Every once in a cyclist’s most wonderful existence, the planets align and everything falls into place… and there are no phantom clicks, ticks, knocks, shimmies, bangs, flats, leaks, or creaks… and, God save me for writing it here, I’m there. My Venge is astonishingly smooth and quiet, as good as it’s ever been. My Trek has one “click” in the fork that I’ll never get out, and only presents when I climb out of the saddle (a new fork will fix it), but other than that, the bike is perfect. The shifting is smooth, the wheels stay true, the brakes brake… they’re perfect!
I took the Trek out for the A-100 the other day because it was supposed to rain all day and I wanted to make sure it was good to go for the next tour, where it really counts. The bike performed perfectly. The shifting wasn’t quite as perfect as that of the Venge, but when you’re parsing levels of “perfect”, eventually you just call it good.
The old ’99 5200 is astonishingly smooth and comfortable in its current setup and with my wheel/tire combination. In fact, I won’t change a thing.
Still, it’s not our tandem.
As I pulled away the other day, I couldn’t help feel a little sad that I wasn’t on the tandem with my wife. I had a spectacular time on the single bike, don’t get me wrong, but riding with my wife on the tandem has added a wonderful joy to cycling that’s simply too sweet for my inadequate vocabulary. I am grateful beyond words.