There’s a man in this town with a garage full of bikes. Most of them are steel and many of them are Surlys. A few– horses of a different color– have names never intended. A heat gun and a steady hand allow for some anagrammatical tomfoolery. The Big Donkey is a half-fat longtail that hauls solar panels and firewood into forest lands for hydrology studies. The Karate Mummy is actually a push bike for a very small boy, who asks if he can put pedals on his bike. The little guy has got some fancy clipless pedals exhumed from a parts box and he’s inspecting the would-be bottom bracket region. A bike like this is meant to teach the balancing technique of two wheels; the rider shuffles along the ground as on a velocipede. “Pedals? It’s not quite that simple”, the Surly man explains. Someday.
The Surly man, Nate, first appeared on my doorstep in response to a Craigslist ad for a fatbike tire. The not so surly Nate rides a Big Donkey to which he has now mounted a 3.7″ Surly Nate tire.
The little black velocipede known as the Karate Mummy has a full complement of Surly decals including the “fatties fit fine” chainstay logo, “SURLY” on both fork blades, and a “Large Marge” sticker on the 12 inch rims. It looks a lot like daddy’s green 1×1, which is actually a dinglespeed with two cogs and two chainrings. Perhaps daddy’s rig should be named the 2×2 and the Karate Mummy be renamed the 0×0, for the lack of pedals and gears. The Surly man might have to invest in a Surly Ogre to get two good zeros (0′s) for the project.
The Surly Man’s Rag is worth a read, where he is known as the Bike wRider. Most recently, the fat-front Big Donkey teamed with a genuine Big Dummy for some dirt riding and hydrology studies. My favorite posts feature Little wRider on the black 0×0 velocipede, aka the Karate Mummy.