Friday, May 15

Touring Bicycle: Long Haul Trucker

Rohan is a great bike. Fast, light, carbon, all that. But he doesn't do it all. He's a he now, by the way. He's like a Porsche--very nice and can effectively do most of the things you need to do. But still, if you're going to drive across the country, you're probably better off with something else. Something more comfortable, and more rugged.

I don't go around buying bikes willy-nilly. I don't have the capital for that sort of thing. I hem and haw at the prospect of buying anything quite a bit. Or, it might be taken as hemming and hawing, I call it deliberation. I'll exhaustively research the options. If I can't find the perfection option--I won't do it. With this in mind, I inquired at the various bike shops about touring bike options. I had decided that I wanted a touring bicycle, because it's part of my Master Plan. So I took in a lot of anecdotal evidence from friendly mechanics and riders, as well as the internet, before making a few bids on eBay which didn't pan out.

2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker in Olive green 58cm from exeter wheelpower wheel power bike shop, exeter  portsmouth seacoast nhEventually I settled on the Surly Long Haul Trucker (2009) in Olive Green. The other color option was "truckachino" which could have as easily been called "canine santorum" because it was really that ugly.

Anyway, according to the Surly website, the only [decent] official Surly dealer in the Seacoast area just happened to be at Wheel Power Bicycle in Exeter NH. This is good news, because they are known for their friendly, reliable, and prompt service. So I put in an order for a 58cm Surly Long Haul Trucker, and there you have it. It's nice. It looks nice. I haven't taken it on a major (50+ mile) ride yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I do.

Surly Long Haul Trucker 2009 Olive Green photograph picture headtube 58cm touring bikes headset spacersCheck out this picture of the bicycle's front end. Those chrome spacers and stem look pretty cool. I kept the chrome look going with stainless steel bottle cages, too. In the bottom right you can see the SL-BS77 Shimano Dura-Ace bar-end shifter. These are supposed to be uber-reliable. Since the brakes and the shifters are seperate units, there's fewer things that can go wrong, which is good when you are 8,700 miles from home. And even then it's "easy" to fix.

2009 Olive Green Surly Long Haul Trucker Portsmouth NH Seacoast Exeter Wheelpower touring bicycle giles cooperHere's a shot from behind. The Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes are easier to clean and maintain than caliper brakes. These cantilever brakes have a good reach, so there's room for fat tires, a fender, et cetera. The tires are 700x37c Continental Travel Contact, which are pretty heavy duty. They roll easily over gravel and some sand, and I guess are really puncture resistant.

Anyway, there you have it. Now I have a bike that's not for racing. I have not named this bicycle yet. I am leaning towards Uchikoma right now, after the now-disassembled Tachikoma. The uchikomans were the ghostless AI tanks that replaced the tachikomans after they were destroyed, so the name will do, until it tells me its name.


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