If Vyvyan Rose didn’t raise a few eyebrows among the pro-amateur road-racing set when he chose to take part in Sunday’s MS Sydney to Wollongong event on a Chappelli three-speed, he certainly did when he started overtaking them.
The event now over, Vyvyan, who was blissfully unaware of the 90km up-and-down route until two days before, is entirely happy with his choice of bicycle. “I’m feeling surprisingly fine; it’s like I never rode the race.”
He even finished ahead of one of his two mates also participating, both of whom were on very fancy 20+speed road bikes, and also overtook several participants on the way.
Paradoxically, he says that having only three gears made the route easier to ride.
“You’re not arsing about trying to find the right gear when you go into the hill or the top of the hill. You either have low, medium or high and that’s it. So mentally, if it looks like a steep hill you go straight to the lowest gear; I noticed this even more because I was going past people struggling to find the right gear.”
The bike also proved its value in the descents. “When we got to the top of a hill and stopped pedalling I’d easily be freewheeling 5kms/h faster than my mates.”
So what did other participants say as he rode past? “I got several comments about the bicycle, and lots of people riding past and saying ‘Beautiful bike; you’re nuts for doing it on a fixie!’”
“I took the kudos and didn’t tell them about the three gears hidden in the hub.”
Vyvyan’s team raised $1500 for MS Australia – and his mates have since placed orders for their own Chappellis too!
Let us know if you’d like to be part of a Chappelli team at this or any other cycling event.