Words and photos by Jonathan McCurdy (@jona.mcc)
My name is Jonathan McCurdy, and I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, but I’ve spent time living in Flagstaff and Phoenix as well. Two years ago, I moved to Seattle for work, and I’ve been loving it! The fenders were a bit of an adjustment, but I’ve learned to deal with them.
I am a recently unemployed mechanical engineer thanks to this pandemic, but I’ve been loving all the time I had to explore the PNW on bikes this past summer. Most of my bike riding happens in and around Seattle to share beer, coffee, or lunch with friends or my significant other. We have access to dozens of public shores, docks, and beaches, some more hidden than others, and they make great riding destinations! I also love to get new people on bikes and offer my free services as a mechanic or Craigslist bike sherpa to anyone who asks. In addition to casual around-town riding, my first love was road cycling, and I love to get my tires dirty off-road as well. I did my first BIKEPACKING.com route earlier this fall in the Ochoco National Forest.
During my last year in Phoenix, I discovered the magic of baskets via a purple All-City Nature Boy with super-wide flat bars. Though the single speed got passed onto a friend in Arizona, I knew I wanted to replicate that bike with gears as soon as I moved up to Seattle. I also knew I wanted something with canti bosses for ease of maintenance and cheap wheel availability, and a steel frame, naturally.
I found this particular Macho Man frame on Craigslist, and it even came with a wheelset, crank, and headset! The frame has a high-quality automotive paint job with the All-City logo in a Rastafarian fade; I wouldn’t have come up with it myself, but it’s grown on me. The wheel had a 9-speed cassette already installed, so that’s what the bike was going to use. I hit up one of my favorite local shops for the rest of the build — Recycled Cycles — and finished it out with flat bars and Avid V-brakes with kool-stop salmon pads. The braking power is just as good as or better than any mechanical discs, and almost as good as hydro discs.
- Frame All-City Macho Man
- Fork Surly Cross-Check
- Rims WTB ChrisCross i19s
- Hubs DT350
- Tires Michelin Hi-Lite Tour 700 x 35mm
- Handlebars Ritchey Kyote
- Headset Chris King NoThreadset
- Crankset Sugino XD600 (probably)
- Pedals Raceface Chester, Lime
- Cassette Sunrace 9-speed 11-40
- Derailleur Microshift Advent
- Brakes Arch Rival
- Shifter(s) Advent Thumb Shifter
- Saddle Brooks Team Pro Special
- Seatpost U.S.E. Alien Carbon
- Stem Cadence x Ritchey C260, 110mm
- Front bags Ortlieb Front Roller City, Timbuktu Hunchback Trunk Bag
- Frame bags Rogue Panda AZ Flag kit
- Rear bags Blackburn Outpost Seat Pack and Dry Bag
- Accessory bags Nuclear Sunrise Stitchworks Silo, Surplus Magazine Dump Pouch
- Other accessories Woho AntiSway Brooks, King Manything Cage
It’s gone through a few upgrades since then, adding on a Surly Cross-Check fork and Specialized Pizza Rack for touring and increased grocery capacity, and a wide-range Microshift Advent drivetrain. My favorite tires for this bike are the Specialized Sawtooth 700x42mms, but I recently slimmed down to some vintage Michelin tanwall 35mms just for fun. My favorite thing about this bike is that it rides slow but feels fast, just like a Miata with more cargo room. I Also recently wrapped some battery-powered taco lights around the basket for some holiday festivity, and I highly recommend doing so for anyone else with a Wald basket.
Keep up with Jonathan on Instagram @jona.mcc.
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