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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reunited with my Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT)

6/14/11 #224 26.4m

Today I got my main-squeeze bike, my Surly Long Haul Trucker (you down w' LHT?) back from its brief visit at Pittsburgh's best Local Bike Shop (LBS). During the period of confinement I've been riding my road bike (which has been an interesting interlude) but it was great to get the LHT back and take it out for a spin. I took some pictures since it may never be this clean again.

It was curious to get back on the LHT. The longer wheelbase made me feel like I was stretched way too far forward, and I kept reaching for the road bike's STI shifters instead of the LHT's barcons. The changed seat setback relative to the bottom bracket, and the change from an EasySeat to a Brooks sprung saddle, made it a study in contrasts.

The bike had new Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads on the front, which Sheldon Browns says "are the finest bicycle brake shoes made.". I had a young bicyclist cross the trail in front of me and I need to apply the brakes quickly, and the new brakes really performed well.

I (we ?) rode 26.4 miles on the Montour Trail in 1h56 minutes, which IIRC is the first time I've done that route in sub-two-hours. It was a pretty, cool day without significant wind. When I was riding east near Ikea a rider caught up with me and engaged me in conversation, I had to boost my speed to keep up with him, and although I later begged off and resumed a pace closer to the speed limit - it's a congested area - the sprint certainly helped my time.

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