A big, bearded fat man left this on my porch:
No, it wasn't a late delivery from Santa. Just the FedEx guy. Inside is a frame that I will build into a bike that looks something like this:
It's called the Fargo, an adventure touring bike designed to Go Far (get it?). With mounts for six water bottles, front and rear racks, a pump and fenders, it's pretty much ready for anything. Its disc brakes and clearance for big tires make it, to my knowledge, the first widely available touring bike capable of handling really rough terrain.
As proof, the bike below was used in the 2,750 mile Tour Divide mountain bike race:
It wasn't that long ago when I would have looked at this bike and thought, "Why?"
I remember being younger and seeing old guys in wool shorts and knee socks with a bunch of bags and crap all over their bikes. A little mirror on their glasses hanging under a huge, white helmet. Riding at a snail's pace. I laughed inside as a blew past them, oozing with racer superiority.
As a bike racer I never wanted anything attached to my bike. Ever. You don't put a luggage rack on a Ferrari.
I'm older, wiser and more open to trying new things now. I don't laugh at those old guys because I am quickly becoming one of them. However, deep down, I am a racer. I still have a number of those race cars. And I still don't want put luggage on them. So I bought a Hummer.
I don't intend to ride from Canada to Mexico. That might be a little too much adventure for me. But I do want to try a couple overnight trips to some camping spots within riding distance of my home. A tiny slice of adventure.
After that, who knows? For the past few years I have been looking at maps trying to find a safe route from here to Lake Tahoe. The only way to really do it, without using Highway 50 (no thanks), is to utilize dirt trails. Obviously this ruled out any kind of traditional touring bike. Now, with this bike, I think it's very possible to ride to French Meadows and camp, then ride to Tahoe. More research is necessary, obviously.
I'm looking forward to getting the bike built up and going far.