Mother nature blessed our area with one of those beautiful fall days that feels like spring and summer all rolled into a warm smile type of day (say that 5 times fast). Rather than sit inside and work we rushed through the “must accomplish” tasks and headed out on the tandem for a route that we had yet to try. All was going well with the warm up accomplished and all in the world feeling in tune with the bike and the road when BAM was followed by CLINK CLICK and then silence.
The trusty chain that we should have replaced after the last ride (when we broke a link and mickey moused a repair) had decided that today was not a warm smile and long ride type of day. We were just getting up to speed, just getting the wind in the face sun on the shoulders high, just feeling like it was the day that we live every other day for… but not for a mechanical.
Out came the chain tool and after a few turns of the screw the chain was back together. With two broken links in as many rides it was time to nurse the tandem back home. It had spoken and the word was repair.
During our gentle cruise back we reflected on what other maintenance items had been overlooked during the summer riding season. Quickly the list grew to the point where we wondered if the bike was even safe to operate. In no short order we needed to replace the captain seat-post, replace the headset bearings, adjust the rear-hub bearings, bleed the front brakes, and check the bottom brackets for abnormal play (and the source of that clicking sound). All items taken individually were mildly insignificant but taken as a whole added up to some serious work.
Mother nature all the while was still putting on her Sunday best so after a quick cleanup it was off to the local bike shop for a friendly chat and the ordering of new parts. The disappointment of a shortened ride had now been replaced with the excitement of some new toys on the tandem. So the tandem will sit for a few days before being made new again but this story hopefully serves as a reminder that with summer riding now over the word for the day is REPAIR.