I commuted to work today-about 10 miles. The van was in the shop and didn't have any customer visits planned. On the way home I got in my regular Tuesday night ride by going the long way and wound up with 50 miles for the day.
About 15 miles from the house the regular group I ride with came screamingly fast past me. My neighbors were on their tandem and were setting a pace only a tandem can maintain. I was still recovering from the hot 100 miler from the weekend and the legs felt like noodles and I was only able to get my heart rate up to about Zone 3. However, I jumped on the gas and was able to somehow reel in the small group.
Everything was going just super until about 5 miles from the end. The last stretch is along a 4 lane road with a wide shoulder. The tandem was out front and doing 30 mph and I was tucked in nicely and very close to their rear wheel. They hit a rock with the rear tire and apparently got a snake bite. The rear tire went flat pretty quickly.
Because the pilot was very experienced on the tandem, he knew to try and avoid the brakes and avoid a quick stop. However, the rear of the bike quickly starting going out of control. The rear went completely over into the lane of traffic and the pilot had to go the same way to keep the bike from going down. He did a masterful job of slowing it down and keeping the bike upright until they could get it stopped.
It was my first time seeing a tandem with a flat and had no idea they could go uncontrollable to quickly. Pretty scary......