Introducing: The Long Haul Trucker

Well, there's another bicycle in the garage. Last night, I finished building a Long Haul Trucker for my wife, Angie. She's never had a road bike before. She's never had something that she could ride for more than quick, short distances. Now she could ride across the country.

It started a few weeks ago when she said that she'd like to start riding more on her own. Up to this point, her rides were always family rides. But the two-wheeled sirens had been singing their songs in her ears. She wanted a real bike and I wanted to give her one.

Shortly after she expressed a desire to do more real riding, I saw Tim was replacing his LHT (with a bombtastic Troll, I might add). I inquired, we met up and I procured the frame a couple weeks ago. In the meantime, I'd been unloading all of my unused bicycle and kayak gear on Craigslist. The Redline, a bike frame and kayak skirt later, I had the cash I needed to get her some legit components.

I've been building up shipping boxes in my office and heading over to Bike Green Lexington on my lunch break to try and surprise Angie with the bike. Last night, Jason came over to the house and the magic began to happen.
26" wheeled frame. Easton bars and cheapo stem... like $1.99 cheap. But I had to cut corners whenever I could.
The brake hoods are Tektro. They're long-pull levers, which means they'll work with v-brakes. I wanted lots of stopping power since she'll be pulling kiddos in a trailer. I've got a nice set of cantilever 'cross brakes on my Cross Check, but they aren't great for stopping 100lbs of kid behind you. I was a little concerned about how well these would work. But honestly, I was very impressed with my preliminary spin around the block. They seem to do what they say they'll do. The v-brakes offer lots of stopping power, and they offer the leverage they needs to push them.
My big splurge on this bike was the bar-end shifters. I wanted something that would work well with little maintenance and she was a fan on the bar-ends when she's ridden the Cross Check. Adding these to the build would make our bikes pretty comparable, too, which I liked. I love the bar-ends. And now I've got a couple bikes with more interchangeable parts. Jason was my cockpit man last night. He ran cables, installed shifters, wrapped the bars and tuned it all up. Big help. Big thanks for coming, J.
My evening was spent installing all the other parts. For the used (previously loved?) stuff that went on this bike, I gave it all a good scrubbing before I put it on. I wanted it all to look perfect and work perfect.
And for the most part, it is. Angie came home and loved it. She was totally surprised. Jason turned his head as she gave me kisses of gratitude and the three of us talked about bikes and bike adventures until we were too sleepy to stand. I'm very pleased with this build. My only oversight was one brake cable. I'll drop by the shop today and pick one up. And after a few more minutes of bike maintenance, the LHT will live.

Again, big thanks to Jason as a friend for helping me build and also to Jason as a Bike Green Lex manager for helping me process through and purchase parts. I'm glad it all came together to be a legit ride for my favorite person on earth.

Get out there.


  1. It's good to see that bike out on the road again.

    I hope your wife puts many happy miles on it.