I was tired after my 100-miler the day before and I almost hoped my wife would choose single bikes for Sunday Funday, but I knew better. I prepped the tandem. We are better on the tandem than we’ve ever been so it’s important that we keep it rolling.
We met at my place, three more tandems, ours, and two more single bikes- Mike and Brad. First time I’ve ever been on a ride where the tandems outnumbered the single bikes and it was sweet.
We rolled out to spectacular conditions, a second day in a row. A little cooler, but if you’ve ever captained a tandem, a little cooler is good, you warm up fast. Not much in the way of wind, and not a cloud in the sky.
The goal for Sunday Funday is 40-ish miles at a 17-18-mph pace. We were up front most of the ride because I’m comfortable up there. Riding in a draft takes a lot of concentration because my wife likes to attempt the piloting of the bike from the stoker’s saddle. It’s actually quite funny, thinking back on it. I’ve gotta let that go. With a Garmin of her own to watch her speed, she’s gotten infinitely better about pedaling.
We lost the front of the group a bunch of miles into the ride, though, and to my surprise, Mrs. Bgddy kept her power up and let me dump speed by braking or calling out “coast”… It worked so well, and I mentioned this to my wife after the ride, I don’t think I’ll be as nervous next time. We really did well.
We realized were short miles on the way home with the wind at our back, maybe two. We decided to add a part of our regular weekday route we call the Jimmer Loop. Specifically, we were going to attempt the Chucker Bonus Lap… on a tandem. There’s a sharp right turn having to watch traffic, going into a punchy, short climb followed by subdivision streets. One time around the loop got us all we needed, so we headed home.
Now, I ran into some saddle problems on the way home. Specifically, my keister was hurting. I attributed this to the amount of miles on the week (282 after Sunday Funday). Still, I was struggling. When we hit the driveway with 41 miles and some change, I’d had enough – actually, I’d had enough long before that. It really took some mental effort to keep pedaling.
I had to do something about that saddle and I contemplated options as I cut the grass in the back yard… A Specialized Romin, I love the saddle, but it’s just not meant for a tandem. It’s an aggressive race saddle. I need something a little more relaxed. With the increased torque and saddle-time involved in captaining a tandem, this is no place for a racing saddle. I came up with a solution as I was making the final cut; I’d take my gravel bike saddle and put it on the tandem. I love that Specialized Toupe saddle on dirt – it doesn’t phase me when I accidentally hit a pothole but it’s sturdy enough for long rides. That should be perfect for the tandem. And I won’t need it on the gravel bike until fall.
I jotted down the measurements of the Romin on the tandem and the Toupe on the gravel bike and went about moving the Toupe to the tandem. I ran out of time before I could put the Romin on the gravel bike, though. I had to pick up my eldest daughter from work and she wanted to play tennis. I fiddled with the final adjustments on the tandem while she changed clothes.
We were off to complete my second Triathlawn of the weekend; Bike, Lawn, Tennis (thanks to the Unironedman for pointing out that this has the possibility of being the new triathlon trend). My daughter smoked me in two straight games. 5-3 and 3-2 (we had to break a little early to get home for dinner). I was absolutely tuckered out, but we had fun.
And the rest of the evening was spent as a family, my wife and I grateful to be together. It just keeps getting better. And I think I’ll let it.