Bike Collection & Gear: Surly Bill Trailer

This is the first set of a few short posts I’m writing up detailing the bike gear and rides I currently use on an almost daily basis. This first, part gear and *part* bike, is the Surly Bill Trailer. I purchased this trailer a few years ago and have, over the years I’ve owned it done some of the following.

  • Moved from a location in Seattle to another location in Seattle. It took about 9 loads but it got done.
  • In Portland moved from downtown in the Ladd Apartment tower downtown to Precott & Interstate Avenue. Another moving adventure of about 4 loads.
  • Ikea pickups, ranging from a mere ~30 pounds to almost 260 pounds for the biggest load I picked up. Which, at Ikea, considering much of the stuff is pretty light, 260 pounds is a lot of furniture to assemble!
  • More MMRs (Midnight Myster Rides), other party rides during pedalpalooza, and related events than I can even count a this point.
  • About 15-20 different trips to and from the office with computer gear, music gear, and other related things like guitars and whatever as sometimes I want something at the office, and sometimes I want something back at home – or elsewhere.

All in all, it’s been a few tons of actual weight carried to and from all at a mere price of about ~$900 for the trailer, and it still had years, if not a solid decade or more of life to go!


  • Long Bed
  • 16″ Wheels
  • Gray
  • 300 lbs load
  • 37 lbs weight
  • 63″ x 24″ (length x width)
  • 16″ load height

Note: I am not sponsored or paid by any of these related companies. I’m merely writing these up out of interest and a desire to log what I use for reference. For more information check out Surly’s link on the trailer.

I’m Sitting There Looking at a Dog and Then BOOM, I’m Shredding on a Surly 1×1 Custom

I boarded the #72 heading west at 7th and Alberta. A nice enough day, not cold, but by no means warm. I rode out and got off at the Killingsworth & Interstate Ave intersection to transfer to the MAX Yellow Line. There I took the MAX one stop to one of my favorite coffee shops, Arbor Lodge (If you’re curious, check out my previous blog entry). While sitting there sipping on my coffee this dog and I started a contest, looking at each other.

The Dog's Gaze

The Dog’s Gaze

He sat chilling in the car outside just looking, waiting and ready to go. There in front of him sat some bikes on the sidewalk. As cyclists went by he looked longingly at them freely traveling around and people walking about. The dog’s driver came out after getting a cup of coffee and he became exceedingly happy. I thought, “heh, that dog is reminding me, staring at those bikes that I need to get that second ride so that when my brother arrives in a few weeks, we’ve got wheels to roll on”.

Some of you might think, “why not rent a bike, there are plenty in Portland”. Well, my brother and I grew up riding. We didn’t just ride bikes like most kids, we rode hard. We rode really hard, breaking frames, handlebars, rims, shredding tires and in the process sometimes ourselves. We loved riding, and one things we haven’t whimsically tossed aside is our penchant to live live hard and fast, and to its fullest! We’ve never been inclined to half ass something or have something be mediocre.

So when he comes to town, we’ll have proper bikes, for a proper ride. We’ll have no qualms hitting the trails or hitting the street, dive into some hard twisting roads or whatever might be before us. Because when we ride, we don’t intend to have fear step in front of us for some piddly threatening, we’d just as well smash it asunder as we always have in the past. This way, picking up a second quality bike insures we have the appropriate rides ready, maintained, tuned and rolling for our tour about town.

With that, I decided to walk around the corner as soon as I took lunch, I’d walk around the corner to Revolver Bikes. If they had the bike I’d scoped out a few days earlier I’d pick it up. As with any bike shop, I’d gone in, chit chatted with some of the crew in the shop to determine if they were knowledgeable, friendly and the regular criteria of a shop I’d be interested in coming back to after I purchased a bike from them. Well, they came off as a great team with a fair select of trail, BMC, track and other bikes. But more importantly, in addition to their jovial chit chat & good knowledge, was the nice custom parts they’d assembled on several of the bike setups. Both BMX rides & street, trail and others looked good. So I was sold, lunch arrived and I walked over.

Fortunately for me, the bike I’d seen and wanted was there. I walked in and tossed them my messenger bag & ID as collateral and went for a ride. The bike rode well, just as they’d set it up. A few tweaks probably would help over time but for the moment it was excellent. Except for one thing. The original pedals were plasticy wierdness. Not as grippy as I wanted. When I rolled back into the shop I immediately checked out some options they had on hand. Ended up with a sick pair of pedals with removable pins, excellent grip and thin and wide. Just right for my stomper feet.

No Brooks Saddle, but all the other bits are just right!

No Brooks Saddle, but all the other bits are just right!

With that, I paid, mounted up and headed into town. A short 4.3 Kilometers later I’d arrived and gave a little urban break in session to it. The only question left in my mind, is what’s my new bike’s nick name?