Meet Chet, the newest addition to our family

Chet

Surly Long Haul Trucker ~20 pounds 105.5 cm long wheelbase

Chet marks a lot of firsts for me. It’s the first brand-new bike I’ve owned since my very first bike, which I received at age six and promptly crashed into my brother Eric and a pricker bush at the same time (We were riding stragiht towards each other. Both of us veered toward the pricker bush. We were five and six years old, what would you expect?). It’s my first touring bike. My first bike with drop handlebars and barcon shifters. My first time riding with clipless pedals. Our first purchase from our just-opened friendly local bike shop, BicycleSPACE.

Erin’s parents are in town for the weekend, and I’m heading off to the Outer Banks tomorrow for the rest of the week for our company retreat, so it’ll be next weekend before I can really take him out for a spin and try out the clipless pedals. I did ride up and down the block real quick when we picked it up this morning, and it feels great: nice and smooth ride, rolls cleanly, and feels good. The barcon shifters are kind of neat; apparently you can switch them between indexed and friction. If the indexing goes out of tune on a long ride, you can switch it to friction and put off fixing it until you stop for the day. Right now, the rear is indexed and the front is friction: kind of a nice in-between, because you can adjust the front if you’re in a high or low gear in the back and want to move the front derailleur a bit to account for it.

I’m excited to get home next week and take him for a spin. When we ordered Chet, Erin got herself a new saddle to replace the hard, narrow one that came on her bike. Now that riding is that much more comfortable for her, she’s anxious to get out for more rides too, so this is going to be a great autumn for biking.