Bloggishnish: March 28th

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.

Speaking of getting out and riding more often, I’ve finally found a work-around to the problem that developed years ago when I started commuting to work on my motorcycles instead of using my truck.  With the truck I could simply throw my bike in the back, bring along my cycling clothes and then pull it out for a ride at lunch or the Kennesaw Mountain after work . No so with the motorcycles… well, maybe.  

Johnny Rack: Yikes!

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. 

Super Joe 2 Before Modifications

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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8 Responses to Bloggishnish: March 28th

  1. Victor Klassen says:

    Just don’t get going too fast like that. I’d worry way more about the aerodynamics than the weight. 60 mph winds could get more than a little exciting…

    • TG says:

      A valid concern and one that I’ve taken into consideration. I’ll post photos eventually but, in the interim, windblast should actually quite minimal on the RT. Mind you, I ride a smallish 53cm frame which gives the bike a smaller footprint. Moreover, with the wheels off and stowed behind the frame the only parts of the bike that stick out past the physical dimensions of the RT and it’s hard luggage is the rear derailleur, about 2″ of the seat and chain stays, the front fork tips and handlebars / brifters. The rest of the bicycle is completely shadowed by the motorcycle. I’d also venture a guess there’s not even much airflow over anything other than the handlebars given how the front fairing, windscreen and hard cases disrupt the air. But, as I said, we’ll see.

  2. Chris says:

    Doesn’t look any more ungainly than the surf board racks the kids around here put on their bicycles!

  3. TG says:

    You’re referring to the Johnny Rack? True… and to be fair, there really aren’t any truly ‘attractive’ or ‘subtle’ ways to carry a bicycle on a motorcycle. Some set-ups I’ve seen are downright scary….

  4. Ruhbie says:

    Have her try this saddle
    http://bontrager.com/model/07137 it comes in a narrow 140mm width and seems to work for many women, myself included:)

    • TG says:

      Thanks for the recommendation; we’ll definitely keep it in mind. I think Debbie’s somewhat on the fence with a saddle change as she also remembers how frustrating the entire saddle change process can be. In particular, she’s mindful of how changing a saddle can completely alter her riding position even when a Fitstik is used to make sure the saddle is installed in exactly the same position as the one it replaced.

      We actually picked up a Fizik Vitesse CP on the way home from our Saturday ride just so that she could try something completely different from the Terry Fly. She’s been through the Avocet O2’s which were great but discontinued, the Selle Italia Women’s TransAm which ultimately proved to be too wide, a Fizik Vitesse that actually worked out pretty well until it wore out, and the Terry Fly was good for about a year before she started having sore sit bones.

      Having moved her riding position around a little bit without making any major improvements, and because she is having similar soreness on her single bike which also has the Terry Fly, my hope is that trying a new saddle will help to isolate the problem, if only by ruling out the saddle as the source of the problem. Frankly, any women’s racing saddle would have been good enough for this experiment; sadly, our local REI store is a small satellite store with very little inventory and the Vitesse CP was all they had.

  5. Ruhbie says:

    The Bontrager has a return policy that makes it very easy to try. I can empathize regarding the saddle and know that as bodies change so so does the need to possibly make changes in spots that were formally ok. (I just found old Avocet 02 that I had ridden successfully for years in case you want to revert) Do you have a fitter that can address the situation and help resolve this with you? In changing a seat, fore-aft as well as height (the easier one) may need tweaking. Good luck..

    • TG says:

      It’s great to hear that Bontrager has adopted a generous return policy; Terry has had that in place for some time and it’s really benefited a lot of folks… and helped them to win-over a lot of new customers.

      We’ll definitely keep the Avocet O2 saddle in mind; it was a good product.

      As for bike fitting, we have a good, long-time friend & certified bike fitter named Michel Lamar who has been with Free Flite Bikes for what must now be nearly 14 years. He worked with Debbie two years ago and that fitting continues to be our baseline. I’m a novice fitter as well and am one of the lucky ones to own a FitStik (see photo below) that enables me to capture and replicate riding positions with 100% accuracy. I believe I saw where Serotta may have developed a similar fitting aid.

      Anyway, fingers crossed, we’ll get it worked out and, yes: the aging process definitely impacts the bit fitting process.

      FitStik

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