Weeknight Tandem Rides, But Couldn’t Make It Happen This Weekend…

Kind of a strange week this past seven days in that we were able to get in tandem rides after work on Tuesday and Thursday, but couldn’t get it together for the weekend.  Weird.

Anyway, it felt really good to get out on Tuesday and Thursday night, but there were some highs and some lows.

Highs:

  1. commuteGetting some quality time with my sweetie during the week.  As mentioned in the past, my day typically starts with a 14-mile motorcycle ride to the plant that puts me in the office between 6:00am and 6:15am and then ends somewhere between 6:00pm and 7:30pm, except on Fridays when I’m out the door by 5:00pm sharp so we can be at On The Border by 6:00pm – 6:30pm.  So, having a couple mid-week “dates” with Miss Debbie for a ride on the tandem meant I’d be hitting the door at 5:00pm sharp on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday!  Strangely, there’s part of me that feels like I’m “cutting out early” from work even though by 5:00pm I’ve been there 11 hours on what is officially a 9-hour work day vs. 12-13 hours.
  2. Getting out on a bicycle during the week, is always a high. I wish I didn’t lose the discipline  I used to have when it came to riding either before or after work, or better yet… during lunch AT work!  That was always the best, as I typically got in a 20-mile noon-time ride and a hard tempo, and then did a ride with Debbie on the tandem in the evening. Of course, that was 18 years ago when I would typically leave work at 4:45pm after 10 hours.
  3. Getting exercise during the week. Sadly, by the time I get home on most weeknights it’s dinner, some type of at-home office work, checking the computer, getting some mental therapy by doing a blog entry or hitting the forums, and then calling it a night somewhere around midnight. Getting a work-out in has also fallen by the wayside: gotta do something about that too.
  4. SDC11302Continued Evaluation of the Schwalbe Ultremo Tires.  Still pretty pleased, but they just don’t seem to have the tubular-like road feel of the Vredestein Fortezzas when it comes to cornering.  But, to be fair, I’ll need to put the Vredestein’s back on for this weeks’ rides.

Distraced-driving1Lows:  No need to itemize; there was only one BIG low: motorists!  Good grief, they continue to get worse, as does traffic.  By getting worse, I’m talking intolerant, inept or inattentive:  intolerant is always irritating, but typically doesn’t put you directly at risk. Sure, there’s a chance one of these drivers who are in a hurry to get to the next stop light or four-way stop where they’ll lose all of the 15 – 30 seconds they may have “saved” by risking an accident as they blow around us at 2x the posted speed limit with the gas pedal pushed to the floor.  As for the inept, just the basic lack of motoring skills, rules of the road knowledge or the ability to make good judgements about when to pass is mind-boggling: of course, we see this on the motorcycle all the time as well.  The latter is also true of the inattentive, or distracted drivers if you prefer. These are the ones that put us at risk.  I swear, almost 9 out of 10 drivers are either talking on the phone, looking at their phone, or trying to type and drive these days.  Really!?  Most of these motorists already fall into the inept category — which makes for a really deadly cocktail.  Ugg!

Oh well, still not ready to give up the road for bike paths and trails.  As for what happened with the weekend, the biggest reason we didn’t get to ride was that we didn’t make it a priority.  Yup, pretty simple: the things that get done are the things that we decide to do.

So, the things that had to get done on Friday included:

  • Repairing a gas-powered edger that developed a mysterious noise and then wouldn’t start: turned out to be the pull-start coming apart: easy fix.  With about 500′ of edging along the sidewalk, street and driveway, having an operational edger is a big deal!
  • Removing the rear wheel from my daily commuter motorcycle, the BMW R1100S, so I could take it and a new tire to be mounted. Unfortunately, Marietta Motorsports didn’t open until 10:00am, so getting off to an early start on that wasn’t in the cards.  But, hey… $22 to mount and balance while you wait is still an awesome deal, so I’m really not complaining.
  • Making an hour-long ride to a resort on the Road King to visit a friend with ALS at a noon-time fund-raiser to help with his medical expenses (so much for comprehensive health care coverage).
  • Make a trip to Costco to stock up on, well… stuff and to get a new point-and-shoot camera (Nikon Coolpix S5200).  Our well-travelled Samsung finally started to act-up by no longer being able to establish a data link with our computers.
  • Beginning to sort out the garage to eliminate the growth of clutter: it was too hard to get our garage cleaned out a few years ago and I refuse to let it get cluttered again!
  • Getting cleaned up so that once my sweetie came home we could go and celebrate the end of the week!

Our original plan for Saturday morning was to get up and ride by 8:00am; however, when Debbie saw that the temperature was about 52°F, or about 20° cooler than what she expected.  I tried to sell the warmth of the sun as a mitigating factor, but she wasn’t having any part of that.  Oh well, I thought about going out my myself on either the road or off-road bike, but decided to see if I couldn’t fix my pressure washer, since that also seemed to develop an issue.  The carburetor’s float was apparently shot and had allowed fuel to seep into the cylinder and, in turn, past the rings and into the crankcase where it diluted the oil. A $20 replacement carb and a flush of the crankcase plus some fresh oil fixed everything.  After that, the rest of the morning was spent getting Debbie’s Honda S2000 hard top moved out of the garage and into the shed for off-season storage as part of my “get the clutter out of the garage” exercise. Of course, that required a “reorganize the shed” exercise.  By around noon, things were coming together but Debbie had a lunch date and I was her chauffeur. So, after getting the dirt-road dust from Saturday washed off the Road King, I took her to her lunch date and then met with my friend David for lunch, as I needed to kill about an hour while Debbie had her lunch.  After picking her up we paid a short visit to our local H-D dealer and then went home so I could do a little more work in the garage, hit the porch columns with bleach to kill the mildew that forms every summer, and then cut the lawn before it was time to head for dinner and dancing.

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Sunday was a non-starter for a morning tandem ride, as Debbie over-did-it at the nightclub and felt the need to sleep-in and recover.  Around 10:00am our son Wesley and granddaughter Charlotte stopped by for a visit while I was out spraying fungicide on the lawn, doing a second bleach treatment of the wood trim on the porch and washing motorcycles and cars.  I spent the rest of the day finishing up my garage project by repainting the upper 1/2 of the walls, installing a new work light over my repositioned workbench along a much less-cluttered bike bay and a few other household chores.

DSCN0004

So, while we didn’t get in a bike ride, it was at least a very productive weekend.  We plan to ride on Tuesday and Thursday again and have actually signed-up for a metric century on next Saturday.  Of course, that means we’ll have to skip our Margarita’s on Friday night so we can be up and functioning by 6:00am on Saturday.  To be honest, I’m guessing the air temperature will do-in the metric century plan, as I just don’t think Debbie’s got much interest in sub-60°F cycling anymore.  We’ll see….

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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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