Making Do Without The Road Tandem

As noted in my previous blog entry, last Thursday I finally realized the source of a “click” I was hearing on every pedal stroke since August was a failing S&S coupler installation at the junction of the boom tube and the rear triangle of the frame.  After chatting with Craig at Calfee Design about the failing coupler it was pretty clear the frame should not be ridden and would need to be sent back to Calfee for a warranty repair. I stripped, boxed and shipped the frame to Calfee Design in La Selva Beach, California, later that same day and I’m happy to report that — at least according to FedEx — the boxed frame arrived on Wednesday.  Hopefully I’ll hear something from the good folks at Calfee in the next day or so on the prognosis for how long the repair(s) will take and when it will be shipped back. In the mean time, we’ve been making do this week by riding our respective single bikes together.  Coincidentally, we both have Calfee single bikes so at least we’re still enjoying the same plush ride qualities that we experience on our Calfee tandem.
Riding our single bikes together is something we haven’t done since the last time we found ourselves without our tandem back in August 2015.  Yes, it’s definitely a double-edged sword: it’s truly disappointing that we had to ship the frame off on our nickel for a repair, but we’re really enjoying our time out on our single bikes.  Riding our singles reminds us why we enjoy cycling so much, but it also crystalizes what it is we love about riding our tandem.  The experience is similar, but oh so different when you’re sharing the same bike and working as a team vs. riding your own bikes your own way. I sometimes forget that Debbie and I have very different riding styles.  It’s only when I get to follow her on her single bike that I can see her preference for pushing a big gear at a low cadence.  Me, I’m more of a spinner and thankfully, she adapts to my higher cadence when we’re on the tandem. Another benefit I get from riding with Debbie on her single is being able to identify things that need attention, such as the rear derailleur being just a little bit out of adjustment.   She’s not all that in-tune with her bike and so long as the thing steers, stops and will shift gears she’s good-to-go.  Having the chain crossed-up from big ring to big cog or visa-versa with the chain rubbing on the front derailleur cage doesn’t faze her in the least.  And, while I know she could trim it out with a slight push of her left Ergo shift lever, I also know better than to make that suggestion.  After all, it’s not bothering her!   So, when we finish a ride I’ll make adjustments unbeknownst to her that help to dial-in the shifting as best as I can.  Of course, if she knew I’d made adjustments I’d be in the dog house since, after all, “It was fine the way it was!” Sadly, I’m pretty sure we’ll be off the bikes until October 1st, at the earliest.  We rode 32 miles from the house on Monday and yesterday, Wednesday, and between getting ready for a community garage sale on Friday and Debbie having to spend time seeing to her mother an hour away in Canton, Georgia, there won’t be an opportunity for a ride later today (Thursday) or Friday.  Saturday we’ll be out of town for an event here in Georgia, and then on Sunday we’re scheduled to fly to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a week-long sight-seeing trip with friends.  Of course, if her mother’s condition becomes an issue, I wouldn’t be surprised to see our travel plans change. Regardless, we’ll be anxiously awaiting word from Calfee on our tandem.  We’ll only have a week and two days between the time we return from Utah and the day we’ll need to head south to Venice, Florida, for the Southern Tandem Rally.  And, while friends have offered to loan us their spare road tandems for that pre-rally week and the rally, we’d really like to have our Calfee back under our butts.   And, to be really honest, we wish we were taking the triplet to Venice and riding with our friend Lisa, but she is otherwise indisposed.
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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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