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.

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