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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 05-01-05, 08:19 PM   #1
galen_52657
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First group tandem ride…. Fun!

Today my stoker and I did our first group tandem-only ride. The BBC CRABS had a 40-miler out in north Baltimore County this morning. The turnout was light-only six teams, but that may have been because of the weather and the early (9 AM) start time. I was watching the weather radar closely to decide if we were going to go as it had rained all day the day before and was still raining at about 7:30 AM. But, the front was being blown out by a strong breeze out of the northwest - that never let up - and by 8 the rains had stopped so off we went to the ride start. It was a hilly route. I was bemused to see how much ‘stuff’ other teams keep on their bikes - a multitude of small frame bags and/or a rack and trunk bag, whereas we have a small tool-only seat bag.

It was fun riding with other teams! They were so friendly and welcoming. Everyone we passed along the way stopped to look as the group rolled up the road. Two of the teams fell off the pace on the first climb. I figured we would slow and wait, but the ride leader said we would meet them at the rest stop. My stoker and I were working hard on the climbs and would get gapped on the steeper grades. But my plan was not to kill ourselves trying to climb with lighter/fitter teams and instead close it down on the flats, which we did. In fact, on volunteering to relieve the lead team and take a pull at the front on a flat-rolling section, we inadvertently rolled away from the group - oops! I soon noticed that the other teams did not really like to wind it up on the flats or hit the descents very hard, so followed their lead.

One short but really steep section on Vernon Road put a my heart rate close to max but we survived and it was neat to see the other teams standing and climbing together.

All-in-all a great experience which I am sure we will repeat soon!
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Old 05-01-05, 08:53 PM   #2
SteveE
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Any WABITS join the ride? I used to ride with Bob & Willa F. when I lived back in the D.C. area.
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Old 05-01-05, 08:55 PM   #3
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There was a couple from VA that may have been WABITS members
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Old 05-02-05, 12:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
I was bemused to see how much ‘stuff’ other teams keep on their bikes - a multitude of small frame bags and/or a rack and trunk bag, whereas we have a small tool-only seat bag.

It was fun riding with other teams! They were so friendly and welcoming. Everyone we passed along the way stopped to look as the group rolled up the road. Two of the teams fell off the pace on the first climb. I figured we would slow and wait, but the ride leader said we would meet them at the rest stop. My stoker and I were working hard on the climbs and would get gapped on the steeper grades. But my plan was not to kill ourselves trying to climb with lighter/fitter teams and instead close it down on the flats, which we did. In fact, on volunteering to relieve the lead team and take a pull at the front on a flat-rolling section, we inadvertently rolled away from the group - oops! I soon noticed that the other teams did not really like to wind it up on the flats or hit the descents very hard, so followed their lead.

!
I do often wonder what some riders carry in their panniers. I use a small top bag on the pannier rack and this carries everything I want. This is a Tandem specific tool bag and does carry a few items that vary from the solo tool kit, but it also has enough room to carry a spare folding tyre, and a larger Pump than I use on the solo.

Never been fortunate enough to do a Tandem group ride, but I once went out with a solo group. People were friendly enough, but I found the general pace on the flat a bit slow--12 mph. Then we hit the first hill and the pace did not change, 12 mph. When we eventually got to a good downhill, I was surprised at the pace, it actually went up to 15mph. I vowed that next time I went out with them I would do it on slicks,I was on knobblies, but the pace up and down the hills hurt. 12 mph up a 10% hill for a mile hurt, but keeping the brakes on all the way down the other side was just as bad. It was not an enjoyable ride, so never been out with them since.

Mind you, I have done some organised Randonnee's on which a great number of tandems have been about, and they were fun. Riding with other tandem riders on these rides has really enlightened me on my Tandem set up knowledge, Tandem riding skills, and it is great to be in a chain of 6 tandems on the flat, and losing the solo roadies that have attempted to stay with you.
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