before they get to play with gears and suspension. This will make you a better rider. It will force you to learn invaluable skills like conservation of momentum, reading the trail for lines and looking/planning ahead. With a single-speed you can't just come into a hill slow and shift down, you need to recognize that a hill is coming and hit it hard. With the lack of suspension you need to read the trail for a clean line and then be able to negotiate it. All good skills that pay huge dividends regardless of the bike you are riding.
Anyhow, yesterday my friend Clayton donated a classic, his personal Phil Wood Kiss Off rigid single-speed MTB. I anxiously headed over to Pedal Power in the AM to meet him and snag the bike. The thing is decked with a very choice White Industries Dos Eno freewheel and matching crank. It has sweet Phil Woods hubs to match. This is a true classic that had unfortunately over the years found it's way to the back corner of the garage, alone and unloved. It will be greatly appreciated by the team and will continue it's life for some time.
Thank you Clayton and thank you all for your donations and help.