A long time ago there was a purple Surly Pugsley floating around in my life. It was fun to ride, a hoot to get others on and a solid build. As I’m trying to learn my Southeast region territory I figured a perfect bike to bring in to have at events like cyclocross, endurance mountain bike rides and such is a fat bike!
So, an 18″ Surly Pugsley will be landing in the area later this week. A local shopwill be building it up, putting some personal Bike Shop Girl touches on for me and taking it to some cyclocross races while I am traveling out of the area. If you are interested in a fat bike it is a complete post on it’s self but it is simply putting the fun back in biking.
If you have been keeping tabs on me lately you know that I am moving to Denver, CO where my lady is going into her intern year as a doctor in pediatrics. When we recently went to Denver to look at houses one of our top priorities was that she could ride easily to her main hospital of Children’s Hospital Colorado. We found a home in the Stapleton area, about 3.5 miles by neighborhood streets to the hospital. Her other hospital, Denver Health, is about 7 miles by bike paths and dedicated bike lanes.
As a graduation present for her from medical school I scooped up a 16″ Surly Pugsley for my lady to commute on. I went with the complete Surly build as it has a solid parts spec and I was only going to need to switch out a few things to make it “Doctor Approved.”
Meet the Surly Pugsley Banana Cracker
You know you are dating a pediatrician when they call their bike “Banana Cracker”
Purple Thermalite BMX pedals- These are pretty thin with a solid base for pedaling in snow boots if needed. They have replaceable pins to keep a grasp of the bottom of her sneakers/clogs or whatever she wears
Abus Bordo XL Lock – this lock is extra long to get around that fat front wheel and frame for locking. White of course.
Women’s seat- in white (going to find a purple Fizik when possible)
Surly Nice Rack- Not pictured, but a rear rack with Ortlieb panniers (in white of course)
Knog Blinder USB light- front/rear. Will be upgraded to brighter lights in the fall
Surly Black Floyd Tires- Not pictured as we won’t switch these out until she actually starts the commute. Smooth, balloon like tires for easy rolling.
The last 10 days of my existence I’ve been in Utah drinking in all of the new bike knowledge I could handle. One of the biggest things that came out of the event of Saddle Drive was a new fatty bike from Surly Bikes.
For the past few days Emily’s parents have been visiting us in Denver. They are a fairly mellow couple but also very active. It’s a great joy to have them around, watching their mutual loving relationship and the enthusiasm for adventure is contagious. I can only strive to be to Emily what her parents are together!
Yesterday we decided to go on a bike ride down the Sand Creek Greenway. Without a goal in mind we reached the end and decided to head into Denver on the Platte River Trail. A few things to note: Emily’s parents are in their early 70′s, her mom rode a Pugsley and her dad a folding Dahon with 16″ wheels. We went 24 miles for the full round trip.
In my humble opinion yesterday’s bike ride was amazing and I’m super impressed with both of Emily’s folks. I know where Emily gets many of her traits that I love so much!
I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere. – Johnny Cash
I’m feeling like Johnny did so many years ago. Last Friday was a great monthly demo party at Spoke Easy in Charlotte. The rain scared some folks away but no fear it was a great attendance! The Surly Pugsley, as always, was the main attraction!
Where am I?
That’s a good question! Currently I am sitting in Charleston, SC. I’ll be here until Sunday morning when I’ll head to Memphis. Roughly a 12 hour drive, so I’ll be trying to get started as early as possible while still spending last hours and moments with my girlfriend until I see her later in the week. I’ll be in Memphis until Wednesday, when I’ll then drive back home to Charlotte, NC for final prep for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek that I’m doing with partner in crime, Melissa.
Eating well is still going strong. While traveling I’ve been packing my lunch box, making sure I have a good stocked fridge and etc. I’ve expanded from the 17 day diet to Matt Fitzgerald “Racing Weight.” I’m feeling good and the few times I’ve been on the bike while cutting calories over the past week and a half I’ve felt okay. Better now that I’ve reintroduced some more carbs in to daily intake. Simply watching when I’m eating them, trying to eat earlier (tonight I failed at that) and still no coffee or other drinks other than green tea and water.
There’s other things going on, tomorrow afternoon after I figure out how to install the new SiriusXM radio (gotta have entertainment for my 12 hour drive) I’ll be sitting down and writing up a few thoughts bouncing around in my head about women’s geometry, and tech geekiness.
I’ve been biased to the Surly brand since 2003. This is about when I purchased my first Karate Monkey “29er” and then again in 2004 when I picked up a hidden stock of the pink 1×1. Since then I’ve had many bikes with the Surly logo stickered down the side. Multiple Karate Monkey’s, a Long Haul Trucker, a Big Dummy and Steamroller.
There hasn’t been much change to the 2013 Surly lineup, some colors, a 14″ Pugsley and of course, the Krampus.
Disclaimer: I am now the Southeast rep for Surly. If you buy a new Surly Bike in NC, SC, TN, AL or GA, from an independent bicycle dealer, I will make money from it. I encourage it, and look forward to being able to afford a Krispy Kreme donut in your honor.
Have a few bike builds on tap right now since traveling and demoing bikes is part of my day job, along with trying to enjoy cycling as much as possible.
Surly Karate Monkey with Internally Geared Hub
I’m going to be trying out a Shimano Alfine rear 8-speed hub on a 29er mountain bike, that will be mountain biked hard. Everything is built, just need a rear 160mm centerlock disc rotor for the back wheel. Can’t really mountain bike with only a front brake! (This is an 18″ and on my older Karate Monkey frame)
Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed
16″ Karate Monkey should be delivered tomorrow that I’ll be putting a RockShox Reba RL on the front. Trying to convert more and more women to 29ers and hopefully single speeds!
Surly Pugsley Fat Bike
You’ve seen the pictures. 18″ Fat bike that I’m lending to shops in the area to get folks interested and going ga-ga over.
Dropped off the parts this morning for my goto mechanic (when I don’t have time) to build up a medium Orion with Shimano Ultegra and Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels.
My goto mountain bike right now, short travel, big wheels, and orange!
Another fatbike that is living currently in SC to help take over the dirt road centuries!
Salsa El Mariachi
You’ve seen the photos of the Mariachi’s. Dominate with the alternator drop out. Single speed, geared – it don’t matter – just do it.
This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!
What’s your name and location?
Jill Homer. I currently live in Los Altos, California.
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
If I had to sum my riding up in one phrase, I would say I love “bicycle touring.” I love seeing small parts of the world from the seat of a bicycle, from the winding
singletrack in my backyard mountains to the vast frozen tundra of the Iditarod Trail. Sometimes I travel for a couple hours and sometimes for days, but always, in my mind, the emphasis is more on fun and discovery than pure training. Because of this desire to really get out there, I enjoy all types of riding — mountain biking, snow biking, and road cycling.
What is your first cycling memory?
When I was six years old I received my first “big girl” bike as a Christmas present — a yellow Huffy with a brown banana seat. It was a hand-me-down from one of my mother’s friends. I was always secretly ashamed of my yellow-and-brown bike and was jealous when, a few years later, my sister received a much prettier pink and purple Huffy. I’m not sure if not wanting to be seen on an ugly bike is solely to blame, but I didn’t ride that avidly as a child. I used my bike when I needed transportation to my friends’ houses, but didn’t often just go out for simple bike rides.
Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?
In the cycling industry, I would say the guys at Salsa Cycles inspire me — Jason Boucher, Joe Meiser, etc. Not only is their company continuously developing innovative bicycles for all types of riding, but they’re out there riding them all the time. Jason rides through the winter in Minnesota. Joe has finished the Tour Divide and Trans-Iowa. I’ve met them both — Jason is on the board at Adventure Cycling Association — and they’re just cool guys.
What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?
My best bike moment came in the midst of a 140-mile gravel grinder on the Denali Highway in Alaska, called the Denali Classic. At the time I was contemplating
taking a job in Missoula, Montana (where I lived for 8 months before moving to California.) I was very apprehensive about leaving Alaska, and that long ponderous ride gave me time to really process it. Toward the end I was suffering quite a bit — it was a warm day, I was sunburnt and the rougher-than-expected gravel road had rattled my hands and back — but I crested a hill with a great view of the Susitna Valley bathed in golden evening light. A feeling of peace washed over
me and I knew moving to Montana was the right decision for me. It’s been a wild year of change ever since, but this single moment stands out as a definitive point of perspective.
In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?
In 2011, I’ve directed more of my endurance training focus to running. Right now I’m training for the Tahoe Rim Trail 100, which will be my first 100-mile trail ultramarathon (I’ve completed one 100-mile foot race, the Susitna 100 in Alaska in February.) This requires a lot of running focus, so my main goals
right now with bicycles are to commute regularly and have fun. I work from home right now and often use my bicycles to run errands and access trails, and try to drive as little as possible. I also recently moved to California and have a couple of big goals, including a day road tour of the Santa Cruz Mountains that will likely amount to a double century with a ton of climbing, and also linking up a mostly dirt mountain bike route from my home on the east side of the mountains to the Pacific coastline.
Wanna Know About my Bikes?
I am the current owner-user of five bicycles, more than I ever expected. I have a 2010 Rocky Mountain Element, a high-end racing mountain bike; a 2008 Surly Karate Monkey, my steel-framed hardtail 29er that I rode in the Tour Divide and that is currently set up as a single-speed; a 2004 Calfee carbon road bike,
which is actually my boyfriend’s bike but I’ve largely inherited it; a 2007 Surly Pugsley, my beloved snow bike; and a fixed-gear commuting bicycle.
Next week Tech Tuesday we will touch on fat tire bikes and why they are awesome. For now imagine your mountain bike tire to be 4″ wide. Yes 4″. They’ve been around for several years. The Surly Pugsley in purple was my first experience with fat bikes, this was in 2005. It was single speed, I was in North Carolina. It was awesome for bombing through woods, making my own line on the trail and really not giving a crap what I ran into. Think monster truck with a bike. (You do need forward momentum for it to work!)
Salsa Cycles recently released photos of a full suspension fat tire bike
For those that live in North Carolina or on the West Coast won’t get this. What are fat bikes and why does this matter? The answer for the first question comes Tuesday. The answer for the second question is simple.
Because they can.
Monster truck with front and rear suspension to make your own path, hit the sand, hit the snow and be fine when you hit those logs or rocks in the way.
The inspiration for this project came from numerous people within our team (in a strangely timely convergence actually) and from the fact that fatbikes are being ridden all year long as opposed to being strictly thought of as snow or winter bikes….
These are prototypes. We expect to learn a lot from them. They may or may not eventually become an actual product. That is undecided at this time.
Here at Bike Shop Girl I want women (and guys) to feel empowered and to have a good grasp of what they are talking about when it comes to tech, mechanics and goofy bicycling slang. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!
One of the latest bikes to enter my fold as a demo bike for my outside sales position with QBP is a Surly Pugsley. As I bring the bike to more and more events or am seen on the side of the trails with this fine steed I’m often asked “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT??” If you can’t tell from the photos, the tires are freaking huge. 3.8 inches to be exact. Compare that to a normal mountain bike tire which is on average is 2.1.
Why Do You Need Tires So Big?
Think of a truck that goes through mud, rocks or dirt. Or think about any 4×4 vehicle. They have larger tires with more volume, right? The low pressure, high volume tires give you a great flotation across all types of loose terrain. You get better traction, can forget about worrying about that “perfect line” and pave new trails through the woods. Think of it as the true all terrain bicycle.
What the Downfalls?
The biggest downfall is the weight. While I know of some folks that have decked out their rides to be around 25-26 lbs for a fully geared bike. That is still pretty heavy if you need to hike a bike.
The selection is a bit limited. I personally know of only four manufactures that make bikes to fit this size of tires. Salsa, Surly, FatBack and 9:Zero:7. The only tires I know of are made by Surly or just released 45NRTH.
Finally, you won’t find this at most local shops. If you end up purchasing one I recommend to order a few extra tubes and maybe a tire or full spare wheel as most local bike shops won’t keep this type of stuff in stock.
I work for Quality Bicycle Products, and have a deep association with Salsa, Surly and 45NRTH. That doesn’t mean I don’t give my complete and true thoughts on the product. If anything I’m going to be harder on the product because of these facts. This is my disclaimer. Love, Bike Shop Girl