It’s my third bike…the one I will hypothetically ride the least, this new Surly Wednesday I took delivery of a few weeks ago. It sits in the stable alongside bike number one, my Kona Rove CX. The Rove is a cyclocross bike that I use as a road bike. It’s surprisingly fast. In last year’s Tour of the Moon in Grand Junction Colorado, I hit 40 miles an hour on a stretch of Colorado State Highway 340 heading down into Fruita. I was keeping up with the carbon fiber guys just fine and at a fraction of the cost.
Bike number two is a Surly Instigator, a trail bike I never really saw coming until Matt at Skyline Cycle put the steal in deal. It’s the bike I use when I want to ride the singletrack and doubletrack just blocks from my front door on Ogden’s East Bench but it does pretty well on the roads, too.
Both of those bikes are pure joy, but neither one of them is ideal for snow and so when Jan said I could get one more bike I decided to pull the trigger on something a little fatter. I want to be able to ride every day, even those days when normal people don’t. With the new generation of fatties, there’s no reason I can’t.
I did my homework before I got the Wednesday. I rode a Surly Ice Cream Truck with 4.8″ tires but it felt more like a clown car than a bicycle. I really liked the Salsa Beargrease, but the standard build comes with 45Nrth Husker Du tires that just don’t go all that well in the snow. You’d think that with the tire company and the bike company both based in the Twin Cities that it would go in snow, but you would be wrong. Besides, it’s aluminum and I’m a steel is real kind of guy.
I should mention the front fork, too. People who know Surly know that these guys go a little crazy with eyelets and braze ons and by golly that front fork looks like something out of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. At one time I thought I wanted to ride across the country, but as I’ve gotten older the thought of trading paint from coast to coast just doesn’t appeal to me like it once did. The Great Divide Route, on the other hand… This is the bike for that. All I’d need to do is get some 29″ wheels and throw on some 3″ tires (yeah, you can do that with Surly) and I would be good to go.
So I went with the Wednesday and wouldn’t you know it but it got warm and the snow went away. Bummer. Fortunately, I’m a patient guy. I knew it would come back and today it did and so Wednesday and I went for a little 15 mile joyride in and around Ogden.
We started on the roads that lead to the Cache National Forest from my front door. They were mostly wet but there was some ice and a little slush. As I gained elevation, it turned over to snow. There was only about an inch until I got up to St. Joseph’s High School where they’d blown it off of a sidewalk. Here it was about 4″ deep but Wednesday just cut through it like butter. Sweet cream butter.
We headed up onto the trails. They were covered with 1-2″ of granular snow and were soft in spots underneath. We hit a few rock gardens. She ate it all up. No problem at all. Even though she’s heavy CroMoly steel, she climbs pretty well. We plunged down and back onto the roads. We crossed the soft grass of Mount Ogden Park. We even went down a flight of stairs at the golf course clubhouse. Next time we’ll go up them.
Wednesday is definitely not built for speed, but that’s okay. If you’re a car person, she’s more Jeep Wrangler than Chevy Corvette. Jan and I had a Wrangler once. It was woefully underpowered but boy-oh-boy was it ever fun. This is like that.
Wednesday handled everything I threw at her with aplomb. About the only thing we didn’t ride was sand dunes, but I have no doubt she’d eat them up too. Around town, you don’t have to worry about things like potholes and angled railroad crossings. Road debris? LOL. If I lived someplace flat and wanted an awesome city bike, I’d configure this baby as a single speed to cut the weight a little and that would be that.
It was only one ride, but I’m starting to rethink things a little. I’m not sure Wednesday is going to be bike number three after all. In fact, if somebody from the government came by this afternoon and told me they passed a new law and I could only keep one bike, this might be the one I hang on to. It’s that much fun.