Today I rode in my first ever road race (I have raced MTB before and ride road casually). A 30 mile ride through the mountains North of Phoenix, AZ. Just one hitch (for everyone else), it was raining and muddy (very strange for the desert), and gritty and a pretty rough, wash board course.
But I was riding my beloved CrossCheck. Started out mid pack. First 10 miles is a 1,000 foot climb, which we all gritted up together in a pack. Climbing my 21 pound bike was difficult when trying to keep up with guys in 14 pound carbon fiber rigs. Then we hit the downhills. It was drizzling lightly, and there were washes crossing the road, and mud, and all sort of crap that people on $6,000 custom road bikes don't want to ride through.
Shirley blazed through it. We hit the parts of the roads that were damaged to washboard status, and the steel frame and 28mm tires soaked it all up like nothing.
Combine Shirley the Surly's amazing "do it all" prowess, with my conditioning (just moved to a desert from a humid place where I rode in the rain all the time - Gainesville, FL) and you have a recipe for success.
Ended up taking 1st place in my first road race ever. And I seriously think it was partly because I am used to humidity, riding in the rain, but even more-so the Surly's amazing ability to cruise through everything nature can throw at her.
I freaking love this bike. Like, to an unhealthy degree. I had a Karate Monkey that I dearly miss (and will be replacing as soon as funds allow me to), my wife rides a 1x1, and I now have the Crosscheck. Thank you Surly for making seriously solid bikes that just freaking work and do what bikes should do. Simple? Yes. But apparently not, since not many companies "get it."
Tomorrow I am swapping my 28 mm slicks for some 32 mm Cross Wolfs and racing in a cyclocross race next weekend. Trying to decide if I am running single speed or geared. Might toss some even fatter tires on the following week and go hit some singletrack North of here. There is nothing this bike can not do.
Surly, you have seriously hit a home run with this bike. And won an extremely loyal customer for it.
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