Tandem Cycling - Covered bridge tandem tour
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09-23-03, 06:58 PM
This weekend (9/27-28) is a small tandem rally in NE Ohio touring the covered bridges of Ashtabula County. BTW it's filled up. My wife is not much of a rider and has logged slightly less than 200 miles this year, none since early August. She graciously has agreed to attend although I know she is rather dreading the whole thing. She confessed today that she is worried that it will be too much.
How can I make this work? I've decided that her having a good time is my top priority. If this means we bail on the route early and return to the hotel, then we do. I'm going to stock up on good snacks as she tends toward hypoglycemia (sp?) and has big energy drops when hungry or after consuming too much sugar. The trip spends much time off the bike as we explore the bridges and local wineries so hopefully the sore fanny will be somewhat mitigated. Anybody have any suggestions? We don't know anyone else on this rally, in fact it's our first. I know she dosen't feel like she fits in w/the cycling crowd. (Like me going to a sewing circle I suppose)
09-23-03, 09:19 PM
Just go with the flow and you'll have a great time. It has been my experience that the "tandem crowd" is a bit different from the "cycling crowd", particularly when you are talking about the tandem teams who attend tandem rallies. You'll likely find teams covering the spectrum; those who ride fast and furious to those who stop and smell all the roses. Just ride your own pace and you'll likely find others to chat with on the road and/or at the various social venues before, during and afte the road.
Bottom Line: Without even trying, we have formed some of the most enjoyable friendships that we have -- inside and outside of cycling -- with the people we have met at tandem rallies and we are anything but extroverts (notwithstanding my presence on the Internet).
09-24-03, 07:39 AM
We've never attended a tandem rally, but have put about 1300 miles on our tandem so far this summer. Sounds like there's plenty of opportunity to get off the bike & take a break (while exploring the bridges), so I think you'll see that your wife will actually be able to ride more miles than she thinks she can because of the breaks. If your main goal is to make sure you're both having fun, just check with her. Just ask her how she's doing. Make sure she's not going to feel that she's letting you down if she can't complete the whole trip. Enjoy as much of the trip as you can, you both may be pleasantly surprised at the end of the day. If you do complete the whole ride, then you'll both have more confidence for the next one. Enjoy!
09-25-03, 05:42 PM
Bike folks are the greatest, since tandems are involved, you can be sure there will be lots of food involved and not the fast variety either.
Just sit back and look at it like a social event, eventually you will find others with common interests.
Just in case take a book and comfy chair. My bet is you'll never use the book.
09-26-03, 12:42 PM
Well folks, its tandem rally eve and the weather forecast has gone downhill fast. 80% chance of thunderstorms, 25 mph wind, and 40-50 degrees. Man I sure could use a break here. I'm going to start the day tommorow by treating her to breakfast. Then we will report to the host hotel and sign-in. If the weather is as advertised, I believe we will not ride. It looks like the weather is supposed to improve somwhat later in the day so maybe we can get out around noon or so for part of the course. We'll attend the group dinner and hopefully, me at least, will adjourn to the hotel bar. I dug out enough polypro for her and I, found her full finger gloves suitable for cycling, and found that she could still fit into a rain suit I bought years ago when trying to introduce her to backpacking, (another failed attempt)
Wish me luck here, frankly I'm afraid of falling on the wet roads as much as anything else. We definitely don't need that! I'll let you all know how it went.
09-28-03, 04:01 PM
I'm back. It's Sunday about 5pm. The weekend was a mixed bag. I got up about 5am Saturday and it was Tstorming something fierce and a Tornado watch was up. We got ready and left the house by 7am to drive about 45 minutes to a diner for a great breakfast. After eating we drove 10 minutes to the hotel and it was still pouring rain at a 45 degree angle. The hotel lobby was full of cyclists and the parking lot had lots of tandems out in the rain, hanging on racks. (Fortunately our minivan protected ours)The consensus was that it was too miserable to ride but the forecast for later looked somewhat promising. We did get about an hour of good conversation talking about past riding experiences and I think my wife saw that the cycling crowd are not supermen-women without an ounce of body fat. There were plenty of paunches and big butts and many of the stories were of bonking, falling, and other human frailties. We left the hotel and did some early Christmas shopping at a mall and by noon the skies were clearing. Returning to the hotel it was plain nearly everybody was on the same schedule as bikes were in preparation everywhere. We got ready and took off. Despite wet roads the ride was pleasant and all went well until about the 25 mile mark. The ride length was 53 miles that day. My wife announced that she getting worn out. I offered to take a shortcut back to the hotel and she jumped at the suggestion. Unfortunately we missed the wineries and got "out of sync" w/the crowd. We ended up with 37 miles which really isn't bad when you figured she hadn't ridden since early August. But we ended up dining without the gang so missed some socializing. The next morning, my wife didn't want to ride at all so we had breakfast and came home. Back here by 9am. I'm glad she went, real happy about that. And she said it was fun. So I'm going to leave it at that and hope she will go again. I think if I had pushed there would be no next time.
Sounds like you played it right. May the weather be better the next time!
09-28-03, 08:52 PM
Weight shouldn't be a problem. I weigh about 220 and my husband is over 260. Our joke is that we really need to loose the person and a half between us. We are out of shape do to a new grandbaby we help with a lot. She's worth it and now that she's the big 2 challenges Grandma to races by running. She loves to ride in the trailer on the bikes. So our weight will be dropping rapidly.
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