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Musical Saddles, Maintenance and Getting Ready for Gravel

September 2020
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I spent a lot of time working on the Trek, Saturday, after my almost century. The day before, I’d taken to work on the drivetrain. There’s drag in the system somewhere but I’ll be damned if I can find it. Everything is new except the drivetrain components and they’re in good condition. I thought I’d had a breakthrough but nothing came of it. The funny thing is, there isn’t anything wrong with the way the bike shifts. It’s just not perfect. I hit every gear, without fail, there should simply be a some wiggle room in the barrel adjuster. Instead, it has to be dialed in just right.

I played around with the cassette, taking an old Ultegra cassette body (the bottom three gears) and meshing it with the loose gears from a SRAM… and I like it!

I also worked on locating a weird tick I’d developed at some point. Long story, short, when I reset my saddle after having it clamped in my stand, a screw on the back of my Garmin Varia mount was barely hitting my seat post collar. Freaking drove me nuts till the lightbulb lit.

So that led up to Sunday Funday on the tandem with my super cool wife. I was, without question, crispy from Saturday. Only my buddy, Mike showed up to ride, which was perfect. I was looking forward to an easy day in the saddle.

We talked as we rode into the wind. After seven miles we had a whopping 16.5-mph average, and I was perfectly happy with that. Until I saw Greg and Dave turn to ride with us. Greg plays nice, but Greg and Dave, now that’s a different story. It’s like they feed off each other or something.

They led us up the road into a headwind and we rode them like rented mules. They were generous with their turns in the headwind, they just led us out without question or hesitation. Our average ticked up. We stopped at our favorite gas station before rolling out along The Deer Loop. Our average ticked up some more.

We chose, on the fly, to roll north up Durand Road. On the tandem, this three mile long stretch of road is about my fourth favorite stretch of road I’ve ever ridden. The first three require a road trip ranging from 4 to 12 hours… and we even got a push from Greg up a couple of hills! We trundled into town over the rollers, just as fast as we could push the tandem.

And just after the City Limits sign, we got caught by a train. Worse, there was a second train stopped on a second set of tracks. And I mean dead stopped. We turned around and headed back into the wind. Greg took a dirt road home (Salsa Warroad) and Dave went with us, though he slowly pulled away from us. We let him go and took the pace way down. We had an 18.8-mph average before we turned around.

The remainder of our ride was easy and I was unquestionably crispy.

After some lunch and a nap, I woke up and readied my Diverge for gravel season. I put the original saddle from that bike on the tandem, so i put the Romin I had on the tandem on the Diverge. I turned a few miles and called it good, putting the bike up till next week. Our nice warm streak of weather is over. It’s not going to be terrible over the next couple of weeks, but it’ll be chilly, well below normal.

I blew by my weekly goal of 220 miles (280 and some change) and have only 10 left to get a thousand for the month. I won’t get there today with rain in the forecast, but I need a day off anyway. We’re looking at decent weather for Tuesday, then Wednesday and Thursday are washouts. This is a good thing. There’s no question I need some down time. It’s been a long season.


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