photo by Dottie of LGRAB
We’ve been loving these last two weeks on the new tandem. I’ve had to make some modifications to it to make it work for me and some to make it more workable for the kid but even with the recent addition of crank shorteners, she’s still 1/4” shy of being able to pedal a full rotation. My crafty friend James and I scored a matching pair of mountain bike bar ends at the discount bikey warehouse and after turning the stoker drop bars upside down we attached them to the ends to give her some additional hand positions.
I swapped out the tires that came on the bike with a set of Continental touring tires but I don’t know how well they’ll do against flats once street cleaning season ends in a couple of months. You can see in this photo that I had only put on the front one at first. The old tires were badly dry rotted onto the rim and I snapped a tire lever in half when removing it, popping a good tube in the process. I ended up bringing the bike to the shop to have the rear wheel done to save me from the cursing and dust kicking that would have ensued had I tackled that one too.
Later that week my gearing went out of whack in the three lowest gears (of course, the three I’m using most frequently when hauling a free loading kid and 5 month old fetus around town). I was quick to blame the LBS that changed out the rear tire but the problem ended up being from the shift cables being pulled out from the housing and throwing off the alignment. A night at the shop and $25 later and all is now beyond wonderful with the shifting. I used to think there was a high you get from riding a new bike but it turns out that feeling extends to new cables too. The ride quality is like night and day from where it was a few days ago.
I’m planning to bring this beast on the Kidical Mass camping trip in 3 weeks and was hoping to find a front rack before then, preferably borrowed since I don’t anticipate needing it again for 2+ years. There won’t be much bike camping happening with a newborn next summer. I also desperately need to change out my saddle. The Terry Liberator that came on the bike “liberates” all feeling from my labia after the first mile. Ideally, I’d love to stick a Brooks B-17 on it but there’s no way to secure the saddle to the frame without at least 24” of tacky bike chain and tube so the current plan is to stick to something cheap but hopefully nearly as firm as a Brooks. I love the stock WTB road saddle that came on my Surly so if I can find one used before I need medical intervention for my current woes, that would be excelsior.