Sunday, February 10, 2013

"I Could Be the Engine, You Could Be the Wheel"

Erica and I have been getting a lot of attention about Looking Out Across America lately, but we would be mistaken to not introduce you all to our wonderful co-stars of this adventure: our bikes. We will both be riding bikes made by Surly, a bicycle company based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The model we both will be riding is the Surly Long Haul Trucker, designed especially for touring bicyclists. This is the toughest bike around, built to carry all of the gear needed for long trips. The geometry of the frame also allows you to sit more upright than traditional road bikes, which is essential for maintaining a posture comfortable enough to spend long hours in the saddle.

 When we first decided to ride our bikes across the country, Erica and I had heard of the Long Haul a way it sort of became like the Holy Grail of bikes to us. We purchased the 2011 racing blue model for Erica, and just last spring in 2012, we purchased the 2012 model for me. Erica had no problem finding a model of the Long Haul Trucker that was a good fit for her, but I had a little more trouble. I'm only 5' tall, and it proved to be quite difficult to find any bike at all, from any manufacturer, that fit me well and made me feel safe. Fortunately, we stopped in to one of our favorite local bike shops here in Indy, Indy Cycle Specialists, who ordered up the smallest Long Haul Trucker frame available, and the awesome guys at the shop diligently spent a few days building it from scratch. For those of you that are into bikes, here are the specs of our bikes:

Of course, thanks to the kindness of some of our wonderful friends and supporters, our bikes will be loaded down with plenty of gear to aid us in this adventure. We have already outfitted our bikes with a few items, such as bike computers that will help us keep track of our speed, cadence, and distance. And after months of consideration, we ended up naming our bikes, since they will be our noble steeds for this journey. Erica's racing blue bike has been named Kerouac (after Jack Kerouac, author of the appropriately named "On the Road"), and my speedy black bike has been named Padfoot (a nickname for Sirius Black, a character in the Harry Potter series).

Here we are with Padfoot and Kerouac; hopefully they are ready for the big adventure they were made for!


  1. OK, Surly and Indy Cycle Specialist need to become a sponser! If I am competing to keep Dad and I in the top place - they need to pony up for this great mention!!! Mum V

  2. Love it! Glad to know you huts have awesome bikes to keep you safe!