Monday, April 08, 2013
A couple days ago, I fell while riding our tandem by myself. I kept thinking the tandem felt heavy and hard to maneuver this spring, I just thought it was because I was out of shape. Well, that wasn't what was causing the problem.
The next day, I was riding the tandem again by myself and I hear a little "ping" about a mile into the ride. That's never a good sound to hear while riding. It turns out that with all the moving around of the bike over the winter, the rear shifter cable had gotten caught up in the gears on the back wheel and was getting rubbed with rotation of the wheel. It was kind of like riding the tandem with the brakes on all the time. The ping sound was the housing of the cable finally wearing away and the housing metal fibers popping out and getting tangled in the rear spokes. Fortunately, I was close enough to home that I could mostly coast back.
We decided to do the repair ourselves since we are going on a self-supported tour and want to be able to fix problems we have on the road. We watched youtube videos and read forums about our particular set up and did the work on the bike yesterday. I'm really pleased that we could do that. We learned a lot about our bike in the process and have more confidence and experience in doing our own bike repairs.
The minute I got the cable out of the rear gears, the bike sprang back to life! It actually feels pretty nimble for a big tandem. I wouldn't want to be the captain when it's fully loaded with the trailer attached on busy hilly streets, but I think I could do it on country roads. It would give my husband a break. It's a lot more comfortable in the recumbent stoker seat in the front. I call that the "princess seat". There's no doubt it's a fun bike to ride!
In terms of the Girls Gone Riding Team April challenge of riding every day for the month of April, I've ridden six out of the first seven days. All the rides have been very short so far, but it's getting me out there. Today is the first day this month where the weather is supposed to be decent for riding. It's real windy and raining this morning, but things are supposed to clear up this afternoon. I plan on doing my first longer ride in the afternoon.
Life is good!