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A Little Rain Day Maintenance; A Couple of Drivetrains and A Surprise Flat on the Tandem


September 2022

I arrived home Tuesday to reports of rain looming just short of the time we’d be finishing the Tuesday night ride in Lennon. I gave my wife two options; we could risk it and see how things shook out, or we could ride from home just the two of us and have a date on our tandem. I was hoping for the latter and was quite happy that this was my wife’s choice as well. She still had some remote work to do so I went to work readying the tandem. I wanted to lube the drivetrain as well as tend to the water bottles and air the tires… and I knew I was in for a little more than that as soon as I tried to move the bike. The rear tire was dead flat.

I was not surprised.

We hit a train track pretty hard Friday and when I aired the tires Saturday morning, the rear was down to 60 pounds from 100. It shouldn’t have been below 90 pounds. I new a flat was nigh.

I didn’t even bother with the tire irons. 28 mm tires on the Velocity Dyad tandem wheels slip off easily with no tools if you know the trick of leveraging the bead against the rim and rolling it just so… both beads at the same time, too. You just roll the tire right off without having to mess around with tire irons (or plastics, as they are, generally). I checked carefully for any foreign objects in the tire and took the tube in to the kitchen sink when I found nothing. I wanted to know where the leak was. A hole on the outside of the tube (toward the tire) generally signifies a foreign object piercing the tube. A hole on the inside, against the rim, generally signifies a pinch-flat.

I filled the sink a couple of inches and ran the just-filled tube ’round. No bubbles. I ran it again. No bubbles. I discarded the tube in the recycle tub and went about my chores. Chain lubed, water bottles topped… and I started a load of laundry as well. Then I pulled out the Venge to clean and lube its drivetrain as well. May as well while I was at it. Jess was still working. And that’s when the thunder became audible, way off in the distance. I wheeled the bike in from the driveway, leaned against my car. The rain was going to hit us well before 7.

We never rode. The rain came swift and hard. We decided on chicken noodle soup for dinner and Jess commenced to chopping veggies while I folded the clothes that had come out of the drier. Our youngest, driving on her own now, came home from practice while the soup was cooking, having been kicked out of the pool at the first sign of thunder.

With the bikes cleaned and readied and chores done, there was nothing left to do but let dinner finish cooking.

Rain days are a bummer, especially when you plan on being able to beat the rain all day and look forward to the ride.

Making the best of them when they happen, on the other hand, isn’t so bad.

Next it’s time to get the gravel bikes ready! Fall arrives today.


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