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Tandem Time with Libby and Chucker… and My Wife! On a Thursday?!


April 2022

My youngest daughter is a bit of a sports star in her school – she’s quite amazing, really. Head and shoulders above where I was at her age. So, my wife and I headed over to the tennis courts to watch her match yesterday afternoon. We’d told Chuck that we would be joining him on our tandem, to which he countered with his wife joining us on their tandem as well. The match looked like it was going to run long, though so I texted my friend that we wouldn’t make it. My daughter turned up the heat and shut the visiting girl down 6-0, 6-0 (!) and the match finished shortly after 5:05, so I texted Chuck that we’d make it after all.

Now, our tandem has been making some horrendous clicky/clunky sounds so I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on. The bottom brackets are cleaned and lubed and should be good (though the issue could technically still reside there). I thought it was in the chains, though… the synch chain is pretty stretched and the drive chain is probably close to done as well – and they’re both a little rusty. I decided to hit them with a light chain lube and wipe them to see if I could get the rust off and also to see if one of the chains had a tight link in it, which would cause the noise we’ve experienced.

At first the bike was nice and quiet but it quickly devolved into its clicking again. I didn’t worry about it, though. We just rode on, enjoying our normal weekday loop with our wives on the back of our tandems… and the funny thing was, if we rode side-by-side when traffic wasn’t present, Chuck and I could talk while my wife and Chuck’s wife caught up… we had a blast.

We did a shortened loop to get home and get dinner going, but after going from probably not riding to a decent “just shy of 20-miles”, I was stoked we got what we did. If just getting a ride in wasn’t good enough, riding the tandems during the week was fantastic. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to do a lot more of that (and I think that will become a regular occurrence with my wife working a few days a week now).

On pulling in the driveway, on a fluke, I decided to check the headset to make sure everything was tight… and it wasn’t. There wasn’t a lot of play in the steering assembly, but there was more than there should have been. I don’t know if that was the source of our trouble, but it definitely needed fixing – after dinner. And so it was, handled after we ate.

I’ll be fitting new chains on the bike some time today and I’ll take the cranks off and clean everything up while I’m at it, lubing everything liberally, and putting it all back together. I figure I’ll pull the seat posts and lube them as well. Hopefully by this afternoon we should have a quiet tandem for the weekend… more on that later.

It looks like the weather started turning for the better, about three weeks late, yesterday. Time will tell.



  1. Dave Talsma says:

    I sure wish we could come up with a regular thursday group ride, we used to have on from the old bike shop.

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