Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Meta: New Bike!

So, I finally went out and did it. I got me a new bike.

For those paying attention, I had a child in 2008, and celebrated that happy occasion by building a custom Orbea:

Julie's Orbea

It is a bike of surpassing loveliness and happiness. It is also 100% unsuited to the hauling of child trailers, trail-a-bikes, or anything else in which it is legal to drag a kid around.

Thus, in 2010, when I had a second child, something was going to have to happen. My old road bike wasn’t suited to trailer hauling, and my old MTB works okay over distances not to exceed about 20 miles unless I want my back to require medical intervention to move later.

Thus, I have now procured this fine beastie. I’ve been making initial modifications to it already since this image, as it required bottle cages, a way to carry tools/tire supplies, and, of course, the trailer skewer:

Surly Cross-Check

This bike in some respects is completely unlike the Orbea. Where the Orbea is European, carbon, and fast, this baby is steel. It’s got wider, more solid tires. It is designed to take a beating. It can go plenty fast, especially if not attached to a 50-pound trailer, but it can also support fully-loaded touring.

I’m excited about having the new bike. When I can abandon my kids (with a trusted sitter, duh), I can frolic on my Orbea. When we want to go to a soccer match or bike racing at the NSC, or find ice cream, or go look at trains (my older child loves watching trains go by), the Surly will allow me to hitch a child behind and go. We now have two bikes that can haul a child, so everyone in the family can bike together. Yay.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.


  1. It’s cool that you plan on making biking a family activity. My family did that growing up and they’re some of my fondest memories.

  2. I highly recommend spending the cash on a Cycletote trailer

    When you are done hauling the kids it converts right to a cargo. And they hold their value.

  3. just curious, why not the LH Trucker? that’s what i bought.

  4. Well, recognizing the odds of me going back into full-blown, carry a tent and a wok and a full toolkit touring are somewhere between “ha” and “ha ha,” I felt like the Cross-Check had a greater range of utility for me in the next 8-10 years, and will work better with the trail-a-bikes. Older child is already using one. Younger child will probably be content in the trailer longer, as I seem to have used up all the height genes on older child, and younger child is a peanut.