Not Much Here Of Late At The TandemGeek’s Blog?

Sadly, that’s true.  Between the weather and last weekend’s trip to Bike Week in Daytona, there just haven’t been that many opportunities to get out on the tandem or any other bicycles for that matter.  Even if we’d have been at home last weekend, the weather here was less than ideal for cycling.  However, tomorrow is looking good for some tandem time and next weekend we have the first Tandem Club of Georgia (aka, PEACHES) monthly ride so perhaps those two outings will get my writing juices flowing, at least as it relates to tandem cycling.

If anyone is curious as to what we’ve been up to other than cycling, here’s an index of my blog entries from “Riding Two Up” which include things related to Motorcycling and my Weekly Journal, which is just that: highlights from the week that I capture and share with my parents so they can keep up with what we’ve been up to.

Motorcycling: Post Bike Week Assessment of the 2017 Road Glide

Our 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra:  We logged just over 1,100 miles on the bike during our 4-day trip to Florida, bringing the bike’s total mileage up to around 3,700.  The ride quality and rider comfort is just so ideal … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Sunday at Bike Week in Daytona & The Ride Home

SUNDAY: Racing’s North Turn, The Loop, High Tides & Beach Street Like Saturday, our Sunday began with yet another wonderful walk on the beach. The temperature was a good 15 degrees warmer than it was on Saturday, in part because … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycling Events & Trips | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Friday & Saturday at Bike Week in Daytona

FRIDAY: The Ride Down, Finn’s, Oyster Pub & the Tiki Bar As expected, it was a brisk 28°F when we rolled out of the driveway at 6:00am. Were it not for our heated jacket & pant liners, gloves and insoles … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycling Events & Trips | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Bike Week in Daytona, Prologue

GETTING READY FOR THE TRIP As much as I’d like to think “I’m done” with making changes to our motorcycles, truth is… you’re never done.  There’s always that one last thing or two you need to do to get it … Continue reading 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: National Cycles VStream 9” for Road Glide’s (N20433)

When we first took delivery of our 2017 Road Glide Ultra it came with the stock Harley-Davidson 15.5” tall, clear windshield (PN 57400281). It provided lots of wind protection for both me and Debbie, but I ended up looking through … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Infinity Kappa Speakers Installed Today

The two sets of Infinity Kappa 62.11i speakers I ordered from Crutchfield arrived today, per scheduled delivery; thank you UPS. For comparison purposes, the 6.5″ Infinity speaker is on the left in the two photos below along with one of my … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: The Bushtec Refresh

Anyone who has travelled with us or followed any of our travels on the Harley-Davidson touring bikes since August 2013 knows that we’re “trailer trash” when we travel. That is to say, we pull a Bushtec trailer behind our touring … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Quick Turn by Bushtec & We’re Back On Track!

As promised, our friends up north in Tennessee at Bushtec had a replacement center section overnighted to us.  The piece is now installed, fits-up just as it should and we’re now good-to-go for our trip down to Daytona on 9-12 … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Ciro Beverage Holder, A Pretty Neat Design

Although it was just a footnote in last week’s Journal, the Ciro drink holder for Debbie arrived on Thursday, just as promised.  After looking at the various options, it seemed to have a nice design for both the mount and … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Bushtec Guys – Come ‘on Man!

So, back in November regular readers may recall that I returned the center piece from our Bushtec hitch after the powder coating dis-bonded due to poor surface prep.  No big deal since I remove the hitch after each trip: I … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Weekly Journal: Medical Care Reboot & Yard Work

No, not a fun-filled week to be quite honest.  Don’t get me wrong, work is work and Debbie and I always find ways to enjoy some quality time together, so life is still good overall. Medical Care Reboot:  As mentioned … Continue reading 

Posted in Bloggishnish | Leave a comment | Edit

Rant: Hands Free Law Goes Into Effect In Marietta, Georgia on 1 April

As has been reported locally, the city of Marietta, Georgia — where I work and where we routinely drive — adopted a new “hands-free” driving law back on 14 February that goes into effect on 1 April.  The idea is … Continue reading 

Posted in Rants | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: 14 Wake-Ups Until Bike Week!

Just a little photo-rich retrospective on the past couple Bike Week trips since it’s late, I can’t sleep, I’m feeling nostalgic and most of all I need a Vacation! The 9th of March cannot get here fast enough!  It’s been … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycling Events & Trips | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Dialing for Dollars / Cancelling an ESP

The motivation for this little entry came from making an attempt to find out how much “prorated value” remained on the Harley-Davidson Extended Service Plan (ESP) for our 2013 Road King CVO.  You would think it wouldn’t be a difficult … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / EquipmentRants | Leave a comment | Edit

Weekly Journal: We’re Ready For Warmer Weather

Suffices to say, there was no cycling or motorcycling this weekend because it’s winter and our cool, wet weather continues.  We had one really nice afternoon on Friday when I was working, and mid-day on Sunday when I wasn’t feeling all that well.  … Continue reading 

Posted in Bloggishnish | Leave a comment | Edit

Weekly Journal: Getting Ready for Riding Season

Well, that was an interesting week of highs and lows; no pun intended. Highs and Lows in the Stock Market pretty much paralleled my stress level, as our very aggressive-growth portfolio went from the top of the stratosphere (at least … Continue reading 

Posted in Bloggishnish | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Good Enough is Good Enough

As I continue to reconsider my entire approach to motorcycling going forward, and also consider the economics of “personalizing motorcycles” I’ve decided our 2017 Road Glide Ultra is just about “good enough” the way it is. I’m still going to … Continue reading 

Posted in Miscellaneous ramblings on MotorcyclingMotorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Closing the Chapter on Commuting

So, this kind of sucks… After due consideration of what I’ve been going through since the motorcycle accident in November, and having finally resumed riding in late January when my truck was in the shop and I needed alternative transportation, … Continue reading 

Posted in Miscellaneous ramblings on Motorcycling | Leave a comment | Edit

Weekly Journal: The Winter Doldrums Have Arrived

Yup, cold and wet weather has settled in around us again.  With cold air comes blown hot air heating at home, work and where we shop or eat.  And all of that dry air seems to give both Debbie and … Continue reading 

Posted in Bloggishnish | Leave a comment | Edit

Motorcycling: Stock M8 Dual Exhaust – One Blows the Other Sucks

As I had the 2013 Harley Road King and the 2017 Harley Road Glide running motors side-by-side today as I do every week, noting that neither bike are getting ridden all that much, I decided to confirm what I thought … Continue reading 

Posted in Motorcycle / Equipment | Leave a comment | Edit
Posted in Bloggishnish | Leave a comment

1st Time Throwing a Timing Chain…

Here’s a strange…

We finally had nice weather and some free time this afternoon so we took advantage of both and got in a much-needed tandem ride.  Sadly, traffic continues to increase on weekends so a “low stress” road ride is no longer possible.  But, I put my best foot forward since Miss Debbie prefers to ride on the road vs. off-road, and we had a go.

It was an OK ride, noting that we ran into road construction twice… on a Sunday. Really? But, what really threw me for a loop was having the timing chain come off as we were “just riding along”.   That’s something that has never happened to us before and as I put the chain back on I couldn’t figure out what caused it.

  • The chain had the normal amount of pre-load, which is to say just enough to allow me to roll it on and off the chain rings without loosening the eccentric.
  • The timing rings looked fine; no broken or deformed teeth.
  • The chain itself appeared to be OK
  • The frame couplers were tight, so no frame issues to speak of.

With the chain back on the bike we continued on our way. Well, son-of-a-gun if that darn timing chain didn’t come off a second and then a third time.  The third time around I finally discovered the likely culprit: a chain rivet that had pulled out of an outer chain plate.

We nursed the bike back to the house where I pulled the chain and then re-set the rivet.  With any luck, it will stay seated, but I’ll be darned if I know how it came apart in the first place, other than being “just one of those things.”

Posted in Bloggishnish | Leave a comment

The cost of tires; what the hell?

If there’s one thing that continues to baffle me it’s the cost of tires.  You’d think with the cost of oil going down, tire prices would have hit a plateau and leveled off.  But, not so.

And, it doesn’t matter what kind of tires they are: car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle.  And, quite frankly, the more research I do the more I come to realize that the price we pay for tires in the U.S. is somewhat out of line with the cost of tires elsewhere in the world.

So, here’s the deal.  As mentioned, the Calfee tandem wore through yet another Vredestein Fortezza and when I looked into my spare parts cabinet I discovered most of the tires that were taking up space were 60% worn-out 23mm racing tires, not the 25mm or 28mm tires we’ve started to use of late.  So, after chucking out the dregs, I went out to do my homework on tires, hoping to find some 25mm – 28mm Vredesteins.  Yeah, well… when bicycle tires are going for $50-80 a pop something’s wrong.  Suffices to say, Vredestein and we have parted ways.

As part of a “what the heck” tire trial that I conducted when we bought the Triplet a few years back, I fitted a set of Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tires to both the triplet in 28mm and one of my single bikes int he 25mm size.  It took a little getting used to during the tire break-in period as the Ultremo’s had a somewhat lower friction compound that didn’t hug the road like the Vredesteins.  It became an acquired taste, so in the back of my mind Schwalbe tires have remained my 2nd choice.  Well, that’s not entirely true: I’d really like to throw a set of the Compass 28mm folding tires on the Calfee to see how they perform, but… once again, they’re cost prohibitive at $75/ea.

So, with just one more set of 25mm Vredestein Fortezza tires left in the tire bin and Debbie’s Calfee Luna Pro needed some new skins, I went ahead and ordered up two sets of 25mm tires from my current go-to source for tires, Wiggle / Chain Reaction cycles in the UK.  I feel bad because as much as I’d really like to patronize my local shops, I can’t wrap my head around paying 45% more for a set of $55 tires that will wear out in about 4-6 months.  They’re tires… consumable items, not meaningful upgrades.

Now, some of this is just being bullheaded when it comes to having a desire to ride on “performance tires” as I know that there are skins out there like the Panaracer Pasela that are more affordable and will last 2x – 3x longer than my performance tires.  But, there’s just something about being able to dive into a curve with a soft, grippy tire that makes the climb up that hill worth it.  Sadly, it’s the climb up those hills that eat away the tire compounds and send these grippy performance tires to the trash bin prematurely.

Anyway, more to follow.  Looking forward to wearing out a few more sets of tires this year than we did last year!

Posted in Technology & Equip. | 4 Comments

Hands Free Law Goes Into Effect in Marietta, Georgia on 1 April

As has been reported locally, the city of Marietta, Georgia — where I work and where we routinely drive — adopted a new “hands-free” driving law back on 14 February that goes into effect on 1 April.  The idea is by imposing a $150 fine on motorists who are operating vehicles with a telephone device in their hand, fewer accidents will occur.  As a cyclist and motorcyclist whose life depends on attentive motorists, I like the prohibition.

However, that said, I’m dubious as to how effectively it will be enforced.  I also found it amusing that, as usual, the city of Marietta has already offered an exception for first responders and public utility employees; really?  Given all of the clutter and devices that now fill your average $50K – $70K police sedan or SUV, I suspect a police officer may rank as one of the most distracted drivers on the road.   Motorists who pull off the road to use their phone are also free-and-clear of the $150 fine as are motorists who are using a phone to report an emergency; think about that one for a minute.  “Yes officer, I just ran over a cyclist about two blocks back, you might want to go and see if he’s OK because I’ve got to get an appointment and just didn’t have time to stop and check myself.”

Anyway, yes… I’m cynical when it comes to what sound like good laws that won’t be enforced with any consistency or proactively, aside from a few high-profile ticket-writing festivals that will be held on 1 April at busy intersections: it will be like shooting fish in a barrel!  Instead, it will be like so many other laws that are on the books and invoked only after an accident has occurred, e.g., Georgia’s Better Biking Bill which sort of makes it illegal to pass within 3′ of a cyclist when overtaking said cyclists traveling in the same direction.  Given how often we’re “buzzed” by cars well within that 3 foot no-go zone I’d say it’s fair to suggest most motorists are completely unaware of this law.  About the only time they’d be made aware is after an accident where prima facia evidence would allow the responding officer to cite the driver for passing too closely.

Anyway, that’s been my experience with laws like these so perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised and see evidence to the contrary of my expectations.

Posted in Advocacy & Access | 4 Comments

2018 Canadian Tandem Rally Website Is Up & Running

Guest contribution from David & Brenda Vandevelde….

Canadian Tandem Rally, May 25-28th 2018

For 2018 the Canadian Tandem Rally heads north to cottage country and the city of Peterborough, 125 km northeast of Toronto with a population of 81,000, on the Otanobee River and part of the Trent- Severn Waterway. Peterborough is know for among other things, it’s Hydraulic Lift Lock #23, the world’s largest.

In our usual tradition we’ll get a taste of the city on Friday with a short ice cream ride. We are heading in a different direction each day utilizing the Shimano sponsored routes as our guidelines.

The Comfort Inn on Landsdowne is our host hotel for our rally with a 2 day option of $549 per tandem team and an extra day if you care to join us for an optional Monday ride of $150.

On-line registration is available at

We look forward to having you join us for the 14th annual Canadian Tandem Rally.
David & Brenda Vandevelde

Posted in Tandem Rallies | Leave a comment

Last Call for Lodging at the 2018 Sebring Tandem Rally

A guest posting from the Florida Panthers….
8th Annual
Sebring Tandem Rally 2018
March 9-11, 2018
The Chateau Elan in Sebring, FL, your host for the 8th Annual Sebring Tandem Rally, has extended its cut-off date for room reservations to March 1, 2018. These additional days will allow you to make plans to enjoy the first tandem rally of 2018. Also, to be certain that you will not get left out of this year’s Rally, the PANTHERS Tandem Club will accept your application up to and including the 8th of March. Print out the RALLY APPLICATION FORM, fill it out and mail it with your check to Ray Murtaugh today.

The room rate at the Chateau Elan will start at $120 per night. This includes their hot buffet breakfast. Please mention the PANTHERS Tandem Club or Sebring Tandem Rally for this room rate. You must contact them by phone for our discounted rate at (863) 655-7200. For additional questions visit their website at

Visit the Sebring Rally 2018 web page to learn more about the Rally, who is already registered, the daily routes and the scheduled events.

For more information about the PANTHERS go to

Posted in Club & Org Notices, Tandem Rallies | 1 Comment

A Clean Drivetrain is a Happy Drivetrain…

As a follow-on to the spring tune-up last weekend, the Calfee received a long overdue bath on Saturday morning.  One of the things I try to avoid is putting chains on a bike right out of the box with their factory-applied grease.

While I accept that the original lubricant does a better job of reducing friction than any other aftermarket lubricant, it’s a magnet for grime and even citrus degreaser has a hard time removing it from cassettes, chain rings and the chains themselves.  I was reminded of that when I pulled the chains off the Calfee as they both went on the bike right out of the box.  Ugg, what a mess. I had to pull out the real solvents to deal with the crud.  After the crud was removed the chains went into my 25-year old Fry Daddy for a dip in my home-brewed hot melt wax bath. It’s not the best chain lube, but it so long as you don’t get caught out in the rain it works well enough, but it doesn’t collect grime the way most other dry and wet lubes do.
Anyway, all said and done, the Calfee is sporting a spotless drive train.  The now contaminated solvent in the mason jar was poured into my 5 gallon waste oil & lubricant jug.  The jug gets emptied every few months at one of the local quick lube places and then recycled.  Debbie’s Calfee Luna and my Tetra Pro will get the treatment next.

Posted in Technology & Equip. | Leave a comment