It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly four weeks since we last rode the tandem. The last time we were on the Calfee was for the Sunday ride at the Southern Tandem Rally in Venice Florida on 14 October. We did the shorter of the two routes so we could get on the road for the 5-hour drive back home to Kennesaw, Georgia, as Debbie’s family lost a loved-one over the weekend and we needed to be at the day-long visitation on Monday ahead of the funeral on Tuesday.
On Wednesday we had a previously scheduled a morning meeting with our financial advisors in Atlanta and, from there, we headed down to Daytona Beach, Florida on our Harley-Davidson Road Glide for the fall version of Bike Week. It was a much-needed distraction for Debbie as her family seems to be plagued with more than its fair share of serious health issues. My family is not immune either, which is probably true of most folks our age as our parents, aunts & uncles and even some of our siblings begin to deal with the challenges that life throws at you, as well as the inevitable mortality issues.
If that weren’t enough, we were also under a baby watch as our youngest son and daughter-in-law were expecting their fourth daughter on or about 31 October. Well, Miss Scarlett decided to make her appearance at 7:33am on Tuesday, 30 October so she could be home for her 1st Halloween. As you might expect, this became something of a distraction for a few days and, at the same time, our weather here in Georgia began to remind us that it was indeed fall. As November began so did what has been nearly 3 weeks of colder, wet and dreary weather which has definitely limited our cycling opportunities.
As mentioned in other recent blog entries, Debbie is not all that interested in getting out to ride when the temperatures are below 60°F, the exception being those days when it’s in the 50’s but with the full warmth of the sun. Given that during the week our low-traffic riding window is between 9:30am and 1:30pm and the daily high’s aren’t achieved until mid-afternoon, there just hasn’t been any day where the temperature thresholds were met. I’m a bit more weather resistant so on those days when it wasn’t raining I either headed out to ride the trails on a mountain bike or hit the road alone on one of my road bikes.
As for the weekend afternoons that followed, on 3 & 4 November it just never got warm enough for Debbie, but I did get in a solo road ride on Sunday. On Monday the 5th we had our pest control technician, Larry, at the house pretty much all day doing a full-house Sentricon treatment which had us tied up. On Tuesday and Wednesday the weather was once again not all that warm and inviting so Debbie passed on the tandem and I headed out on my single road bikes for early afternoon rides and just did my best to tolerate the MV/MUP/SUV moms blasting by mere inches a way as they headed out to pick up their kids at school since no one lets their kids walk or ride a bike to school anymore. Once again, the weather was an issue for Thursday the 8th through Saturday the 10th.
Sunday’s weather wasn’t looking too bad and the prospects for an afternoon tandem ride would have been good. However, on Thursday our oldest son and his girlfriend of 8 years decided they’d like to get married and the impromptu ceremony was scheduled for Sunday afternoon at her grandmother’s home.
As for this past week, every day has been cold, wet and dreary to the extent that I couldn’t even find a window when the roads were ever dry so I could at least get in a solo road bike ride. As for off-road riding, forget about it: the trails close when it rains and remain closed until they dry out.
But, there’s now a glimmer of hope ahead of us. While tomorrow won’t likely yield temperatures that are warm enough in the morning for a tandem ride, a solo road bike ride for me is definitely in the cards. But, looking ahead to the weekend both Saturday and Sunday afternoon’s look as though we’ll have temperatures in the lower 60’s with sunny or partly sunny skies and, to the best of my knowledge, we have nothing else planned.
So, fingers crossed, I’ll finally be able to pull the tandem down, pump up the tires and get some quality time with the lovely Miss Debbie this weekend. We’re both in dire need of that tandem time, as cycling was always intended to be a really big part of our retirement plan, along with lots of time spent out riding the motorcycle. As you can tell from the events and weather that has kept us off the tandem, the same has been true for the motorcycle. So, yeah… getting out on at least the tandem this weekend is priority #1!