Last time you have heard from us, our tandem was no longer a tandem but workshop full of screws, nuts, bolts, pieces of metal and things I cannot remember what they are. In the end it looked like this:
We have spent afternoon putting it together, then another afternoon finishing and polishing it to mere perfection. On Monday we have decided to take the tandem finally from the workshop and ride on it through Edinburgh to test it. More or less all was good except for a one tiny detail – the mudguards. Since we got our nice tyres that will, hopefully, carry us further than just Czech republic the original mudguards did not fit or to be more exact the wire on which they were attached was not long enough to hold it in the right position. Adam has in the end managed to put the front one in place but on my end there was no chance and we needed a new wire to hold the mudguard which we did not have. Although I am sure that many of you can imagine how I looked after one rainy ride here is picture of me just in case you had any doubts. I could not stop laughing as I remembered this scene from one Czech movie in which the father returning from work completely covered in mud is asking his son in disbelief and very angry “Where are my mudguards?”.
I know in comparison to mountain bikers or to those brave (or silly?) ones who cycle like this in British cities on everyday basis, this is nothing but for me this was more that I was prepared for. Luckily for me, Adam and Jiří made a nice temporal solution of which I sadly did not take a picture. I am now proud owner of fully functioning mudguard, which really made a huge difference.
Rebuilding bicycle that you plan to ride around Eurasia on by yourself is enlightening experience. All in all it seems that our tandem is in really good condition – wheels are turning (some thinks they are bombproof), pedals pedalling, brakes working and there was only one pad we could not figure where it goes to – so pretty good score. It is really hard to acknowledge this but I am not able to say what exactly we did, perhaps Adam would one day elaborate on this because he made some notes about the process. It is not that I did not pay attention but the mixture of English and Czech while working and the amount of things that Jiří explained to us was overwhelming. However, we now (at least in theory) know how it works and hopefully will be able to repair it when and if needed. And it is so beautiful, shiny and looks a bit vintage for Jiří has given us a set of lights that look exactly like those I have drawn on our tandem few months ago.
We are now back in Yarrow after a proper test ride from Edinburgh. We calculated that it is approx 70km (which translates to about 43 miles) and it took us about 4 hours. We are really happy with the result – tandem seems to be really happy too after the spring clean. This ride was also the first one almost fully loaded and with the trailer that Jiří has given us. Again, Jiří is one of the person without whom this trip would never be possible – if we did not have him and his skills at hand it would be really hard to get all the knowledge. And I am not mentioning all the nice things that Jiří has saved for us, or the fact that if he did not lend us the tandem years ago in the first place, we would now be writing about something completely different…
I am now trying to sort through some photos from last month so as soon as I figure out how to scale them down without losing the quality I will try to share them with you. Actually we have a little trouble – you know Jux, where we published our photos until now, it is going to end by August so we are looking for new space for photos. So please, if you know about any nice place let us know (and really, we are trying to avoid Flickr).