First, Seattle Bicycle Club Ride Pictures:
Today I rode 50+ miles on my single-speed bicycle, from Machias to Arlington, west over to Lakewood and down through Marysville. This was my first single-speed "half-century." Hitomi came along and joined with two other women (sisters) on a shorter route. I did fairly well, though I was tired near the end, especially after a long hill climb. I was ahead of the pack a few times. On the flats we were doing around 18mph. I can't spin fast enough for more than 19-20mph.
It's a bit of a surprise to other riders that I ride single speed. I was asked "So, do you have a real bicycle?" by one rider who had a carbon fiber bicycle and Dura-Ace components, a high-end wheel set, and color-coordinated bike kit. It's interesting that a lot of people think this way about bicycles without gearing: I did not buy a toy! And I was asked about the weight of my dynamo hub, the size of my gearing, etc., which I did not know. Should I remember these facts to tell others? Because to me, what I have is sufficient.
Still, there are inherit weaknesses, I do have a performance handicap. But the bicycle I have is fun to ride and that's fundamentally why I ride.