About a year ago I started looking for a commuter bike. I was riding my Soma Rush at the time and commuting via Metro. I wanted a bike that I could run fenders on and possibly go on some trips. I had done some research and found the Surly Long Haul Trucker to be the best bike for the money.
I ordered the complete LHT and had to wait an agonizing month for it’s arrival. The only things I added to the complete build were a Chris King Headset, Brooks B-17 Saddle, Planet Bike Fenders, Tubus Logo Rear Rack, Old Man Mountain Ultimate Lowrider and Pletscher Kickstand. I was looking at joining a friend on his tour at the time so I ordered some Arkel Panniers as well. Here’s a pic from the day I brought her home.
I started commuting on the bike and after only a few rides I had to switch out the tires. Too many flats. I installed some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and matching Schwalbe tubes. The tires are heavy, but I haven’t had any tire issues if you know what I mean. I don’t want to jinx myself.
I’ve ridden almost 2000 miles on the LHT since then. I’ve made some more changes to the build. The bike now sports a Salsa seatpost (more adjustable), Dinotte Lighting, Nitto Randonneur bars, Nitto Extra Bar, Front Avid V-Brake and Shimano M324 Pedals.
Overall I love this bike. As a commuter it’s king. I haven’t had a chance to do any tours yet, but I’m sure it’s great there too. My only complaint is that it’s a heavy bike. I’ve been doing more fun/club rides and the LHT is not the best bike for that. At least the way mine is built. I guess if I removed the rack/fenders/kickstand everytime I wanted to do rides like that it would be better. However, that’s not what this bike is for. It’s my commuter and long distance bike.
My friend Bruce and I rode the Solvang Prelude this weekend. We both signed up for the Metric Century. Here’s a GMAP of the loop. The mileage doesn’t come out right, but we rode about 65 miles. This was my second Metric Century, so I was more prepared. I traveled lighter, but still could’ve gone lighter. I did better on the nutrition side of things. I think that helped both during the ride and during recovery. I felt fine the next day with no soreness.
Both Bruce and I kept up a good pace, stopping the take some photos and enjoy the scenery. We both felt it would be better if we just enjoyed the ride and didn’t rush. I think this ended up helping.
I borrowed a lighter bike for this ride. After the last Metric on the Surly LHT I was looking for an easier day. The bike was a Salsa Casseroll with standard road gearing. Overall the bike performed great. At the start I had some issues with the shifting, but Bruce helped me sort that out. The only thing I’d change about the bike is the gearing. I think this rear cassette would be a better choice for centuries or any longer rides.
In a sea of carbon bikes and spandex, we both stood out on our steel bikes and wool jerseys. We were both complimented on our jerseys and even got a “Nice Retros!” thrown our way.
Here’s Bruce on his Rivendell Bleriot.
The Salsa Casseroll I borrowed for the ride.
On the way to Neverland.
Two dorks visit Neverland. No sign of any Jacksons anymore.
After a very long 10 months, this past weekend I took out my motorcycle. I’ve been able to ride the moto for a long time, from the doc’s perspective at least. But it turned out that the biggest obstacle would be my own head. I was afraid of many things. Could my leg support my motorcycle? Would I stress it too much with all the starts and stops? Would I just be too scared to ride, period?
Well, it turned out that I was too scared to ride. But a funny thing happened. While working in the garage, I had to move my moto out of the way. I decided to throw a leg over it and something snapped. I wasn’t scared anymore. I fired her up and just wanted to ride. Just like that I felt comfortable again.
So this past weekend I cleared the day for a ride. Just me, my moto and the road. I headed out to Tehachapi. A favorite destination of mine. Home of the Tehachapi Loop, and very close to Caliente-Bodfish Rd. Today’s ride would only get me to breakfast and then home. It turned out to be just what I needed. Just “what the doctor ordered”.
Here are some pics from the road.
A good intersection. Vasquez huh? Has a nice ring to it.
Tehachapi Wind Farm
Kelcy’s Cafe for Breakfast.
My faithful ride. After months of patiently waiting, took me where I needed to go.
Use to be that “getting away from it all” meant just that. We’re living in a time where it’s now possible to share your adventures in real time with friends and family. I guess this could be considered a bad thing, but personally I like it.
Yeah, what does that mean? Well, for me, it’s the search for anything off the beaten path. Whether it’s via motorcycle, truck or bicycle. I’m not one for taking the same path or direction that everyone else is taking. It’s a problem. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. As I grow older it’s become more and more important to me to search out and find these hidden places. This will be my place to share some of them. Maybe just through photos, or maybe with words. I’ll see how it goes.