I've been riding bicycles since my mother first wrenched the training wheels off my little one-speed piece of crap in 1954. I love to ride...on road, off road, tandem, recumbent - whatever - in the sun, rain, cold, hot. It doesn't matter. But there is one major thing I just don't get: What are all those fucking gears for? I first rode on a one-speed bike. It was fine, but I have to admit there were some hills I just couldn't pull. The rich kids had "English Racers," with a three-speed mechanism on the handlebars. That made sense. The low gear was low enough to pull the hills, and the third gear gave a little bit more on top end than my one-speed. Then came the ten-speeds. Two sprockets in front, and five in the back. Lots of gears, but what for? The top gear on a ten speed was generally no higher than on a three-speed, and the bottom gear may have had a little more grunt than first on a three-speed, but so what? These were all ROAD bikes, so a super low gear was pointless. Now i have a 24-speed "mountain" bike, and 21-speed "road" bike. How are you supposed to ride these things? You certainly don't run up the gears like you do in a car. There is tremendous overlap among the gears on the first, second, and third sprockets. I usually just use the highest gear that I can comfortably handle. This can't be right. How are you supposed to ride these things?