The Dog Days of Summer Hit Early This Year….

20150719_112217Wow, it’s been a HOT and WET July.  We’ve gotten in a couple of tandem rides on the weekends, but our mileage and the intensity of our rides continues to be something we’d like to improve upon.  Well, we actually did start to improve on our mileage by extending our semi-short 25 mile loop ride to ~40 miles last weekend. We timed the ride about as well as we could, in that we enjoyed some overcast morning skies for our entire ride and only saw the full sun as we were climbing off the tandem in the driveway.  The temps immediately jumped about 10*F into the mid-90’s, so as I said, our timing was impeccable.

We finished out the day putting in a few miles on our big Harley and visiting a few places; that’s all covered in our blog entry on Riding Two Up.

I’m apparently still struggling with my facial hair.  I’ve had my goatee or a slight beard for well over 20 years and have recently toyed with long hair & goatee, short hair and goatee, clean-cut and short hair and over the past week moved into the long hair and clean-cut look. Not telling what I’ll look like in a few weeks.  I’m guessing the goatee will be back and the hair will continue to grow.

20150719_131907 20150731_194432

20150726_121244As mentioned, the wheel rebuild for our friends became a wheelset rebuild when I put their front wheel on the truing stand and could clearly see it was also deeply dinged and flat-spotted.  The new Velocity Dyad rim was drop shipped to our front door on Wednesday. I did the spoke transfer on Thursday night and did the tensioning and truing this morning.

I must say, even though it’s been a long time since I’ve done much wheel building, it was very satisfying putting my hands on the spoke wrench and tensionometer and then seeing the final product spinning in the truing stand just about dead-nuts-on in terms of roundness and true at Velocity’s factor spec for tension so I shot a short video.

20150801_144648I also threw a nearly new Gatorskin tire on for them that I had sitting around as the tire that was on the front wheel had a squared-off center tread strip which I didn’t quite understand.  Front tires don’t usually wear that way, even old ones, so I was wondering if a lightly used rear tire was put on the front wheel at some point, Regardless, having a squared off front tire is a bad thing for handling so a new tire was called for and I just happened to have one.

Yesterday turned out a lot better than it started, as it was my every-other-Friday off which usually was a work-from-home morning and then becomes “my day” around 10am.  Of late, our executives have decided that it’s just an extra work day where special projects can be tackled that take either take a half or full day and such was the case yesterday. A 6:30am – 8:00am meeting was stacked on top of an 8:00am – 12:00pm meeting which would clearly throw a monkey wrench in my lunch date with Miss  Debbie at The Red Eyed Mule as well as a hoped-for bike ride.

20150731_153104Thankfully, we were able to wrap by 11:15am, so lunch with Miss Debbie was salvaged, followed by several errands and once all that was said and done it turned out that I had just enough time to head to the local off-road trails for a short loop.  It was old-timers day in that I threw my 55-year old butt on my 18-year old Ventana Marble Peak for a wonderful and plush ride.  It’s amazing how the Ventana has been able to be refreshed twice now with new components, wheels and fresh bushings in the rear suspension and a fairly recent rear shock update such that it rides like a new bike.  Equally amazing is that the 1999 vintage Rock Shox SID fork is still holding up and works like a champ.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to get a tandem ride in tomorrow.  We were house bound today waiting for an Air Conditioning repairman to come and check out our 23-year systems.  We knew our upstairs system was on its last leg as it has had to be recharged at the beginning of each season; however, the downstairs system was still working like a champ… up and until yesterday afternoon.  I’m guessing the compressors are shot which, after 23 years, is pretty easy to understand.  Of course, it’s 4:00pm and the tech was supposed to call 30 minutes before arriving and be at our house between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, so it’s not looking all that good.  It’s always something and timing is everything: A/C systems always seem to fail when they’re needed the most!


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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One Response to The Dog Days of Summer Hit Early This Year….

  1. Rick Lindstrom says:

    Hey Mark-

    Glad to see you’re firmly back into the “conventional wheels for tandems” mindset. I know you went through a phase of using exotic wheels, but as you say, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in being able to build and repair your own wheels. Also, I think it laudable to maintain those skills in an era where technology is working hard to eliminate the “do-it-yourself” type of folk.When I first started cycling, it wasn’t uncommon to rebuild and otherwise repair freewheels, nor was it uncommon to walk into a bike shop and find a “cog board” in case you wanted to fool around with the gearing combination at the rear of your bike or simply replace that worn favorite cog. Being an old fart, I miss those days a bit.


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