Englewood CO, USA
Who do you think you are anyway?
Hello! I’ve lived in and around Denver my whole life (lucky me!). I’ve got a job downtown that I bike commute to year-round, which is pretty great. When not stuck at the office I’m riding bikes with friends, spending way too much time looking at maps, haranguing the city to make biking safer for everyone, hanging out with my favorite humans and cats, and trying to read as much as possible.
How’d you get into bikes?
I rode bikes tons as a kid, being the fourth-in-line recipient of a sweet yellow knock-off Schwinn with a banana seat and ape hanger handlebars, but sadly like a lot of people, I stopped riding bikes as a teenager. In the summer of 2013 I decided to give bike commuting a whirl and borrowed a friend’s bike. I’d always been a bus/walk commute person, but I figured I’d try biking once a week or so, while the weather was nice. I was so wrong! Within a week I had purchased an inexpensive Marin city bike and started commuting every day. I went down the rabbit hole of bike internet and started saving for my Long Haul Trucker. My commute gives me a guaranteed minimum of two hours outside every day, and it is so good! Bike miles give you loads of time to solve the world’s problems, and it turns out ‘bikes’ is often the solution. In the years since, I’ve got to meet some really great people and made amazing friendships through Denver Food Rescue (a volunteer food equity organization that rescues grocery store produce from going to the landfill and redistributes it throughout the city) and my go-to bike shop Yawp Cyclery. Yawp keeps my bikes happy whilst I try (and fail) to wear them out and are just some of the best people in town.
Tell us about your Surly.
I’ve got two! (again, lucky me!) My Trucker is a car replacer. Since I started riding everywhere, it has become apparent that my brain has been re-wired. I like to think of it as ‘running on Trucker time’, I know exactly how long it will take and the best route to get to anywhere I need to go. Denver has grown a ton in the last few years, and getting to skip out on all the car traffic feels like a magic trick. My Long Haul Trucker is my jam, it’s everything from an around the block ice cream getter to an all-day randonuering machine, that is also my daily/year-round commuter. It’s a pretty stock build other than the saddle (Brooks cambium) bars (Salsa Cowbells) and some sweet Velo Orange hammered fenders. About three years back I added a dynamo hub to run front and rear lights and that has been a great upgrade (no more worrying about charging lights!). It’s so comfy that I can, and sometimes do, ride all day. When I rolled over 20,000 miles on it at the beginning of the year I had it freshly powder coated from it’s original ‘smoggy pearl’ to a sparkly root beer. It’s so good!
My other Surly is my ECR, aka ‘The Burro’. Geez, what a bike! The Burro is my bikepacking bike/winter commuter (on really snowy/icy days) and the bike I grab if life is feeling short on fun. Since I got the bike in 2016, I try to do a week-long solo bike trip every year and this bike is just such a reliable and capable machine. When you find yourself way out in the boonies, a bike you can trust becomes your best friend. It’s mostly a stock set-up, although last year I added a dynamo hub (once you have one, you won’t go back). When in ‘winter commuter mode’ I hang an Arkel Orca bag on the back Surly Nice Rack. If it’s really terrible out, I’ve got a wheelset with a set of Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pros that I can swap out, SO grippy! In bikepacking mode, I’ve got a great mix of bags from JPaks, Bedrock Bags and Donut Sack to help carry all the snacks!
Favorite bike-related memory.
Literally, every day riding bikes is sort of my favorite day…but I’ll try to narrow it down.
All of my solo bike trips, (Friends, if you’re on the fence – just go for it!) have been amazing experiences. It’s really satisfying to look at two far-flung points on a map and know that you can get there under your own power, and have loads of fun doing it. You can then draw on the experience throughout the year to remind yourself that you can do hard things.
Riding with friends is also really great! This year I was lucky to ride the White Rim in Moab (whoa!) which was just completely stunning. I’ve also gone on some amazing overnights with great friends and my amazing husband, all of whom are very new to dirt touring. So fun!!
If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Ooooh, this is a tough one. Of all the places I’ve biked I think I love northwest Colorado the most. Those landscapes really soothe my soul. Double bonus is that I can ride there from my house AND I can swing by Brush Mountain Lodge which is just the best.
Where can people follow along with you?
It’s all bikes all the time over at Instagram.com/letseatgreens