Well, we’ve been able to get out for some friendly tandem rides with a few other teams for 3-weeks in a row!! I think our sum total of on-road mileage for the year up and until that point was somewhere under 200 miles for a variety of reasons, none of them really good other than on those days when it really was just too darn cold to ride. But, we’ve now had a day where we rode in temps that snuck into the low 70’s and a few in the 60’s such that I’d be just as happy if the temps stayed in that band most of the year: sure as the sun rises, we’ll be complaining out the heat before too long. Anyway, it’s been great getting back out on the tandem. The only downside aside from realizing just how far our fitness and performance fell last year whilst I was off the bike with a broken ankle and then nursing it the rest of the year is that my beloved’s derriere is suffering a bit more than usual. Her poor saddles — Terry Fly (yes, the men’s model; she’s a petite flower) — have not held up well as the cover’s have hardened and cracked so we may try a new saddle or two on for size to see if that isn’t the cause. I dread the saddle roulette game, as it always seems to become a fairly expensive exercise, pending the discovery of a ‘new’ saddle that will work. Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off going with Brooks saddles, just for their longevity… that, or getting into the bicycle saddle re-covering business.
After studying all the various ways that folks have mounted hardware to motorcycles to enable them to carry a bike (e.g., the Johnny Rack), I started to look more closely at how a single road bike could be carried on the back of a motorcycle cross-ways with the wheels removed. Clearly, there was no way to make this adaptation to my R1100S sport bike; however, given all the wind protection provided by the side and top cases on my R1150RT Sport Touring bike there was a glimmer of hope. After checking out all of the different rear vehicle bicycle carriers I found Yakima’s Super Joe 2 held the most promise for a possible fit. After doing some farm boy engineering and adding a pair of retractable hooks to my side cases, it seems to be a pretty good fit. This is most likely a unique adaptation for the Super Joe & the R1100RT / R1150RT Sport Touring bikes given how the side cases and top case fit and would likely bring tears to a BMW engineer, but we’ll see how it works. The modification is definitely not for the feint of heart as the SuperJoe 2 was disassembled, dismembered, and put back together in ways Yakima never intended. It will probably take me a few weeks of use to be sure the rack doesn’t have any unintended weaknesses, e.g., over-stressing the rear bodywork or tail light assembly on my RT. We’ll see. The bike weighs about 18lbs ready to ride, and the rack is a few lbs with the bulk of the weight carried close-in to the RT and distributed over three contact points and six anchor points. That shouldn’t be too awful, but one never knows what a sharp jolt from a pot hole might do.