New cycling stuff rocks. I’m always stoked to buy something new for my bike. Often it means that I can explore somewhere I wouldn’t have been able to before. The right tires, bars, saddle and bags for the conditions make it easier to explore terrain that would otherwise be
inaccessible. A lot of times, this takes the form of a specific trip or ride that takes on a meaning of its own. Preparing for the Oregon Outback last spring, every new piece of gear was one puzzle piece of the whole trip fitting into place. A physical token of miles to be ridden, hills to be climbed, mechanical challenges to be fixed and nights to be spent under the stars.
A new bike is the ultimate embodiment of this sense of possibility. An admission that there is something unexplored, something inaccessible that goes beyond a new set of tires, or wheels, or whatever. In many ways a new bike is a new paradigm; a completely new way of looking at your
environment. Exploration and inspiration become available that were previously unimaginable.
My paradigm is about to change. A couple weeks ago I put in an order for a Surly Wednesday. The possibilities of a fatbike have been gnawing at me for years. The black space on the map that is sand and snow and “omniterra” as Surly has aptly named all the other challenging terrain that huge tires make accessible has been highlighted by photos and videos of riders sessioning 100’ sand dunes, riding through the Alaskan wilderness, and rolling through snowy landscapes previously reserved for skis and snowshoes.
I have been planning new trips in daydreams from the moment the bike was on its way. Some so unreasonably challenging that they will never see the light of day. Others so mundane that when they inevitably happen when I get on the bike they will pass unnoticed. Both are a product of the type of unreasonable optimism that is not limited by time off, or weather or stretched chains and worn out cassettes. That optimism is the reason I will never leave a bike unchanged, and the reason that I continue to pedal over familiar roads and new landscapes.
Continue the stoke through this next video...