Ft Ancient to Xenia Station and Back

September 19, 2009

Today we made some adjustments on the Surly Long Haul Truckers (LHT).  I put Penny’s seat from her road bike on the LHT to see if it would suit her better, then also tried to put an adjustable handlebar stem on my bike.  Unfortunately, the stem was designed for the oversized handlebar used on my Cannondale, not the thinner bar on the Surly, so I just lowered the existing stem a couple of spacers.

We parked over at Ft Ancient parking area near the Little Miami Trail next to the the Canoe Livery and headed up toward Xenia.  We loaded up the panniers for plenty of extra “practice” weight and used the first couple of miles for adjusting seat angles, heights and forward/back positions.  After that we settled into a nice rhythm up to Xenia.  After a sitting a short spell at the Xenia Station, where I also raised my handle bars back up, we headed back south.

It didn’t seem like much of an incline on the way up, but after averaging about 10mph on the to Xenia, it was kinda surprising to easily reach 16-17mph on the way back south toward Spring Valley.  The mostly “downhill” ride back to Ft Ancient made the trip much faster.  Also, I think we were spunkier knowing we were on the return leg of the trip.  After a brief stop in Corwin for an ice cream, we sailed the remaining miles back, and even took turns out-sprinting each other, reaching the vehicle as the sun was setting.  A Fun 50 mile ride!!

Once home, we loaded back up on carbs with some Skyline Chili to top off the evening.

I think we have a few more tweaks on the LHT’s.  I’d like to try a shorter stem, and Penny wants to try a Brooks Saddle at some point.  Even so, I’m about ready to try a 100 mile ride on the LHT if the timing works out yet this year.



  1. You will find that when you start touring, your daily average will only be 50 miles. This allows time for lunch, a break in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as sightseeing along the way (stopping for pics, etc.)

  2. Dutch… I could definitely see that. It sure would make the ride easier breaking it up like that. The seat was getting a wee bit uncomfortable, but not terribly so. Maybe some chamois creme should be tried next time.

  3. forget the cream. just get comfortable and set a rhythm. you will get used to it. I used to ride in jeans or khaki shorts

  4. My longest ride without padded shorts is around 12 miles… hard to imagine riding much further than that in jeans. I think the denim rubbing up and down my leg constantly would drive me nuts! lol

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