Kat Curtis’s Schwinn High Plains

kat

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

everti

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

Mike Solomon’s Salsa Las Cruces

Salsa Las Cruces Salsa Las Cruces, 2004.
Mike Solomon’s Do-Everything Cyclocross Bike

BIKE GRITS
A new series in the DRW lineup.

This new series arises out of one of the most often asked questions I get in my discussions with people interested in riding the dirt roads: What kind of bike should I buy? The answer: The bike that excites you and fits your needs the most. The best bike is the bike that gets you riding day after day. Some people like to ride hard, others like to take it easy. Some like an upright position with flat bars, others want a sleek wind slicing position with drop bars. Some ride for hours, others ride far less than that. Some have bulging wallets, others live more modestly. Often the best bike for the summer doesn’t work during the snowy winter months. We’ll try to sort some of that out by exploring the bikes you ride, ask what you like about them and what frustrates you. Continue reading