Ben Caldwell’s Surly Cross Check

surly cross checkIT’S A HARD LIFE
Ben rides through anything, nearly anywhere. His bike must be durable. I’m pretty sure this is the cross bike he rode in the Iceman mountain bike race up in Traverse City a couple of years ago. It has seen hard times. It has taken the abuse. Even the paint job is tough on this thing.  Ben rides this to and from work, about 16 miles each way even on the not so pretty days. He rides this bike on his days off as well.

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Eric Boyd’s Giant Roam 1

giant roam 1

It’s About Riding with the Kids
Eric ties cycling into many aspects of his daily life. He rides his daughter and son to daycare or elementary school, commutes to work, gets out on his own to explore the world around Ann Arbor, or spends part of the weekend riding with the kids and his wife Tish in the Irish Hills where his in-laws live. He thinks bike first, car second whenever possible. It’s not easy with a busy family and work schedule, but he manages to ride daily in some capacity.

This led him to a recent decision that many of us face as we immerse ourselves in the sport of cycling.  Along with the all-weather commuter bike he uses daily, he realized he needed something more suited to wandering the dirt roads and byways, unencumbered by racks and fenders.  He wanted a step up, yet something that matched his interests without buying more than he needed.  He found just the bike in the Giant Roam 1.

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Kat Curtis’s Schwinn High Plains


Vigorous Rider, Hearty Bike
Ann Arborite Kat Curtis rides her Schwinn nearly everywhere: to work, wandering to Dexter, out on the dirt roads, wherever the need or the whim takes her. She even braved the spring monsoons on the DRW Northfield Church route and found places where a kayak might have been a better choice of transportation. “I tried to ride into what I thought was a shallow pool of water,” she said, “but found myself up to my thighs. The road was a lake!” She was wading rather than riding. But that didn’t stop her from continuing on the route. Continue reading

Wendy Caldwell’s Everti Cross Bike


I know that Wendy rides easy at times.  I’ve been with her when that’s happened.  But things always ramp up somewhere along the way.  Somehow we end up sprinting to a Stop Ahead sign halfway through a conversation about Indigo Buntings.  One second it’s about the bird, the next there’s the flick of an eye and we’re all-out cranking to get to that sign first.

Our rides also tend to go for a lot of miles at a varying pace.  I would never use the word slow, but there are moments of truce when we’re able to chat and look around.  Then, almost in a sly way, we’re off to the races again.

Her bikes tend to match that personality.  She likes a bike that performs well, yet is also comfortable enough for a long day in the saddle; something that handles well, takes some abuse, and is ready when someone prods her to ratchet things up.  At the same time she uses this bike for her daily commute to work.  It’s a lot to ask of a bike, but the Epic/Everti covers most of these requirements.  It’s light, she has it decked out with high quality components, and it handles whatever the dirt roads pitch at it.  Continue reading