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Discussion: idiot check

in: coach; coach > 2021-04-24

Apr 25, 2021 3:17 AM # 
Something I picked up from my brother, that I try to remember to do before I start driving: grab the roof cargo and give it a good shake, in case anything isn't really secure (typically meaning that something isn't strapped down). "Idiot check" is what he calls it, and I've had at least one occasion when I might have started driving but the straps weren't on the hang glider. I assume you had a quick release that wasn't tight enough, maybe a good shake would have caught it.

One of the worst cases I know of was when Aims only put one strap on the kevlar racing canoe on his way to Pawtuckaway, and it came off when he was on I-495. Folded the boat in half. It's amazing how well the repair went, you'd hardly know it was damaged.
Apr 25, 2021 12:08 PM # 
I lost one of the old original windsurfers on I-91 once. Fortunately it didn’t kill anybody, just hit the road. Those things were virtually indestructible. Just strapped it back on and kept going.
Apr 25, 2021 3:38 PM # 
Judy and I put the tandem on the night before, she did the fork. And I did give it a shake and pull to check it, and it seemed tight. Ironically, the guy we bought the rack from last Saturday, and his wife, were at the ride, afterwards he came over and noted that one had to tighten the skewer very tight.. I worked at it before heading home and it stayed tight.
Other malfunctions yesterday, one of the stoker pedal clips broke, and Judy's seat, which we just got last year, is very uncomfortable. This proved to be an energetic topic of discussion (women stoker seat pain) afterwards.. one conclusion being the stoker seat position is much more upright than on a single.
Apr 25, 2021 11:22 PM # 
Can you replace the skewer with something that works better?
Apr 26, 2021 2:37 AM # 
Glad that you got to the ride ok, what with the bike practically falling off in North Dakota.
Apr 28, 2021 2:05 AM # 
I suppose I might be able to replace the skewer with a long bolt and nut.. the other real problem is the tandem is really awkward and heavy, about 45 lbs, to lift onto the roof. That may not seem to much, and I can lift it straight up, but then holding extended over the roof, while standing on the door sill, or a stool, is hard.
Apr 28, 2021 3:08 AM # 
Wing nuts, maybe. Used to be standard on slightly cheaper bikes, and you can probably crank them down pretty good.

45 pounds does sound like a lot to be lifting that high. My hang gliders weigh more than that, kayaks maybe about the same?, but they're less unwieldy (more wieldy?), and it can be a struggle to get one on the roof singlehanded. Aiming for a small target like a fork mount sounds hard.
Apr 28, 2021 4:48 AM # 
Maybe more chicken porn for the coach, with a side helping of spinach, and perhaps even a few teaspoons of curdled blood pudding? Yum-yum! Couldn't hurt, and 45 lbs does sound like a lot for a roof lift.
Apr 29, 2021 1:31 PM # 
I cannot do alone, Judy has the front and guides the fork into the skewer mount, I can rest the rear wheel on the roof as she does this, then lift back up onto the frame mount which holds the bottom bracket connector tube.
Ours is an older model, (non sidewinder) hence no pivoting fork mount...
Apr 29, 2021 2:10 PM # 
Get an extra nylon webbing strap to go under the mount and around the downtube or the top tube, and cinch it down. Doesn't help you get it up there, but it's cheap peace of mind while you're driving.
Apr 29, 2021 9:30 PM # 
Good idea.
May 1, 2021 3:11 PM # 
This reminds me to out old days in Patagonia where we had to strap our tandem accross a roof rack of a car as one wheel was broken. Unfortunately the driver made a false estimate passing a telephone pole. The result of it - the rack was ripped out of the brackets, the tandem remained unharmed :-)
May 1, 2021 4:11 PM # 
I had a little sports car that I bought in the 1980s that I put a LaPrealpina rack on. Not a great rack design, and it wasn't overly secure. Just two crossbars, no bike mounts. I put two mountain bikes on it, both upside down, one facing each direction, with the handlebars and seats strapped to the crossbars, probably with bungee cords. I was westbound on Rte. 2 in Belmont or thereabouts when the strap holding the seat of one bike to the front crossbar let go. The frame pivoted around the head tube, and when it ran out of room to turn, it ripped the rear crossbar off the car. But the front crossbar held, and none of the other straps failed, and nothing quite reached the ground.
May 3, 2021 1:58 PM # 
So, we looked at a used Cannondale on Saturday. It only weighed 32lbs.! Ours it about 42 as I remember. Unfortunately it is a bit smaller frame size for us. Also, cost, ours was $850 in 1984, now they seem to range from $3500 upwards. The motivating reason for upgrading is the stoker compartment on new tandems is about 5" longer, much more comfortable for Judy.
May 3, 2021 5:10 PM # 
Without knowledge of this conversation, my brother sent me a message over the weekend that tandems seem to be out of fashion and used ones are going for a pittance (accompanied by an ad for a Univega with an asking price of $300). He commented that it was a good move that we gave away our parents' sketchy tandem when we did.
May 3, 2021 9:24 PM # 
If anyone finds a nice one for sale, let me know.

This discussion thread is closed.