Whilst at a recent tandem rally I noticed a couple of dents on the top tube of an otherwise handsome road tandem. You know, the kind of dents that make you wince a little because they clearly were the kind of dents that occur when a tandem is parked and not in the heat of battle on a criterium course during the Co-Motion Classic or some other stage race with a tandem class.
The owner shared the story of how the dents came to be and, sure enough, it was "just one of those things" that can happen when you have a couple of bikes stabled side-by-side and/or leaning up against something. We talked a bit about the pros and cons of repair, bondo vs. pulling dents, and I even offered a possible camoflauge solution ostensibly as an homage to a track-rat background.
Anyway, as I was cleaning up one of our road tandems today and making sure both my and Debbie's riding positions were the same as the one we'd been riding for the past three months I took note of a few really minor paint nicks that I'd collected on the top tube over the years and thought to myself, "You know, I've really been lucky in that neither of our tandems had ever been dinged. Sure, there are some nicks in the paint -- even a few on the '98's left rear chainstay that I eventually felt compelled to camoflauge with a decal -- but all-in-all, I guess I should feel fortunate given all the loading, unloading, etc. Perhaps we had satisfied the bike gods by putting more than our fair share of dents and scratches in our off-road tandems?"
About 5 minutes later -- really, not even five minutes later including the two minutes of unquotable self-deprecating commentary -- I found myself wondering how best to camoflauge my first dent in either of our road tandems. Of course, as "fate" would have it, it was right there on the top tube just below the nose of my saddle. I could explain what happened but it doesn't really matter, other than to note that it was something I had done 100 times, nay 1000 times before without any problem.
Oh well, as a wise teacher once said to me... "it's just one of those things". So, in that light I'm over it and movin' on and will somehow grow to not mind my new decals.