The Day After – Day 56 + 1 ?

Hello –

As I’m sure you could expect, I’m doing a lot of contemplating. My mind is fresh, which is nice – instead of spending lots of time letting my brain determine where and how to get to the next location, I can relax. Relax, think about teaching the kids, and think about what direction to point my compass in. (Yes, I really did use one of those things. Alot.)

I’ve had some things come up that made it so that I won’t be able to write a bit more today. Sorry! So please, comment on this post and ask me a question about my ride, or my goals, or my mission. I dare you.


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4 Responses to The Day After – Day 56 + 1 ?

  1. Justin Winokur says:

    I have a question: What were your thoughts on the Surly CrossCheck? Particularly, what made you choose a cyclocross bike? Also, what kind of saddle did you use to make it for all the miles. Final bike question: did you worry about the steel rusting in the rain?

    Not bike related: If/When you do it again, would you follow a similar course? Have you considered other long-distance rides? Maybe from Maine to Florida?

    • Markgraf says:

      I chose the Surly CrossCheck for a few different reasons. Firstly, I met another bike tourer who suggested I get that bike for my trip, because she uses it and really liked it. So I tried it out, side by side with the Surly Long Haul Trucker, the company’s touring bike. I knew that I would be saving money by going with the LHT (maybe $60), but when I test rode them, the difference really shined through. The LHT has a longer wheelbase, and it rides like that (stable and strong). However, a longer wheelbase has one major thing to it as well: it’s not zippy or exciting to ride. I knew that I’d not be riding with front panniers, which the LHT is capable of holding while the CrossCheck isn’t. And who knows, I might really like to do some cross racing sometime. So I took a chance that turned out worth it – less stability for more fun. Fun is key!

      I rode with the stock saddle that came on the crosscheck. I just decided not to spend any more money. And it worked out okay! I knew that I’d be screwed if I didn’t dial it in, and was super conscious of how it was positioned in the beginning of the ride. By 200 miles into my cross-PA ride, the saddle felt great. Look up the specs to find out which it is.

      I didn’t worry about the steel rusting – after all, this is the 21st century. The insides of the steel is likely lined with wax, and the outside’s covered by layers of paint and lacquer.

      If I have the ability to get out on another journey like this one, I’ll just ride through different states to make my way across the continent. I really wish I had rode through every state somehow! There’s talk of doing the continental divide as well.

  2. Kathy Kirlin says:

    Ha! How dare you dare ME, of all people, to ask you questions! I still have plenty, so prepare that brain and those fingers to do some typing! 🙂

  3. Hi! I found your blog via one of the news articles from Drexel’s student paper, The Triangle. I was editing stories today and came across the one about you & your cross-country bike ride. I think what you’re doing is really amazing, and I’m glad you started a blog to chronicle your journey. It’s really interesting to read about all this 🙂

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