That Darn Chain: Well, I finally found the re-useable chain link I needed for the chain I should have put on our Calfee when I put the 12x32t 9 speed cassette on last week: it was attached to the 9 speed chain that I took-off before the Georgia Tandem Rally. Actually, what I’d forgotten was the chain I’d taken off last was in a zip-lock bag my spare parts travel case. Double-Doh! Anyway, after giving the rear derailleur and crankset a good going-over this morning it appears nothing is worse for wear. I was concerned I may have cross threaded the self-extractor bolt, but that was not the case. Of course, once I had the left-rear crank off and had pulled the self-extractor apart I realized it had been a while since I’d pulled-out the bottom brackets so I went ahead and pulled the other three cranks and both bottom brackets for cleaning and inspection. Everything looked pretty good, although there was a little corrosion forming in the self-extractor’s cap thread interface with the crank threads, likely caused by a little perspiration intrusion.
I Knew This Would Happen: One of the risks I faced with pulling our Ventana out of cold storage and hitting the trails with the off-road tandem clan at Bent Creek in May was being reminded that I really need a little more stand-over height. Oh yeah, and I still have a brake harmonics problem that causes a lot of brake squeal on our El Conq frame and Stratos fork. Now, if we weren’t going to ride the El Conq for another year or two, no big deal. However, after realizing how much fun riding off-road with a group can be and are looking forward to doing it a bit more often, having a better-fitting frame might be a good idea.
Anyway, I was actually caught on camera eyeing what may be our 3rd El Conq at A.O.R.T.A. by Monica Judd: it was the small-size white one that Sherwood and Valerie Gibson borrowed from Alex Nutt and MTBTandems.com for the Bent Creek weekend. We should probably take it out for a test ride to make sure, but as often happens I’m already a bit smitten with it. Alex would prefer that we try out a 29’r and some other models before making a final decision, which is probably pretty good council… and may give me enough time to rethink the whole new tandem thing. After all, the biggest limiting factor with our current El Conq is the engines and pilot’s skill. But, in the mean time, my heart is still filled with tandem lust…
Note that the Industry 9 wheelset on the white El Conq were demos, not the wheels that actually belong to the bike. Nice looking wheels, to be sure… but given my experience and mindset with integrated road wheelsets, I’d probably be hard pressed to warm-up to anything other than good-old conventional wheels for an off-road tandem.
Moto-Mojo Still MIA: I think I mentioned that I’ve sold one of my two motorcycles and have just the R1100S sitting in the garage. I had thought that I might get my Moto-Mojo back before it was sold, but no such luck as yet. I fired it up and took a spin around the neighborhood today just to keep everything lubricated and moving and thought I might feel inclined to extend my short trip but no dice. Part of me wants to put the bike in storage ‘just in case’ while the other part of me just wants to close this chapter. So, we’ll see what happens.