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Old 05-20-11, 09:10 PM   #1
Retro Grouch 
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Depressing news.

After our fall and my concussion a couple of weeks ago on our tandem, Mrs. Grouch had an MRI. The diagnosis is "chronic small vessel syndrome" which affects her balance. She has an appointment with a neurologist in about 3 weeks but will see if she can get in sooner.

We have a week long bike tour scheduled for June. She is talking about taking my single recumbent and her tadpole trike, but I'm not sure I want to go if we can't ride the tandem.

Obviously we haven't heard what the neurologist thinks so we're short on facts, but I'm already in mourning. We've ridden tandem bicycles together since 1976. That has been a big part of our lives. I'm not ready to give up tandemming and, if we have to, I have no idea how to replace it.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:36 PM   #2
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tandem trike?
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Old 05-20-11, 09:51 PM   #3
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I hope things turn out better than you think. That happens sometimes.
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Old 05-20-11, 10:15 PM   #4
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In a similar way, my wife and I started riding a tandem in 1975. However in the last few years her knees have been bad. The other day, she thought she would like to go for a ride on it. Well, somehow the chain caught on a screw and our forward movement was immediately halted. I had my feet clipped in and couldn't get them out in time to maintain balance. so over we went. Donna did a faceplant into the lawn only inches away from the cement pavement ... and she broke a finger. We are thankful to God that the lawn was resilient. Her glasses were bent, but we straightened that. Although I repaired the problem, we hesitate a little going on the tandem. I got her on our tadpole recumbent trike (Catrike) today and she actually enjoyed it as it wasn't so stressful on her knees or in the stoker position on the tandem.
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Old 05-20-11, 10:16 PM   #5
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If stoker has balancing issues she may very well be able to continue on the tandem.
Pilot takes care of balance etc. on a 2-seater.
Keep riding TWOgether!
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Old 05-21-11, 12:24 PM   #6
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All my very best wishes to you both.

Surprisingly good stuff often happens.

Courage and strength
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Old 05-21-11, 12:52 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=zonatandem;12672456]If stoker has balancing issues she may very well be able to continue on the tandem./QUOTE]
That's what I was thinking.
Could her balance issue have contributed to your Arte Johnson?
Hope the neurologist is helpful.
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Old 05-21-11, 02:26 PM   #8
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Not often I see them but we have a Handicapped Tandem club in our area. All sorts of injurys amongst the stokers but several have severe balance problems. I Was asked to take my Tandem down once for an Extra rider and I was lucky in that I had an experienced stoker.I can still remember one of the teams and it was a Father and son. Son was about 18 and "Not" on the light side. The son had a balance problem ----- Off the bike. He was wheelchair bound but sit him on a saddle with handlebars to balance with and he was fine.

Only problem came about on stopping but they had got into a routine in that the son would stay as still as he could and they would always try to stop where the son could put his foot on a kerb- or wall. But he would not take his feet off the pedals till the Tandem had stopped.

They had come to a system that worked for them and it did. In the 5 miles of frequent stops in town till we got onto the open roads the balance problem did not show.

It had taken just a few rides to find a system that worked for them so hopefully you can too.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:15 PM   #9
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AS we get older most of us are going to have some issues with balance for all sorts of reasons one of the best things you can do to deal with these is to take up yoga, an experienced teacher made aware of the issues can help her find postures to let her address these issues safely and as time and practice go on many folks find that the body relearns its balancing act and moves on. Its also one of the best insurance policies you'll find to prevent the falls that put us in the nursing homes and kill us with inactivity as we age.
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Old 05-22-11, 06:57 AM   #10
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I hope things turn out better than you think. That happens sometimes.
+1 Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 05-22-11, 09:58 AM   #11
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Wow!

After so many years together I can imagine that the fears and uncertantites your facing right now, both the tandeming prospects and the "chronic small vessel syndrome", must be very frightening and depressing. I too hope you see a healthy and favorable outcome to this setback.

In regards to the upcoming tour though I also can't help but think on your great good fortune. If indeed you can not tandem through the tour, how wonderful it is that you both have alternate bikes that you can ride instead. Granted, you'll be on separate bikes and loose some degree of closeness and it would be a break from your long standing tradition...but you definately do have the proper bikes with which to ride the tour together.

My thoughts are....Count your blessings my good man, and we'll all pray for a favorable outcome for your wife.
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Old 05-22-11, 01:06 PM   #12
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Almost surely, Mrs. Grouch's malady is what caused our fall two weeks ago. Avoiding a repeat is our highest priority right now. We're both gun shy about riding the Screamer again at least until she sees the neurologist. We'd been riding the Screamer confidentally up to that point so, if there's a treatment for what she's got, that might work for us again. We're both pretty full of anxiety right now, however.

We decided to cancel our trip. We both have recumbents that we can ride separately, but that's not what we want to do. The reason for riding a tandem is that it allows two people who aren't closely matched physically to ride together. Otherwise one tends to feel like they are constantly raceing and the other feels like they're dwaddling all the time. That isn't very much fun for either person. Another alternative is for each to ride their own speed but that can involve some abandonment issues and I don't want to do that either.

The choice that might eventually happen is two linked, recumbent, delta trikes. (Greenspeed Anuras) We'd have the stability of trikes, totally independant pedaling and shifting, it breaks in two for relatively easy transportation and storage, and both can also be ridden separately. We would also be riding together again. Frankly, the biggest drawback (aside from the cost) is that I still have to get my head around thinking the concept looks goofy. It's only been a year since I've come to grips with riding recumbents and now I have to picture myself riding a tricycle with 16" wheels. Also, the soonest that can happen, is early July.

The bottom line is that we're a team. I'd rather share whatever is happening, even the bad times, alongside Mrs. Grouch than experience some kind of wonderfulness without her. We'll be fine. Stay tuned to see where this adventure leads.
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Old 05-22-11, 01:26 PM   #13
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I'm so sorry. You have a great attitude and know what's most important. I hope you'll get good news and find a perfect workaround.
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Old 05-22-11, 01:34 PM   #14
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I truly respect you for working on a solution that will enable you both to continue riding together. You really are a tandem, no matter what you are riding! Cheers!
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Old 05-22-11, 02:46 PM   #15
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I hadn't even thought about the different riding strength scenerio. Here's hoping that Mrs. Grouch will recover and return to the Screamer, though that delta trike train does look like a lot of fun.

Obviously the two of you are a rock-solid and formidable team both on and off the bikes. Best of luck to you both.
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Old 05-22-11, 05:46 PM   #16
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Love your atitude and hope that everything works out well for your partner(ship) such positive energy deserves all the good.
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Old 05-22-11, 09:15 PM   #17
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Here's what you need
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Old 05-23-11, 01:20 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=Retro Grouch;12677853]The bottom line is that we're a team. I'd rather share whatever is happening, even the bad times, alongside Mrs. Grouch than experience some kind of wonderfulness without her. We'll be fine. Stay tuned to see where this adventure leads.[/]

I love how committed you are to the team.

I hope Mrs. RG has a speedy recovery, and that you figure out what to do, and it works for you.
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Old 05-23-11, 09:44 AM   #19
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Update

Mrs. Grouch tried (unsuccessfully) to move up her appointment with the neurologist/vertigo specialist. Appearantly he thinks her "small vessel disease" is normal for a person her age and isn't what's causing her vertigo.

That might be good news. If he can treat her vertigo, we might be able to get back on the Screamer. We won't know, however, for at least 3 or 4 weeks. I hate waiting but we definitely need better facts before we can decide what we're going to do next. I don't want to ring my bell again.
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Old 05-23-11, 01:52 PM   #20
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Here's wishing you luck RG. I'm wondering if that's what my wife has. Have to check it out.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Almost surely, Mrs. Grouch's malady is what caused our fall two weeks ago. Avoiding a repeat is our highest priority right now. We're both gun shy about riding the Screamer again at least until she sees the neurologist. We'd been riding the Screamer confidentally up to that point so, if there's a treatment for what she's got, that might work for us again. We're both pretty full of anxiety right now, however.

We decided to cancel our trip. We both have recumbents that we can ride separately, but that's not what we want to do. The reason for riding a tandem is that it allows two people who aren't closely matched physically to ride together. Otherwise one tends to feel like they are constantly raceing and the other feels like they're dwaddling all the time. That isn't very much fun for either person. Another alternative is for each to ride their own speed but that can involve some abandonment issues and I don't want to do that either.

The choice that might eventually happen is two linked, recumbent, delta trikes. (Greenspeed Anuras) We'd have the stability of trikes, totally independant pedaling and shifting, it breaks in two for relatively easy transportation and storage, and both can also be ridden separately. We would also be riding together again. Frankly, the biggest drawback (aside from the cost) is that I still have to get my head around thinking the concept looks goofy. It's only been a year since I've come to grips with riding recumbents and now I have to picture myself riding a tricycle with 16" wheels. Also, the soonest that can happen, is early July.

The bottom line is that we're a team. I'd rather share whatever is happening, even the bad times, alongside Mrs. Grouch than experience some kind of wonderfulness without her. We'll be fine. Stay tuned to see where this adventure leads.
I hope things work out for you. A recumbent tandem trike is not a bad solution (but can be expensive).



Greenspeed can make one for you and I believe you can now get them with an independent pedaling system, so both riders can pedal at their own pace and strength.

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Old 05-24-11, 09:43 AM   #22
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I'm sure you want to keep her safety and health interests first and foremost in all your decisions. And one item to keep in mind is how essential exercise is for good health. Maybe the tandem trike is the way to go. Pawn off one or two of the kids or grandkids...
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Old 05-24-11, 10:01 AM   #23
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I hope things work out for you. A recumbent tandem trike is not a bad solution (but can be expensive).
Money matters but it's not the most important thing. Who cares if we have enough money to last till we're 100 if we can't enjoy life at 69? One day at a time.

My biggest objection to the tandem trike thing is transportation and storage. How do you deal with yours?
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Old 05-24-11, 11:12 AM   #24
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Money matters but it's not the most important thing. Who cares if we have enough money to last till we're 100 if we can't enjoy life at 69? One day at a time.

My biggest objection to the tandem trike thing is transportation and storage. How do you deal with yours?
We have a good size garage, so that's where we keep it. We transport it on a gardener's trailer (along with 1 or 2 upright bikes):



More details here.

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Old 05-24-11, 11:28 AM   #25
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I rode a modest 15 mile ride with a husband and wife team a few weeks back. They were riding linked Ketterweisel delta trikes. It didn't look goofy at all and certainly garnered a lot of attention as we rode. They were having a great time while maneuvering this very long beast through the streets and along the bike paths. The only downside I can see is the cost of buying two very expensive trikes but in this case, you get what you pay for. The ability to split the trikes and carry them individually on and in their SUV was a definite plus.
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