In my last post, I swore I'd finish building my new bike and ride it to work Monday morning. Then I remembered I have to boogie from the office straight to the Whale Fat Follies immediately after work. Combine that with the thought of locking a brand-new bike in the heart of Spenard for several hours at night, and it just ain't gonna happen.
That's OK. I finished the build and took the Trucker out for a couple of shakedown cruises this weekend, so it'll good to go come Tuesday morning. I rode it for about 90 minutes this afternoon to check for problems, and the only one I came up with was a tendency to reach for my brake levers every time I want to shift gears. It's gonna take a little time to get used to bar-end shifters.
It's always fun to put a new ride together, especially when it's a bike with some eccentricities. The steerer tube on the fork, for instance, was long enough to be used for a prosthetic leg. My new crown-race tool wouldn't work because it capped out nearly three inches above the crown. (Fortunately, I still have my old homemade crown-race driver, which is a steel tube with open ends.) Then there were the bar-end shifters, which just felt weird to install. And cable couplers for the rear brake and both derailleur cables.
Yeah, lots of funky stuff. Not to mention a head tube that makes the front of the frame look like it was built for an NBA center.
The result is a bike with some character, like all versions of the Long Haul Trucker. I think it's a good bike for Alaska. It's durable, strong, and a little goofy looking.
Sort of like the bicycle version of a moose.