A lot has been written about one gear riding (i.e., fixed gear / single speed). People talk about the purity, the simplicity, the coolness factor, etc.
For me, riding a one gear bike is all about the “feel for the road”.
Don’t get me wrong; I love riding my single crank geared bike (42 x 12-25), especially if I am planning on traveling fast and far over big hills. But on a geared bike, you really do not feel the road. As the road rises or falls, one automatically shifts to more or less maintain the same pedal cadence throughout the ride.
But on a one gear bike, it’s a different story.
As the road goes up, your cadence slows down and the effort is more pronounced. One the backside of a hard fought hill, you start to spin until you feel no more resistance and then you spin some more. Once you have “spun out”, you coast and enjoy the ride. Unless you are on a fixed, then you are still spinning like crazy.
With a one gear bike, the rider becomes much more aware of the contours of the land and the ride is that much sweeter.