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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 10-03-05, 12:33 PM   #26
Elvish Legion
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Originally Posted by franl
This past weekend we rode 67 miles with an average speed of 16 mph; some others in the group told us they rode an average speed of 20+ mph for the 67 miles and said it wasn't even a workout. They laughed at us after the ride and told us not to feel bad! Trust me, this was still a workout for us. This was not a race; but an organized, recreation ride in Grafton, WI. We left a real sour taste in my mouth with regards to the members of this group and wondering what other think of this. My husband and I are in our mid 40's and are in above average condition. This same group also were bragging to us that on one of their rides in Colorado, they went 60 mph on their tandem.

Were you racing or just enjoying your selves? Odds are it sounds like you two were out to enjoy the time together. So what if someone laughs at you, 16 is pretty good.

Keep up the good work
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Old 10-05-05, 08:01 PM   #27
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This discussion reminds me of why my wife & I ride with each other instead of groups!
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Old 10-19-05, 05:53 PM   #28
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When Mollie and I finish riding anywhere from 20-70 miles and we're done talking about what a great time we have riding together, we look at the computer and it'll usually say 14-20 depending on the hilliness, wind, etc..

I've definitely found that tandem society has fewer Freds, but they're still out there. It's all about having fun. If rides were races, don't you think they'd be called "races?"

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Old 10-20-05, 04:30 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo
This discussion reminds me of why my wife & I ride with each other instead of groups!
We see it completely different...

On 10/15/05 we did our first double century: The Bass Lake- Power House double Century in Central California.

Ridding from Clovis to Pine Flat in the dark was a new and breathtaking experience. The adrenaline was so high that we could not believe that we had reached the RS-1 and that one hour and a half had already passed. After that, my stoker was surprised when the stars reflected on Pine Flat… she was still wondering when the dreaded climb in which we broke our handle bars a couple of months back was coming. We were in a pack of several riders and when we pulled in the front we could see a dance of lights, legs and bodies. It was awesome!

We cruised for most of the first 130 miles. We took it very easy on the climbs and did not make any extra effort on the TT section…. had we known that a couple of fine tires were up for grabs for the tandems….

At the Rest Station in Mariposa the wonderful volunteers there told us that from there to the finish line was almost all down hill… bless their heart…. After the 10th or so climb on Ben Hur Road on which we had to use the grany our spirit and adrenaline level sink pretty low. Somehow we managed to reach Raymond at mile 150. Soon after we left Raymond my stoker called: rider back! I turned my head and saw a guy about 100 feet behind. A few seconds later I turned again and he had almost reached us. I thought: Great! We are really choking now! And we had decided against picking up our lights in Mariposa and instead sent them to the finish… because we were doing so well!

As it happened, this guy did not pass us and just sited at our wheel. We did not realized it right away but this guy saved us. We stopped focusing on our pain and felt somehow responsible for this fellow. This shift of our attention from ourselves toward someone else, brought renewed life to our legs and lifted our spirits. The last 50 miles were probably the easiest except that we catch a little bit of rain and crosswinds.

We reached the finish by 6:30 pm with good day light. 200 miles, 15,000 feet, 14.5 hours total (13.5 ridding time). As we went into the parking lot to check in, our savior thanked us. We thanked him…. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we love to ride in groups!!
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Old 10-20-05, 06:07 PM   #30
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I agree that there are upsides to group rides, but come on--you NEVER laugh at someone's pace, no matter how slow. It sounds like the group in question has issues. In my 2 months of experience as a captain, I've found that Tandeming is all about sharing cycling with riders of all ability levels, and anyone who laughs at another team's pace has clearly missed that point.

I've also found that there are folks out there who either don't know how to properly calibrate a computer or just don't bother, and you can totally buy yourself a few mph if you're off on your wheel size...

Or, common things being common, maybe they're just asses.
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Old 10-20-05, 06:50 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by cornucopia72
We cruised for most of the first 130 miles. We took it very easy on the climbs and did not make any extra effort on the TT section…. had we known that a couple of fine tires were up for grabs for the tandems….
We appreciate your taking it easy! Those tires were a nice surprise. Just what my stoker needed for her single bike ...

I guess that must have been you we caught up to in the last couple of miles?

You are right that Bass Lake Double was a great ride. 25 miles of flat on each end and 150 miles of UNRELENTING climbing and descending in the middle. Ouch!!

My stoker was fine, but I was pretty much out of commission for the first couple of hours after we finished. Of the "hard" doubles I've done this year I thought it was tougher than Mt. Tam, but easier than Terrible Two (although the climbing at Bass Lake was much more continuous). We also appreciated the company of a variety of friendly single riders during the ride. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and, in the end, that's what really counts.
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Old 10-20-05, 08:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franl
This past weekend we rode 67 miles with an average speed of 16 mph; some others in the group told us they rode an average speed of 20+ mph for the 67 miles and said it wasn't even a workout. They laughed at us after the ride and told us not to feel bad! Trust me, this was still a workout for us.

IMHO laughing at you is repugnant.

Here is some hard information from devoted Tandem bikers. We bike Wisconsin limestone trails with 559 x 47 tires because we often have soft trails after rain.
We do 25 miles in 90 minutes. A little faster with wind, a little slower against wind. This is exercise for us, not recreational biking. Nobody ever passes us. Road Racers do not like limestone paths!
We have biked in Minnesota on paved trails. Same tires! 20 MPH can be done but is hard work.
We do get sometimes passed on those trails. That is with top level Road Bikes and bikers in very good shape.
60 MPH would be considered unsafe by us. We had our bad accident, we do not need another one.
60 MPH would be fatal. We had a front wheel axle failure about one month ago and a slow speed Tandem flipover 18 months ago. (Rut in trail!)
BTW I also do solo biking with a fast Road Bike. I do 20++ MPH on a varying circular park road with moderate hills. Some bikers pass me. No Tandem ever passed me and they are there. (just as a comparison)
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Old 10-21-05, 06:07 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by K&M
I guess that must have been you we caught up to in the last couple of miles?
We think it was. We ride the silver blue Santana. How do you like your Rolf wheels? Have you had them for very long? You guys looked awesome when you stand together after every traffic light.
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Old 10-21-05, 02:05 PM   #34
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Thanks for the compliment. We picked up the habit of standing after stops and when coming out of corners from the very fast and experienced tandem team of Mike Moseley and Emmy Klassen, when we were following them at the Solvang Double. We had to start doing that just to keep up with them!

We got the bike in February and the Rolf wheels came as part of the package. If you check my thread "Got Rolf Wheels? Check your spokes" on this forum you will see how things have been going with the wheels. To make a long story short, the rear wheel came with the spokes laced incorrectly and we've now had a couple of spokes break on that wheel. Other than that, we like the way they ride and we certainly like the light weight.

Congratulations on completing your first double century. You picked a hard one to start with, but pulled it off in style. Maybe we'll be seeing you at more doubles next year?? You're certainly capable of riding a good time at any of them, although don't let your stoker talk to mine (since you say she has some descending "issues") if you are thinking of doing the Terrible Two!!

We made the mistake of test riding part of the TT course and my stoker flatly refused to return for the event due to suffering a panic attack during one of the many incredibly steep and technical descents on horrendously bad pavement. I ended up having to do that ride on my single - which wasn't nearly as fun.

Sorry we didn't have a chance to talk and compare notes more at the finish Saturday, but, as I say, I was kind of lost in a world of my own at that point ....
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Old 10-21-05, 07:50 PM   #35
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WOW.. lets see. Me capt. and male ....... I enjoy going out with the group to push the pace and out with the hammers to see how long we can last. and my wife enjoys the meandering tours we take around our town (senoia) and other small towns in Georgia.

our avg speed on a group 16 or 17 for 40.... as far as our meandering trips 12 to 13 for 40.... why .. I ... cant set a pace and it just flops around as we go up and down a hills. We ride for fitness and the social aspect makes the fitness part much more barable.

we alternate .. saturdays typicaly a group ride and sundays we meander.
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Old 11-04-05, 04:16 PM   #36
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We had a similar experience early on and what I realized is that people don't like to hear others talk about their avg. speeds. So I've gotten to where I only mention it if I'm specifically asked in the course of a friendly conversation. It's a little like asking someone what their income is or how much they paid for their new car. It brings out the braggart in some and the liar in others and in general makes for a less pleasant conversation than many other post-ride topics.

Having said that... :-)

My wife and I completed 7 consecutive centuries last summer on a cross state ride averaging between 16.8 to just over 20 mph depending on the wind and hills. We later did a 19 day tour to the East coast where we averaged from 10 - 14 mph fully loaded, mostly into the wind. The day we rode 10mph fully loaded in the Appalachians, was much more difficult than the 20mph century we did earlier.

Top speed has been 49 mph, over 40 mph on most rides, but I disagree with the earlier posts about the dangers of high speed descents "especially on a tandem". We have had a blowout at over 40mph and the bike was totally stable. In fact a tandem just seems a lot more stable than a single bike in almost any situation. We've only crashed once in over 9000 miles and that was at 0 mph. Yep, that's a zero. We had thrown the chain and slowed to a stop on the shoulder and for some reason my wife leaned right to check the chain as I was leaning left to dismount and she won...we went down hard to the right.
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Old 11-04-05, 06:37 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by DaoudaW
My wife and I completed 7 consecutive centuries last summer on a cross state ride averaging between 16.8 to just over 20 mph depending on the wind and hills.
There are also different senses of "average". For example... were these while-pedaling averages? Or are these numbers derived from the elapsed real-world ride start & ride end times divided into the total distance coverered?

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Originally Posted by DaoudaW
We later did a 19 day tour to the East coast where we averaged from 10 - 14 mph fully loaded, mostly into the wind.
Sometimes I see folks quote averages as ranges, as here. Now, I think you probably mean daily averages, but I'm not sure unless you confirm with us. When I see an average expressed as a range for a single ride, I have no idea what that means, and figure that the true averages (while-pedaling and real-clock averages) were all below the low end of the range shown.

We recently did our first century. Another cyclist I know casually at work asked how we did... instead of rattling off a list of the various averages and ride times etc., I decided on the spot that the best way to express something simple and meaningful was to say "we arrived back at the start eight hours and nine minutes after we started."

Of course, after that conversation, I'd wished I'd said "but it was one-hundred and SIX AND A HALF miles!!!"

Best of all, though, we were ridiculously proud of our ride, since neither of us had ridden over 60 miles in a day before, and we'd only ridden well under 300 miles together as a team. Woo-hoo!


-Greg
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Old 11-04-05, 08:02 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by DaoudaW
Top speed has been 49 mph, over 40 mph on most rides, but I disagree with the earlier posts about the dangers of high speed descents "especially on a tandem". We have had a blowout at over 40mph and the bike was totally stable. In fact a tandem just seems a lot more stable than a single bike in almost any situation.
Our experience is oposite to yours..... a blowout at over 40 mph? Was the rim drestroyed?
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Old 11-05-05, 12:04 AM   #39
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Our experience is oposite to yours..... a blowout at over 40 mph? Was the rim drestroyed?
No the rim was fine. We were riding on the shoulder of a busy 4-lane highway going down a long, straight hill when the rear tire blew. We were fully loaded-touring so bike plus gear plus riders weighed approx. 400 pounds. I didn't touch the rear brake, but gently applied the front brake and we coasted to a stop. Had no control issues at all.
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Old 11-05-05, 12:15 AM   #40
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There are also different senses of "average". For example... were these while-pedaling averages? Or are these numbers derived from the elapsed real-world ride start & ride end times divided into the total distance coverered?
All the figures are "while pedaling" averages as calculated by our Cat-Eye computer. While touring self-supported, our real-world time was fairly consistently around 10 miles per hour, but on supported rides I wouldn't have a clue since we would stop at SAGs and visit for awhile, or take an extended lunch complete with a museum stop and it'd be silly to include that time in any kind of speed average.
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Old 11-06-05, 07:25 AM   #41
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Don't feel rough about being laughed at for a 25 kmh average for a 100 km ride. The regulation Audax UK limits are 10 to 20 kmh for a 100. You were TOO FAST and would have been disqualified from the medalion.
Averages for AUK rides are 6.25 - 12.5 for 65 miles and 9 - 18 for a 125 miler.
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