Wednesday, March 3, 2010

First Adventure on My Surly LHT

I couldn't stand it any longer.

I've been in a rotten funk at work/school. I've spent the last two months on cell design and construction... It's very tedious, lots of waiting around, and it is a general pain in the ass. This coupled with my regular winter blues, and not being able to ride my brand new sweet sweet Surly Long Haul Trucker due to road salt.

It has been raining here for the past couple of days. After a frustrating morning at work I decided that not only would I go for a bike ride, but I'm taking out the LHT. It's still fairly cold but today it was 4 degrees with low wind and I went up to see my LBS, Harold to grab a seat post I've been waiting on for my "winter beater" (aka my sit-in-the-garage bike). I bought a cheap pair of Giant cold weather gloves and chatted to him about various things for 2 hours or so.

At 3pm I came home and immediately started getting ready. The bike had not been ridden,and I haven't rode in while so all my accessories were all over the place. It was a foggy day so I definitely wanted my horn and lights on. After swapping over the lights, horn, a water bottle cage, and getting all my clothes on I was off!

I around my old elementary school and up a new fancy housing development on top of Topsail Mountain. Even though my camera is junk I think I got a couple of neat shots! I didn't want to bother with taking my fenders off of my Giant FCR 2 due to how long it would take me to swap them. I also wasn't sure if they would fit the wider 37mm tires on the LHT. Anyway needless to say I and my steed got wet!

I tried to go further on the bluff, but it turned to a dirt road. I attempted it, very willing to get dirty, however that dirt road is a mud road right now due to all the run off. Needless to say I didn't get very far.

I turned back down the hill and got back to the main drag. Left to go home, right to go home THE LONG WAY. I choose the latter. Went out to Topsail Road and up Paradise Road back to the main drag and all the way downhill to home. Until my street of course which is a huge steep hill which I live at the top of.

After reaching home, took her out back and ran her under lots of water, rinsing off mud and any possible salt that might have been left on the roads. She is currently drying off in the basement.

Well, first impressions:
The guy from Palm Beach Bike Tours is right, the Surly Long Haul Trucker is a Peterbilt not a Ferrari . It's not a fast bike, but I don't think it is as slow as everyone says it is. If you want a fast bike go buy a $5000 carbon bike. This thing just took the road. I didn't have to work overly hard, it just kept on trucking (pun intended). I had to climb some serious hills and with the low gearing of the LHT they were a piece of cake. I was a little concerned how I would adapt to the drop bars and bar-end shifting (especially the friction shifting of the front derailleur). However the down tubes were okay, I might need to adjust them a little. The bar-end shifters worked like a charm I didn't have to fiddle with them at all!

All in all, I'm SUPER stoked for the summer to put some serious miles on this bike. I'm glad I got to work out my frustrations and finally get to test my trucker all in one day....ahhhhhhhh that feels better.

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