We had a fun time on Saturday, and the plan was for another easy ride on Sunday, so I asked Mrs. Bgddy if she would ride on the tandem with me. With Mike in the group I knew it was going to be an easier ride, so we wouldn’t have a problem keeping up with the group.
She said she would, so come Sunday morning, I readied the Co-Motion for duty. Checked the shifting, checked the chain, lubed the chain, check the brake clearance, swapped pedals out, and put my Romin Comp saddle back on it and set the level. It had rained as late as 5:30 so the roads were still wet, but the temperature was an outrageous 45° F. While that’s right around average for this time of year, we’ve been 15-20° below normal for a month. It felt like spring outside.
I rolled the tandem out at about quarter till and we were set to go at 8am. It took a bit to get all the faffing out of the way, but once we got everything straight, we rolled out. Mike and Diane had split a little before us but we reeled them in and blew right by them to take the first Township Limit sign of the day, just a mile from our house. From there, with a southwest wind in our face for the first half of the ride, we took it easy so Mike could enjoy the ride without worrying about keeling over. We had to hold up a few times because he’d fall off the back, so it was great that we didn’t have to try to crush the pace. Also, sadly Matt got hit with a mechanical on his new Trek gravel bike and turned around to limp back. We’d waited for him and shed some unwanted layers on the side of the road, but a few went back for him and we started rolling when they headed toward us without him.
On our way into Byron, my favorite sign to get, I asked my wife if we should charge down the hill – being on a tandem on a downhill going for a City Limits sign is like cheating. Seriously. So my wife let Mike know we were going to go for the sign. He laughed and added, “Knock yourself out”. We did. As soon as we crested a tiny roller, we were full gas. We crossed the line and I had a grin from ear to ear. Doc Mike was right on our tail. We topped 32-mph (48 km/h) into the wind.
We stopped at our normal gas station for a pit stop, had a little bite of a Payday candy bar and hit the road.
Coming into town, before the pit stop, the sun finally broke through the clouds. It went from partly cloudy do downright sunny and warm. Folks, we had a full sunny day and something like 16 miles of tailwind. It simply doesn’t get better than that in December around here. Ever… Doc Mike rode up front with us most of the way back.
We rolled into the driveway with 30 fantastic miles (and some change). It was smiles, fist bumps and laughs all around. With our sunshine meters pegged again (it had been two weeks, maybe three, since we had a nice, sunny day), it was a perfect ride.
Unfortunately, as wet as the pavement was, the tandem was gnarly. Cleanup took quite a while (and I cleaned and lubed the drivetrain while I was at it), so now I’m looking at getting some fenders put on that bad girl to avoid some of that gnarly cleanup in the future.