Touring - Tandem in Europe
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My wife and I are in the beggining stages of planning a year travelling the world. For a good portion of that year, we want to tour with a tandem in Europe. As I peruse guidebooks and such, I find myself planning routes that would have us alternating between trains and riding.
How easy/possible is it to take a tandem on a train? Is there any possible way to take one on a bus?
I'm most concerned about Eastern Europe, but we will aslo need trains in Germany and Italy most likely. It seems like we can cover about 4 times as much ground, yet still see the countryside of each destination on bike, if we can find a way to make it work alternating.
Thanks for any info!
Contact Pel on these forums. Or search for their posts.
I read through all his posts, but they don't really answer the question. I'm not worried about getting the bike to Europe. I'm concerned about getting it around Europe conveniently.
10-25-08, 05:55 PM
Contact Dick Powell... BikeOutfit@aol.com ....former owner of Bicycle Outfitter and big-time european tandem touring guru who still keeps his finger in the pot with his current touring biz: http://outfittertours.com/
Since selling BO he and Marilyn have been splitting time living abroad and leading tours. I'm sure he'll be able to share his insights with you.
10-25-08, 05:59 PM
Buy a tandem with S&S fittings which allows you to take tandem apart into 3 sections that will fit in 2 suitcases and will go on trains/busses, taxis, boats, etc.
Several major manufacturers in the US include: Co-Motion, daVinci Calfee, Bike Friday, Santana among others.
I would look at a BF tandem for max demountability.
I don't know if it would be a good idea in general, but if I was doing it I would go with the old demountable sytem where they put the shifter under the (rear) seat. The person in the rear position could shift and operate a rear brake, and the front would have a pair of front brakes. If rigged that way it is much easier to break the bike up without worrying about cables, and I like that kind of thing. Might not be worth it for most. And it makes it tough to ride the bike as a single, but the beauty there is the BFs can be configured as a single as well, so that concern is lessened.
Here is a fuller size demountable by Arvon Stacey. He handles the rear segments so they can be configured with the front segment as a single.
You might try asking on these UK boards: CTC (UK Cycling organization) (http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewforum.php?f=16) and bikeradar.com (http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=40003). They get lots of questions (and provide lots of answers) to questions about bike touring in Europe. I know that I've read a few threads about tandems there, as well.
Thanks everybody, that website does seem helpful. We will have an S and S tandem, but I don't see us being able to transport our ard cases with us as we ride (that's the next logistical issue), so I don't really want to be taking it apart when we get on a train.
Maybe I will simply need to e-mail train stations in places like Sarajevo, Istanbul to find out for those rail ines.
Thanks again everybody!
My partner and I have traveled quite a bit in Europe with our tandem. We have a foldable tandem tuesday, but taking it apart and casing it for a train ride is not usually convenient. The best advice I have is to search for train information under each country you will be traveling. In many countries you will find it's possible to get your tandem on the train, but it may only be on certain trains, so you need to know the rules. For instance, in France, no bikes allowed on the fast trains. Whatever the official rules, getting the tandem loaded into the train in time is always exciting, and squeezing it into a designated bicycle area, if necessary, is never easy. Sometimes it's simply a matter of getting on the train and leaving your bike in a corridor. I unfortunately can't remember the names of the websites I've found with info, but they do exist. Just try searching using all the relevant words like train, schedule, bicycle, country name, etc.
Thanks again for the advice everybody. I think I have enough info to get pointed in the right direction. It all seemed so overwhelming at first. Good links also.
I love bike forums!
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