While we’d still rather be on vacation in Key West, we made the best of it here on home turf this weekend. Perhaps the biggest shock to our system was dragging our butts out of bed at 6:30am on a Saturday so we could make it to the 8:30am riders meeting for the July PEACHES (aka, Tandem Club of Georgia) ride some 45-miles away in Rome, Georgia.
There was a time when we were conditioned for the early to rise / ready-to-ride lifestyle that dedicated cyclists adhere to, but it was a long time ago. So, as painful as it was, we made it out of the house by 7:20am for the 55-minute drive. We joined seven (7) other teams for the ride which featured options of 38 and 49 miles.
Against our better judgement, we went ahead and committed ourselves to the 49-mile route as we clearly needed the miles. It was warm, but the ride included spectacular scenery in rural areas to the east of Rome, Georgia as well as several lovely shade-covered roads that gave us some much-needed relief from the sun. “The Pocket” is definitely one of those rides that you simply enjoy time and again.
I made a point of riding “easy” which is to say, we never jumped out to the front and let others have that honor. If we got dropped by the riders ahead, that was OK too. No sense in blowing up and struggling to get to the end, it was all about riding tempo and we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. Again, the key to the day was actually getting ourselves up and to the monthly tandem ride since that’s not something we’ve been able to do on a regular basis.
The post-ride lunch at Bella Roma Grille in Rome was a nice treat. The gal(s) working our table were exceptional, bringing us liquids as fast as we emptied our glasses and food as soon as it was ready. We had pizza for the 3rd time this week, which is really weird; pizza is not something we usually have and we had it last Sunday while watching the US women’s team win the World Cup, and then Debbie had a slice on Wednesday at our granddaughter Caroline’s 9th birthday party; I skipped the pizza and had a salad. But, pizza with a Caesar side salad just seemed like the ticket for a post-cycling meal.
After getting home and getting the tandem and cycling gear put away I did a little prep work on a motorcycle repair project by sanding the dimpled texture off a new side case lid and prepping it for a Sunday morning paint job. With that task complete, I figured since I was still hot and sticky from the tandem ride I’d go ahead and pull out the edger, trimmer and mower just to get the yard work out of the way for the weekend. It was about 5:00pm by the time I had all of that done, just in time to clean-up and head off to dinner at Loco Willy’s with Miss Debbie. We toyed with heading to a club where a friend was the guest singer for a local cover band, but all of the fun in the sun earlier in the day had taken its toll on us, so we opted to head home and relax. Debbie was out cold about 30 minutes after we were home, so it was definitely the right call.
Sunday started early again, but not because of cycling. No, I was up early so I could take advantage of the low 80°F temps and 80% humidity as I painted the side case lid that I’d prepped Saturday afternoon: prime, color & cleared. Now to wait a week for the paint to cure before wet sanding and polishing, which is where I got in trouble with my 1st attempt.
I had to move the motorcycles out of the garage bay to do the painting, which worked out well as ‘Blue’ still needed a deep cleaning after her 1,800-mile trip and the black Dyna also needed a little love as she’d been ridden back and forth to work for five weeks in all kinds of weather without a wash. Since each coat of primer, color and clear required about 15-30 minutes of cure time and there were 8 coats to apply, I just moved back and forth between cleaning and detailing the bikes and my painting project for most of the morning. I was also able to work a wash for Debbie’s little S2000 which was a bit dirty after a few days of rainy commutes. Yes, it was a full morning, to be sure.
As I was cleaning Blue’s wheels our neighbor Ed stopped by with a rear cassette hub that had him a little perplexed. As he was taking the cassette off he discovered the individual cogs didn’t want to come off because they’d become slightly embedded in the carrier body. It’s a typical problem with the aluminum cassette carriers and steel cogs that can either be lived-with, partially solved using some little clips from American Racing or partially solved using cassettes that have the four or five largest cogs attached to a spider. I suggested he just file the ridges flat and live with the hub and cassette cog issue since it’s really no big deal for the average recreational rider. He also had a bit of an issue with the pawls in that they didn’t appear to be properly seated and the spring clip was out-of-place. I cleaned the hub with some WD-40, reseated the pawls and the spring and all was good. It’s always nice to be able to help out a neighbor / cycling enthusiast as they learn how to work on their own bikes.
Around 1:30pm Miss Debbie and I jumped on Blue and headed over to Loco Willy’s for our every Sunday hot wing treat. Yup, we’re all about routine and a Sunday isn’t complete until we’ve made a stop at Loco Willy’s for some hot wings and cold drinks.
After that, and remembering we’ve been celebrating our upcoming 22nd anniversary since June 29th, we stopped by a local jewelry store to pick up a gold necklace for my sweetie. She decided she really wanted to have a fairly short (16″) necklace to wear as her everyday jewelry and since I’m always eager to please… well, there you go. With her new necklace on, we headed back home so we could tackle a few more honey do’s and then — if the weather held and we still have any energy left — take an afternoon tandem ride.
Son-of-a-gun, the weather cooperated and we both felt like we could at least muster enough energy for a short ride so off we went. It was another tempo ride like Saturday where we weren’t out to set any speed records or hit a personal best for the time it takes to ride our loop and that was just what the doctor ordered. We were just glad to have been able to get two days on the tandem, something we hadn’t done in quite a few weeks. It felt good and let’s just say that we both reset our Garmin’s without even looking at the average speed once we arrived back at home.
It’s been a fairly quiet evening back at home. I started some pre-work on a wheel rebuild that I offered to take on for some friends — basically collecting spoke tension data for benchmarking before I cross lace a new rim to replace the one that got dinged — and also got Debbie’s Calfee Luna Pro ready for her to ride after work this week if she feels so inclined. A quick shower, a lite dinner and now a little mental therapy vis-a-via my blog to close out the weekend.
Yes, life is good… I have no real complaints.