Drafty, not Mafty

We were not mafting in Ottawa this weekend – we were cold, wet and drafty. The Saturday forecast was for a period of sun in the morning so we planned to ride accordingly. Needless to say, the accuracy of the weather forecast was predictable, and it was mid-afternoon before we were on Lady CoMo for a short spin.

We had driven to Almonte in Lanark County, about 30 minutes away, to ride the Clayton Side Road. It is nothing exceptional – mostly straight with some gentle rolls. This was where we rode on our first outing of the year, and at the time we commented on how good it would be for a tandem ride.

A gusty cross wind was slightly behind us outbound and, of course, in our faces on the return. Lady CoMo was rock solid. Gusts that would normally have me wrestling with the handlebars were hardly noticed. It was great. On the return Mary noticed that our average speed was dropping. She likes nothing better than a challenge so we upped the pace and managed to attain an average of over 25 kph.

By now we are becoming accustomed to riding in tandem and are learning how to capitalize on each other’s strengths. I have cut back my cadence and Mary is less nervous riding blind (“Trust me!”). Considering our first ride this year was less than 20 kph we have improved considerably with lots of room still to go. On our last outing we broke our previous speed record on the flat at 65 kph (after coming off a downhill).

Neighbours of ours, Bev and John, have a number of cars, all of which gleam like new. I think John is a bit of a fanatic – think of a 1970’s black pickup truck with real leather seats in mint condition. (Their son was apparently conceived in that truck, but that might be a bit too much information.)

Having never waxed a bike before I asked John what he uses on his cars. He gave us the end of a tin of 502 Pink Carnauba. That night we took off Lady CoMo’s wheels, wiped her down and followed the instructions – damp cloth to apply, let dry, polish. She gleamed. I could have shaved in her reflection. It was all very satisfying.

3 comments on “Drafty, not Mafty”

  1. Chris wrote:

    Around 17 US dollars for a 16oz tin of wax. Hmmm. I need something to get the grime off my Raleigh Road Ace. Years of muck is on the underside of the down tube and in various crevices. But it's worth some expense to give it a bit of sparkle. What – no shiny CoMo pictures?

  2. Mary wrote:

    You two are getting along so well with your tandem. Our poor ol' thing hasnt been out for some time. Its not very likely now until next spring.

    Well done to Mary, for gaining her confidence. Thats the tough part being the stoker, you really cannot see a thing in front of you, cept your Captains back, it is odd, to pedal like mad down hill when you know there is a corner at the bottom of it, and you have no control on gearing, brakes and turning.


  3. Hilary wrote:

    Great to hear that you are enjoying the tandem so much. I'm not sure I would take to tandeming (not as stoker anyway) being in charge of my own destiny is one of the things I like about cycling! 🙂

    Glad she is being well polished. I use Finish Line 'Pro Detailer' bike polish, just spray on and wipe for a beautiful gleaming shine. Before that I used Pledge furniture polish – worked pretty well. Years ago I was very keen on 'Andrew Hague Bike Polish for the Perfectionist'. Came in a red can, I don't know when or why they stopped making it.

Leave a comment

Add a Smiley Smiley »