Our Reader’s Rig of the week comes from Ethan Goodwin, whose 2015 Surly Ogre has carried him and his gear all over, from trips out his front door in Nebraska to a recent three-month tour across Europe. Get to know Ethan and his bike here…

Words and photos by Ethan Goodwin (@allergictocars)

Hi, I’m Ethan Goodwin, a 22-year-old from Lincoln, Nebraska. While born and raised in the Midwest, I’ve discovered I feel at home in the American West, where I’ve been floating around, traveling, and working seasonal jobs. In the summer of 2015, after graduating high school, I left home at the tender age of 17 to spend the summer working and living in Yellowstone National Park. Since my time in Yellowstone, I’ve been quite intentional about working jobs that are conducive to spending time outside.

  • Surly Ogre, Rogue Panda, Ortlieb
  • Surly Ogre, Rogue Panda, Ortlieb

In 2017, I worked for the Western Colorado Conservation Corps for 10 months. While based out of Grand Junction, our projects spanned all across Western Colorado. Project work included building and maintaining hiking and mountain biking trails, fencing projects, habitat restoration, and invasive species removal via chainsaw (my personal favorite). Shortly after leaving Colorado, I bought and converted a van before moving to Tucson, Arizona, for the winter, where I worked with the Arizona Conservation Corps as a chainsaw crew leader. Working for the Conservation Corps meant spending all day outside. Since we often worked in remote areas, we camped at our project location, working eight days before leaving the bush and having a generous six days off.

I always rode bikes growing up, but primarily as a means of transportation. I began to see the bicycle as more than transportation in high school, largely thanks to a dear friend (love you, Jared). The first bike that I bought was an old Panasonic road bike. I quickly ditched that bike due to the harshness of skinny tires and too many sketchy scenarios when fiddling with the downtube shifters. It was then replaced by a trusty Specialized Hardrock that was converted to drop bars. Needless to say, I was headed in the right direction. A few months later, I spontaneously bought a used Surly Ogre. Due to the Ogre’s versatility, it became my do-everything-bike.

  • Surly Ogre
  • Surly Ogre, Rogue Panda, Ortlieb
  • Surly Orge, Brooks Saddle

My Surly Ogre is heavy with baggage, both physically and metaphorically. While it carries all my gear—shelter, food, and clothes—it also carries with it countless memories of bliss, suffering, and gratitude. This bike has taken me places, from my front door in Lincoln to the Black Hills of South Dakota, down the iconic Pacific West Coast, bikepacking trips in the Dragoon Mountains and sky islands of Arizona, and most recently, an 11-week, 2,500-mile tour with my brother from London to Barcelona, where we rode four BIKEPACKING.com routes.

Surly Ogre, Rogue Panda, Ortlieb
  • Frame/Fork 2015 Surly Ogre (medium)
  • Rims Velocity Blunt 35
  • Hubs Shimano Deore XT
  • Tires Surly Extraterrestrial 2.5
  • Handlebars Jones Loop
  • Headset Cane Creek 40
  • Crankset Shimano FC-T551 26/36/48t
  • Pedals Origin8 flats
  • Cassette Shimano HG-500 10 speed, 11-36
  • Derailleur Shimano Deore
  • Brakes Avid BB7
  • Shifter(s) Microshift SL-T10
  • Saddle Brooks B17
  • Seatpost Kalloy
  • Stem Specialized 50mm
  • Front bags Ortlieb Gravel-pack panniers, Troutmoose basketbag
  • Frame bags Rogue Panda
  • Rear bags Ortlieb seatpack (large)
  • Accessory bags Green Guru top tube bags, Revelate Designs feedbag

It’s worn many hats over the past three years. Commuter, gravel grinder, single track slayer, touring bike, and bikepacking rig. I’ve found it feels most at home with the setup I used in Europe. I love the convenience of quick access to my Troutmoose basket bag, home to my camera, rain jacket, and other lighter items. Another favorite is my custom frame bag from Rogue Panda for its durable construction and utilization of empty space. Due to the varying surfaces we rode in Europe, the Surly Extraterrestrial tires were perfect. In the coastal mountains of Basque country—home to rowdy gravel roads—the width and ability to run low pressures were advantageous. While riding the iconic cols of the Pyrenees on tarmac, the semi-slick profile of the ETs wasn’t too cumbersome. And perhaps best of all, they’re a very affordable and long-lasting tire.

You can follow Ethan on Instagram @allergictocars.

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