On the route Pam and I ride our tandem in the mornings, we go out Sunshine Street to Turners. Just outside of town, the road crosses a railroad bridge, then about 100 feet further, the Pearson Creek bridge. Both are in really sad shape as far as the pavement goes. They’ve been patched, then repatched, and the patches are now in need of patching. The only smooth line over either one of them is right down the middle on the two yellow lines if traffic will allow. Otherwise, it’s hold on to your teeth!
This morning as we crossed the Pearson Creek bridge, there was traffic coming the opposite way, so I couldn’t ride down the middle of the highway. In the cloudy, pre-dawn darkness, our light is pretty ineffective for actually allowing you to see and I managed to hit a crater going in excess of 25 mph. Ouch! Not only that, but I immediately hear a clank and rattle, so my immediate thought was “What did I break?”. After Pam had a chance to get her wits about her, she yells out “I think we lost your tool!” The tool she was talking about was the multi-tool I keep in our “cage rocket” for emergency repairs.
Great! I got the bike slowed down enough to turn around and headed back to the bridge wondering whether we could find it or not. We’ve lost other things out there that time of the day and not been able to find them, but we got lucky this time. I took the headlamp off the bike and used it for a flashlight, and as luck would have it, the second gleam of steel we found was my trusty multitool.
The “cage rocket” we use on the tandem is a slick little bottle type container that rides in one of the water bottle cages. We keep our toolkit in it because a bag under my saddle gets in the way of Pam’s handlebars, and one under her saddle gets in the way of the rear rack on the back. Most of the time it works OK, but once in a while it will pop open if we hit a hard enough bump. This morning we hit hard enough that it not only popped open, but we managed to eject half of its contents as well!
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