Despite doing our usual Friday evening “Decompression Session” at On the Border with our dear friends David & Deb, and then following up with a visit to Jimmy Mac’s for our friend “Sarge’s” karaoke gig from 8 until 11:30pm — something that has somehow become another part of shaking off the work week ritual — we were able to up and moving by 7:00 so we could be in Rome, Georgia for a tandem ride with friends by 8:30am.
Actually, we arrived in Rome right around 8:05am and found our friends over at a McDonalds. After borrowing Mickey D’s facilities we moved across the road to the parking lot of the Mount Berry Square Mall where we typically stage for “The Pocket Ride”, “The Texas Valley Ride” or the “Up the Creek without a Pedal” century.
The first item on the top of my to-do list was to “tweak” the big yellow Co-Motion triplet I’d recently overhauled. During the tear down and inspection I’d found the drive chain had been allowed to wear beyond that magic 1.00 on my Park Tool chain checker and that typically spells bad news for the chain rings and cassette. However, when I did a comparison of some new chain rings and cassettes the old components didn’t seem that far out of spec. So, I rolled the dice and told our friends to give it a try and let me know if the triplet accepted or rejected the new chain running on the somewhat now worn rings and cassette. As feared, the shake down ride on Friday was filled with all kinds of chain slip on the middle chain ring, along with some other interesting noises coming from the cranks. Well, why do you think we call these shake down rides, eh? In hindsight I probably should have had Debbie hop on the triplet with me so we could have tried to see if there was going to be any issues before handing the bike back to the caretakers. Oh well, just part of the joy of working on tandems and other multiseat bikes.
Anyway, I’d already picked up a new cassette for the triplet and had also gotten some new chain rings for our own triplet. I’d planned to use the freed-up a set of very low mileage chain rings on the yellow triplet, so I was all set for parts. After getting the sad story after Friday’s shakedown ride, the spare went in the truck along with my tool box and workstand.
It took about 10 minutes to pull the rear wheel, replace the cassette, pull the rear cranks and replace the chain rings. The only real excitement was skinning the back of my left hand on the sync chain while breaking the rear crank bolt lose. A nick by my standards, but something that got a few of our friends excited when the blood started to flow. After getting the cassette and chain rings replaced and the bike back together I also re-torqued the front & middle cranks as it sounded like they may have also been creaking a bit. However, those noises were apparently overshadowed by noises coming from the drive chain struggling to play nice with the older chain rings. Last thing was a quick check of the rear hub’s pawls just to make sure they hadn’t somehow slipped.
With those tweaks made, we were off and thankfully it would appear the yellow triplet behaved nicely for our 45 ish mile ride out to “The Pocket” and back. Our friends Eric & Linda who had organized the ride had our friend and the triplet owner Lisa on board the yellow triplet and our friends Brenda & James from the Murfreesboro, TN area and Denny & Stephanie from the Chattanooga, TN area were part of our posse for today’s ride. The weather was actually pretty nasty given a fairly high humidity level in the 80’s and perhaps even the low 90’s at times with air temps in the 80’s to low 90’s. So, we were all pretty warm and sweaty before we even left the Mount Berry Square Mall parking lot.
As we pedaled our way out to “The Pocket” some 23 miles away Denny & Stephanie’s Co-Motion Robusta developed a disc brake rub noise. What seemed like something that should have been a quick fix ended up taking four attempts at correcting before I finally broke the code on what was amiss. Instead of the brake pads simply being out of alignment, it was the caliper that had gotten a bit out of line with rotor such that the rotor was brushing up against the caliper. Like I said, it took me four attempts to break the code and turn my attention to the Caliper alignment before having an “ah hah” moment that allowed me to re-align the caliper and re-set the brake pad standoff.
Beyond that, it was just an excellent, albeit hot and otherwise uneventful ride with great friends. The rain missed us except for the drive to and from Rome, so that was nice too. We followed up the ride with a leisurely lunch at Bella Roma’s near the Rome Braves minor league ballpark. The food and service were both very good.
So long as the weather cooperates, we should be headed about an hour south of our home on the Northwest side of Atlanta to a small community on the Southwest side of town for the first of two PEACHES (aka, Tandem Club of GA) rides. We’re keeping our fingers crossed as it would be nice to get in two back-to-back tandem rides of moderate length.