Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I miss you Amelia, wherever you may be...

Surly,

On Thursday, May 26th, I became another victim of a stolen bicycle. Not just any bicycle, but my Surly LHT, otherwise known as Amelia. Anyone who has ever had their bike stolen doesn't need to be explained how this feels. The words I am about to use to describe my feelings will never capture the angst I felt. The utterly depressive state I took on only dissolved into anger and back to depression as I began to believe it was my fault for ever leaving her out on the streets.  Even with my helmet strapped to my head and pannier in hand I questioned myself, "Did I actually ride Amelia to work today?" I was in denial. This could not be happening. I walk a measly block away from the scene of the crime only to turn around hoping that she would magically be on the bike rack where I left her. Of course she wasn't there. 

Why can't I rewind the last 4 hours of my life when I saw her last? After returning from lunch she was still safely locked away when I told my co-workers, "It's always good to see your bike where you left it!" But if I could rewind time then we would all turn back the clocks to fix the moment where things all went wrong.

At only 8 months old, Ameila was my baby and my first bicycle since my junior high school days. She was the one who would take me away from a long work day and leave all the stress behind. She was the one who was going to take me across the United States of America this summer!

I am not writing to look for a handout. I am writing to let everyone at Surly know I plan to buy a new LHT at the same place I bought my first one, NYC Velo. I refuse to cancel or even delay my plans to tour across the US this summer. I will not let the scum who stole Amelia from me also steal the joy I have felt since our unity in October.

The moment I test drove Amelia (still just another unnamed bicycle at the time) I knew that she was the one. From the praises Surly gets from internet reviews to every person who works at your LBS, there was no question this would be my new ride. Of course as I got to know her, the masses are right. She rides like a dream and even more so when she is loaded.

I love the community that Surly riders embody. When people see a Surly and the loaded panniers, they know you mean business. Each time I go out for a ride I engage in conversations with someone about the Long Haul Trucker and its superiority as a touring bike. Even when I am on the move, people throw hand-horns or shout a "hell yeah!" my way to encourage my weighted ride.

I had come to love Amelia on a deeper level than just a bicycle and I know it is the same love that everyone at Surly has for all your products. It's the reason riding a Surly is so fun and why losing one was so hard.

Four days away from Amelia has been tough. My legs have been too quiet. My ass has been too comfortable. With only 20 days until I leave NYC toward my final destination in Portland, Oregon... it's time I met Amelia II.

Please follow my journey this summer at msquaredvelo.com

Cheers from one Surly lover to many more!

Matt (MSquared Velo)

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This is an email I wrote to Surly after spending Memorial Day Weekend letting the pain of Amelia being stolen sink in. Surly quickly responded offering to help with a discount through NYC Velo. That is the type of love I am talking about. Truth be told, it's a love that all cyclist share. 

As quick as her wits, my girlfriend promptly notified her father, Tracey, about the theft; he was an avid cyclist in his (physical) hey day. He then relayed this message to a good friend of his, Colin, who has been in the cycling industry for decades. Colin not only has been able to take the lead in getting a new touring bicycle at a low cost, but has also loaned me one of his racing bikes (Trek Madone) to ride and keep my legs fresh until the new bike arrives. Huge thanks to both Tracey and Colin!

The cycling community never seizes to amaze me. I have never experienced anything like it. Everyone is always smiling and quick to start a conversation and always prepared to lend a helping hand.

The Trek Madone

The new ride will be a Trek 520 because, unfortunately, the Surly LHT was not available until after my departure. It's essentially the same bike (if you're reading this Amelia, you know what I mean). Most people are between these two bikes when deciding on a new touring bike. It was actually my second choice when I was originally purchasing the LHT.

Of course along with the bike, I have to buy new racks, fenders and the other little miscellaneous stuff that held my front light and phone, etc. Luckily I brought my Brooks seat inside everyday, so that remains in my possession. 

I depart two weeks from yesterday and don't have the bike I'm leaving on. It is a little unnerving, but I am confident through my preparation that everything will be fine come June 20th and beyond.

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