Monday, July 07, 2008

You can take the crosstown bus, if it's raining or it's cold...

An impromptu tandem ride to San Diego yesterday seemed like a good idea on Saturday night. We left Newport at 6:20 AM (20 minutes behind schedule). I do not remember seeing any traffic until we hit Oceanside. As we were on a tight schedule, we skipped our usual breakfast at the Longboarder Cafe [they have a big sign that says: "We do not serve fast food"...they are not lying], and instead stopped at A Little Moore Coffee Shop in Leucadia.

A few beach towns further, we stopped at the bottom of the hill leading up to Torrey Pines as I attempted 1) to eliminate some irritating noises, and 2) stop the rear derailleur from shifting on its own. To my surprise, both chains were bone dry, leaving me to wonder if I had run them through a chain cleaner and neglected to re-oil. After a little lubrication, things were a little quieter, though the shifting never improved much. While we were stopped, the sun decided to appear, making the rest of the ride considerably warmer.

Up Torrey Pines, down Torrey Pines, through La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach with a 2:00 PM arrival at the San Diego Zoo. (92 miles, total time pedaling 6:37). We were too tired to do much of anything, accept watch the big giant tortoises...they were too tired to do anything accept turn their heads to look at us.

3 more miles (downhill mostly) to the train station, where I was told that I could not take a tandem on the train. They got nicer when I explained the bike comes apart, and I could make it as small as they wanted. I ended up removing the timing chain and uncoupling the front "third" of the bike. Bicycle storage on an Amtrak train (at least out in these parts) consists of two hooks (one for each wheel)...your bike is supposed to be secured vertically to the wall [hope you can picture that]. I ended up hooking the front third of the bike over one (top) hook, and the back third over another (top hook). Nico and I did a little extra securing (and made some padding) with our gloves and helmets.

The train was only a half hour late to Santa Ana. (Your tax dollars at work). We had the bike back together a little before 8 PM. To make things interesting, I decided to run the cranks out of phase (captain 90 degrees ahead). With the sun going down, we began the last 10 miles of our trip with a tail light and no head light. My first thoughts on out of phase cranks: 1) a little faster on the flats/downhills, 2) wobbly going up hill. The stoker thought starting was much more difficult...

Home at 8:40 PM, for a daily total of 105 miles. Too tired to work today.

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