Time for a change.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
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I ride a Tandem and am the older rider on the Rear seat. I do a long off road ride each year and this is a very tiring 12 hour offroad ride that will leave most riders absolutely shattered by the end. Legs and body start to fall apart and the brain goes.
2003 and 2nd to last hill and we caught a group of riders. They were going at various speeds, and as usual, we started to crawl past them on the Tandem, First one we came across was Quite shattered and as Stuart, my pilot drew along side him, Stuart started to give him some encouragement. "Only 2 hills to go and when you get to the top of this one you can relax on the flat bits". The rider looked quite encouraged at this and mentioned that it was his fault for going out with youngsters. Stuart them said that it was hard to ride with the fit ones, as he was 40. Mind you, said the other rider, he has been shocked by the age of some of the people attempting this ride. Did you see that father and son at the start on the Tandem? The son looked fit but the father looked as though he was going to struggle. He must be 50 at least and doesn't stand a chance. Considering that there was only one Tandem at the start, I had to make a comment there. I piped up, "The fathers 57 and we are not related." He had not realised that Stuart was only the front half of a Tandem. Luckily he realised his Error and no need to apoligise as he nearly fell off his bike.
Same ride and only a mile further on at the top and with the same group. We have a trick at gates in that I jump off the back, open the gate and then when the tandem is through, close the gate, get on the Tandem again without it stopping. Did this at the first gate, but as this group was close let all of them go through and then closed the gate, got back on the Tandem as the last one went through. We felt we were fitter than this group so chased through the group for the next gate. The group was spread out by now, so Stuart stopped so I would not have to chase him too far. First one up to the gate swore like mad, and stopped. then his explanation.
At the previous gate, this old bloke had got off his bike, opened up the gate, let everyone through and then jumped back on his bike. Problem was, it was still upright and still moving. As he chased the rider to ask him how he had done it, he knew his eyes were going funny as the Mauve shirt the rider was wearing was changing colour. He knew about fatigue on hard rides but this was the first time he had been shown up by an old git, even if it was the end of the ride. When he saw the Tandem, he still could not believe it as No tandem had ever done this ride and he had done every one.
We had ridden past him twice, going like the clappers to do the gates for him and the rest of the group, and his brain had not registered that there was a Tandem amongst them. Funn y what fatigue can do