Haven't been riding much for a long while and if I have it has been on the Pinnie. BUT tomorrow looks as though we may have a break from the high winds and rain so a chance to get out and ride with my Son-in-Law Ross. His work mates want a ride so we will be escorting them on what should be a gentle flat ride of about 25 to 30 miles. Problem is that it will be over the marshes and that area holds flood water. Don't want to chance any of the road bikes so looks like MTB's. Problem is that my MTB's haven't been ridden for well over a year.
So this afternoon it was pull out the MTB's and check them over. They were serviced before being laid up and it was only a matter of pumping up the tyres and lubing the chain. Then came the phone call. The MD of his firm has broken his bike and wants to borrow one. Ross said that I have a couple spare so he came round to get fitted and then his eyes popped out of his head. There at the back of the shed is the Tandem. He has never ridden a Tandem and reckons it could be fun so tomorrow he is going to find out how hard they are to propel forward without using too much effort and hopefully without finding out how gravel rash stings.
Now this tandem is a Full Off Road beastie and as such is fitted with parts that will take anything that offroad trails can throw at it. Wheels are built to downhill spec and the brakes are 4 pot hydraulic discs with 200 mm discs. Front suspension is taken care of with 6" of Rockshocks Boxers and the stoker has a Thudbuster with 4" of boing under the saddle. Problem is that with all these heavy duty parts on it it weighs in at 55lbs. That is a lot of weight to get up hills and with the knobblies that are fitted it is not going to be easy to get up them. Mind you- get it on the flat and once up to speed it is effortless to pedal and if gravity goes the right way- Downhills are rather rapid.
So checked the bike over and pump up the tyres and take for a test ride. Rear derailler was a bit sluggish at the start but as it hasn't moved for well over a year that could be expected. Steering felt a bit odd at first but I soon adjusted to it and the brakes with only one up are a bit vicious. But 5 miles on it to check it out and clear the cobwebs off it and it rides beautifully. So looks like a decent ride tomorrow And I am prepared- but I have already decided that my old Bianchi is my ride for tomorrow. New teams on Tandems do not work and as this is Ross's MD----Ross can show him that a Tandem is not the easiest bike to ride.