Bikes to Like: John R.’s Surly Long Haul Trucker
If you regularly read this blog, you probably know of my great affection for the Surly Long Haul Trucker. My Surly has proven itself to be a comfortable, reliable companion that doesn’t talk too much and will always offer to help carry my stuff.
This past year I met John R., who writes the thoughtful and engaging Porta-John blog, and is also rides a Surly for around-town riding as well as century rides. His bike has a beautiful setup and is in my favorite color Truckachino. Of course, I had to ask him if he’d guest post for me. As you can see, he said yes. Thanks, John!
1. What kind of bike do you have?
I ride a 58cm Surly Long Haul Trucker decked out in the truckaccino color, SKS fenders, a Brooks B17 “Imperial” saddle, Jandd and Nashbar racks, and Acorn Boxy Rando and Medium bags. I bought it in April of 2010 at Ace Wheelworks in Somerville, Massachusetts, as a present to myself for successfully passing the Professional Engineering licensing exam (which I hadn’t actually taken yet – thankfully I passed!).
2. Where do you ride it?
Before I moved to DC in February 2011 I generally rode through the northern suburbs of Boston with occasional commutes to my office (If it wasn’t 46 miles round trip, I would have commuted more!). Over the last year I’ve ridden through DC a lot to explore the rich history and culture of my new home, including exploring new shops, bars and restaurants in different neighborhoods, educational trips to monuments and making new friends along the way.
I also really enjoy riding the Anacostia Tributary Trails and through southern Maryland. With any luck I’ll be able to do a handful of commutes to/from work in Tysons Corner this spring and summer.
3. What do you like about your bike?
The quality that I most appreciate from my bike is that it serves nearly every function that I can imagine, and does all of them reasonable well. Weekend tours, centuries, riding around town, getting groceries, exercise – it is well equipped to handle all of these things. In fact, since I have had this bike I’ve gone from owning 4 bikes, to 2 (and one is rarely used). Don’t mistake me, I would love to increase the number of bikes I own, but given my limited storage space it is a pleasure to have an all-in-one bike like the Surly.
4. If you had to describe your bike in one word, what would it be?
Fun. This bike allows me to explore, to challenge myself, to spend time with friends, and turn mundane errands into adventures. Who could ask for anything more?
5. Fenders or no fenders and why?
Fenders, though I can count on one hand the actual days that I’ve been riding and needed them.
Editors note: Uh oh. Now you’ve done it!
6. What is one of your favorite memories with this bicycle?
I’ve had a lot of great memories, but the one that immediately comes to mind is 4 day, 3 night tour Kate and I rode in the fall of 2010 from Plymouth, MA to Provincetown, MA – along the entire length of Cape Cod. We shared a lot of ups and downs on that ride, hills became mountains under our loaded frames, high heat and not enough water, uncomfortable campsites – but also cold beers and ice creams, seafood dinners, and spending time together motivating each other to keep pushing on and sharing an experience that we won’t forget anytime soon.
7. Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?
I suppose that my bike is called “the Surly” pretty often, but I wouldn’t consider that a name.
The only bike that I’ve played a part in naming was a Jamis Coda called “Shelby”… named because “Shelby comin’ ’round the mountain” – she sure as heck won’t be comin’ over the mountain!
8. What is your favorite accessory on your bike and why?
My Acorn Boxy Rando Bag. It has space for nearly everything, it looks good, and is well constructed by folks right in the USA.
9. If your bike could talk, what is one thing it would say to you?
“Ride me more.”