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  1. #1
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Scaring the Locals

    Sometimes I feel a little bit of guilt. I leave in a pretty remote section of Costa Rica. There are Gringo sections, but not where I am. So, I suspect I am "The" Gringo - but often just Don Fred. The whole town isn't more than 500 to 1000 I think so everyone knows me and recognizes the large whitehaired Gringo.

    I have a nice hardtail and I am in good shape from commuting pretty much every day with it - and we also have a Tandem that up to today has been in storeage.

    Early in the morning I decided to take a spin with the MTB on the paved road. I have been planning to start using the MTB to cruise to our first finca (farm) instead of driving. This would be about 27 kilometers, 20 of which is paved. I had a couple of hours to kill so I decided to give it a try.

    It was a lot of fun, I didn't go all the way, just fooling around. I made it to the turn off in about 50 minutes - not bad since it was uphill and the hills would have made very good interval training. Nothing more than 200 foot rise, but pretty steep.

    I stopped at a small store, got something to drink (blackberry juice) and then zoomed back - took only 40 minutes and I was using the brake!

    This didn't really scare anyone, what did is that I decide to ride the Tandem. I took it out because a worker was visiting us and he is about the size of my wife so he would work as a stoker. Pumped up the tires, checked out and off we went.

    NO ONE IN COSTA RICA IN OUR NECK OF THE JUNGLE HAS EVERY SEEN A TANDEM. Man did we get the looks and the comments - even the police were commenting! A well, there are already enough stories about us in town - what is one more?

    Riding the roads on Sunday in Costa Rica is wonderful, almost no traffic and just miles and miles of good roads near us. We went off toward Upala which is pretty flat since my legs were a bit tired from earlier. It was a great ride and I am happy to be able to report that no one drove off the road because they were looking at us.

    Oh, the worker was pretty much spent - but had a big grin on his face. He had never gone so fast on a bike and we rode for about 2 hours. People here generally don't know how to keep up a cadence - he was asking when I was going to stop spinning my legs so fast.

  2. #2
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    Ok. So now I know you have a tandem down yonder! After I do my VegaVixen West Coast tour to meet those BF'ers, I hope to get in a trip to CR, which may have to wait 'til next year. When I do make make that trip, maybe I can ride stoker. I've always wanted to try a tandem. How tall is your wife? And please say 5'10".

  3. #3
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    My wife is 5'4" but I suspect that it would work fine for you since the seat is all the way down. You are more than welcome to give it a spin. It is a Cannondale so it is pretty nice in my opinion. We love it for sure. It is the only way my wife can keep up with me.

  4. #4
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    A Cannonwhale? Sturdy tandem. Red, white, or blue?

    I meant to say earlier, great ride report! You certainly do post some unusual ones by most standards!

  5. #5
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    We have a very unusual life by most standards...

    Really not very heavy - I think it is 34 lbs - think of it as two roadie bikes - which would be 17 lbs - not bad. It is black of course! (so is my MTB)

    A road bike would taco down here I fear. Too many interesting off road paths to explore.

  6. #6
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    ...





    <----- Great! Black will go well with my kit. Your natives will have a field day talking about that gringa OCP!

  7. #7
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Yes they will! I am hoping that when Joe and Heather visit it will take some of the heat off us...

  8. #8
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    crtreedude, your posts desperately need photos. You probably have the coolest scenery of any poster here, and I don't recall ever seeing any photos.

  9. #9
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    You mean like this? I have posted quite a few pictures if I recall, but they are sort of scattered throughout. This will give you an idea of what the riding is like.


  10. #10
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Primo!!! Muy bien.

  11. #11
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    This is another road heading down from Ciudad Quesada - lose your brakes and break the sound barrier... It drops 3 thousand feet in about 5 miles - maybe less. All I know is most cars go up this road in second.

  12. #12
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Oops - forgot photo


  13. #13
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    When you get off the paved road, you run into interesting road blocks - sometimes they are on the main road too.


  14. #14
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    Interesting how those cows aren't movin' with a car comin' at 'em. When I ride past a pasture whose fence is 20 feet off the road, the cows start a stampede runnin' away! I always wonder if my jersey smells so bad.

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    You mean like this? I have posted quite a few pictures if I recall, but they are sort of scattered throughout. This will give you an idea of what the riding is like.

    Just look at those gently rolling hills- ideal for a varied ride that will tax you and get the HR up just a bit.
    Whenever I take pics on hills that I think is a hill- it always looks like a gentle slope that is easy- That hill must be steep- It looks steep.

    That's It. If I ever get to your part of the world- its going to be with MTB gearing- Or even better just take the MTB- The offroad must be awesome.

    How was the stoker uphills- or did you have to work a bit for a change. And How do you get a Dale Tandem that light? Mine stands in at 50lbs. in bare state and 400 in ride form with the riders.
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  16. #16
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    If you ride on route 4, the hills tend to be rolling, steep but nothing nasty. THAT hill is about 500 feet at the bottom and about 2,000 at the top or worse. VERY steep the whole way. Makes you really wonder with a car even. A photo doesn't do it justice.

    I am not sure exactly the weight of the tandem, I just remember that number for some reason - who knows, it could be 50. Since I am 185, what is another 10 lbs or so? Mine isn't a MTB though which might explain it - more of a cross. No suspension, no hydralics - not sure that would add up to another 15 lbs though.

  17. #17
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    On our one visit to Costa Rica I got the impression that your life was in your hands with the crazy drivers? We saw few people on bikes during a week of going around the country. By the way it was a great trip which I would do again. The people were great.

  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    I am not sure exactly the weight of the tandem, I just remember that number for some reason - who knows, it could be 50. Since I am 185, what is another 10 lbs or so? Mine isn't a MTB though which might explain it - more of a cross. No suspension, no hydralics - not sure that would add up to another 15 lbs though.

    I do have heavy parts attached to the Dale but The quoted weight in standard form is around the 34lbs mark. Mine wasn't but then it was originally built from frame up to be an offroader and I have since added Full downhill spec wheels and Forks- then the brakes add a bit to it aswell and I have gone for downhill quality bars etc- Heavy suspension post and hefty saddles. Just wish I could shed the extra weight up hills but then it would a gentle plod down the hills trying to miss the Rocks and ruts that our terrain has.

    AND How was the stoker? Hope you showed him enough of your local country side to encourage him into biking and didn't put him off for life.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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