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  1. #1
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    We took the tandem to the Hill Country

    Mrs. Mono and I have just returned from five days in the Texas hill country. We had a great time cycling, wining, and shopping. We took our new (to us) Burley tandem which we are still learning to ride.

    I have refitted it with a whole new bar set for my stoker, giving her a much more upright ride. She had only minor swelling in her left arm on the first day due to lymphedema. Hopefully the symptoms will be moderate as she increases her time on the bike. The bike was still sporting the soft saddle on back but after the second 25 mile ride she changed it out for a Terry Liberator X saddle.

    We did a little over 100 miles of riding, being four rides of 20-30 miles with about 1000' of climbing on each ride. This was the most she had ever ridden on successive days. She more normally rides 10 miles once or twice a week during summer.

    This tandem business is fun. I'm still amazed at how much energy the tandem will gather going downhill and how far it will roll out at speed. We've been up in the 35 mph range a couple of times and I'll probably call that a max speed until such time as I rebuild the wheels and put new tires on it. On level ground we can keep it rolling near 20 mph.

    The stoker only screamed at me twice. Once was when I went through a yellow light in downtown Fredericksburg. The other time was when I made a wide right turn on to a main road.

    It was a great time of the year to go cycle the hills. The weather was great. The weekdays were pretty much free of the tourist traffic. We only saw two bikers out on the roads during the weekdays. Saturday and Sunday were more crowded and we saw a peloton or two.

    Of course we stopped at the bakery and pie shop.




    In 30 minutes I can have my motel room looking like my garage.


    A couple of views





    Some people still hear the guns. As best I could tell, that is an original 6# Napoleon cannon to the right of the flags.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 02-18-09 at 09:50 AM.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you both had a great weekend!! I'm glad the stoker bar retrofit worked out so well (it looks kinda familiar).
    Keep on ridin' and reportin' with the great pics.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Naaa--That bike will do more than 35mph- just find a steeper hill. On second thoughts though- If the stoker has been screaming at yellow lights and wide turns- That may be the limit your ears can take.

    So 100 miles in a week- Only 4 more weeks like that and you will really see how the Tandem will work. As soon as the team gets together you will have to get a back protector. Just to save you from the thumps on the back because you braked for the last corner

    Great ride and great bike-

    And can't believe you are still talking to each other after a week on a Tandem. But they say it will hasten a friendship into the direction it is going. Just get worried when the stoker starts looking at lights so you can get out in the evenings after a hard days work.

    Edit---Great pics- but a picture taken of the outside of a PIE shop---And No pics of PIEs-- Very disappointed.
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  4. #4
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    I'm off to the Hill Country next month.

    So tell me. How steep were the hills?
    Zero gallons to the mile

  5. #5
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    Great pics. I did a tour in the Hill Country many years ago. It is an amazing place to ride. I remember thinking the whole week I was there, "this is like Disneyland for bikers."

    Lots of very quiet backroads, as in your next-to-last photo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I really like riding there as well. My wife doesn't like all the hills though, but it is a pretty area. When I was there, I rode out of Leaky. I think Fredericksburg is nice with all the shops and restaurants. Someone told me to ride RT 29 out of Kerrville which is real pretty. Anyhow have fun, I'll be headed out there pretty soon.
    George

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    I'm off to the Hill Country next month.

    So tell me. How steep were the hills?
    There are some steep hills. Going to the south and west will have bigger hills but less traffic. The worst traffic is due east of town and on Hwy 16 going NE, which has no shoulder.

    This link should be helpful. http://www.cycletexas.com/index.html Go to Cycling Routes after clicking the link. You can look at the routes they publish, most of which also have vertical gain. Most routes will have 1000' or or more every 20 miles. Expect lots of rollers. I think the biggest route has over 5000' in 80 miles.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  8. #8
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    When I did it, we left our car in Johnson City. Our route was something like:

    - Johnson City
    - Enchanted Rock
    - Fredericksburg
    - Kerrville
    - Blanco
    - Luchenbach
    - Boerne
    - Johnson City

    In several places we would arrive at our location by lunch, dump our panniers, and then take long afternoon loops in the country with nothing on our bikes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Ah, Texas Hill Country . . . who says TX is nothing but cities and wasteland?!
    Food's great in F'burg; had some great brats there a few years back.
    Have done a few tandem rallies out that-a-way. Believe the Southwest Tandem Rally is in Fredericksburg this year.
    Nice photos and good to hear Mrs. B is enjoying the ride TWOgether!
    Pedal on!
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  10. #10
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Riding tandem is a great test of a relationship. Even if Mrs. Slim DID ride, she would NEVER get on a tandem with me.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  11. #11
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Sounds wonderful. I've been in that area 3 times, been to all of the towns on BengeBoy's list. But never rode in that area.

    I find tandem ride reports interesting, as I've never ridden on one.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  12. #12
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    Tom, we're still new to the tandem riding scene but are enjoying it every bit as much as we hoped. I'm lucky that my best friend is my stoker! I went for a 40 miler yesterday on my single bike and it just isn't the same. There was no one to talk to.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  13. #13
    Clipless faller rainycamp's Avatar
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    My favorite biking area too, but you were right to visit Fredericksburg on a weekday. Weekends there are nuts.
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  14. #14
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Nice pix and cool story, Mono. Next time your in the neighborhood, I hear there's a town in Texas Hill country for sale for less than $1 million--chump change to a high roller like you.
    http://www.alberttexas.com/home/
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  15. #15
    Happy Rider
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    Did you try out the brewery in town? How about Lukenbach?
    Bike to live, live to eat!!

  16. #16
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Last time I was in Fredericksburg, I had a couple of very good German meals. I enjoy that town. Boerne is nice too.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  17. #17
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    No way could I buy Albert, Texas, but I think I went through there one time.

    We did stop at The Brewery for a late lunch. They had their Valentine beer going. It's called The Giant. It's 8 point something percent alcohol. I only had a four ounce sampler.....five times. It went well with Scotch eggs and fried pickles.



    No Luckenbach this trip, although I wanted to cycle there on Saturday. The owner of one of the grog shops told Mrs. Mono there was a Hug-In going on down there which was comprised mostly of old hippies and young women with bare midriffs. Mrs. Mono was afraid I'd never come back, a fear that was probably well founded.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  18. #18
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    I grew up in south Texas and spent a lot of time in Austin and west of Austin. I met my lovely bride in San Antonio about 30 years ago. I have hunted, hiked, rafted, flew hang gliders, canoed, and camped all over the Texas hill country but have never biked there. That is one destination that Red Rider and I want to spend some serious tandem time exploring. Sounds like your trip was a lot of fun. We look forward to some of those good ol Texas hills.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
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  19. #19
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Oh, that open road looks so inviting!

    When I lived in San Antonio I rode south of town frequently. That's how I found out there really is a China Grove. I always wanted to ride in the hill country and did not -- like cgallagh says, we'll change that soon.

    Nice report and pics.
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  20. #20
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    I hunted not far from Fredericksburg for a number of years, and I have done some cycling in Kimble County. Your pics make me want to go back to the area, for both endeavors.

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