Monday, July 18, 2011

The long-haul lesson

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after a week of commuting on the new Long Haul Trucker, it’s that rising out of the saddle to hammer on this bike is like taking a nun to an orgy. If there’s a point, nobody knows what it is.

The folks at Surly knew what they were doing when they named this thing. It's a truck on two wheels. It’ll haul a load and go all day, but it’ll also pound some humility into anyone who was fooled by carbon fiber into thinking they could scoot up hills with a fair amount of speed.

When a hill appears in front of this bike, you learn to gear down and take your time. It climbs just fine, but it does it on its own time.

Riding this bike makes me think about doing a little touring, but for now I’m just enjoying my new, longer commute, and feeling grateful for the miles and saddle time, because this summer just can’t seem to get off the ground as a mountain bike season.

It’s July 18, and I’ve ridden on the Kenai Peninsula only once, and that was about a month ago when a bunch of us headed down for a day in the middle of June to ride Johnson Pass before the cow parsnip could take it over.

Since then, I’ve been tied up with settling into the new job, building a new bike, and dealing with all the usual distractions of daily life. I can’t really say that sucks, but it definitely sucks to see the season slipping through my fingers when I haven’t touched my favorite summer trails like Lost Lake, Devil’s Pass or Crescent Lake.

It didn’t help, of course, that my fork crapped out at the beginning of July and had to be sent down to Push Industries for a rebuild. The wear and tear turned out to be bad enough that the old fork wasn’t worth the repair costs, so the guys at Push made me a good deal on a new fork that I installed last Thursday night.

It’s high time this situation was remedied. This weekend is going to involve a ride over Devil’s Pass, if I have anything to say about it.


Tabb said...

I have to agree with this post. I love my LHT, but when I first started riding it I was disappointed to find that it added 5-10 minutes to my commute. That said, I enjoy taking it out for very long rides.

WheelDancer said...

I have to agree though I tend to hammer anyway and it seems to have a positive effect on abilities on other bikes.

Jeff Moser said...

Maybe you just haven't met the right nuns.

SteveG said...

Everyone should have a bike that goes slow nicely. My rohloff thorn is that for me. Slow bikes are fun to hustle along as quick as you can, and sit up and enjoy the ride when you want too.