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February 23, 2006 - 2:16 pm

I've been drowning in research. I should actually be writing content for our website (who knew writing could be so fucking hard?), but I'm spending all my time on message boards for bike touring. I've read pages and pages of messages on what's the better bike and I have come to the conclusion that I don't want a bike made specifically for touring. I want this bike -- a Surly Cross Check road bike. It seems like it's the perfect commuter bike and it's decent enough for touring. To say I fell in love with the name first ("Surly"...how can it NOT inspire deep seated lust?) isn't entirely wrong. I saw this bike locked up to a post in Flagstaff, AZ last summer and I was totally in love. Who cared that the bike was purple (even the purple made me love it more), I fell in love with the name. I'm easy like that.

On Valentine's day this year, C and I went into a bike shop and spoke with the owner of the shop and I fell hard once again for the Surly. C is thinking of getting the Long Haul Trucker frame and then building the bike up from scratch. I don't think I could or would even want to do that. I'd get Ed (the helpful shop owner) to build the bike for me to my specific customizations. It's a pricier option (maybe), but I think it would definitely be worth it. The cost, well, it's more than I'd want to spend. Originally, I thought I didn't want to spend more than $600, but a fully custom Surly bike for me could cost $1,400! Yikes. Worth the investment? Maybe. Look at it this way. I don't have a car and I don't want a car. A gas-guzzling vehicle doesn't fit into my life at all. Vancouver is a very bike-friendly city and renting a car for car-trips is easy and way cheaper than owning a car that would only be used for occasional weekend getaways. If spending more on a bike that is tailor-made for me is going to get me an easier ride, then I think the extra expense is worth it. The route we plan on taking this summer for our bike trip includes a trip along the Malahat on Vancouver Island, a 1,155ft climb. Am I convinced? Almost. Plus, a custom Surley is way cheaper than this custom beauty, the Rivendell Atlantis (oh! the pretty green-blue colour!!). I guess I've got some thinking to do and some money to spend.

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