Finally got my Fisher mountain tandem set up with the kiddie bottom bracket for my 6 year old son to ride with me. And picked up a used Santana rode tandem for the women (12 year old stoker). Managed to cram 2 tandems into a single vehicle (tight) and 2 teams. Went to the Maryville TN bike paths for a test.
The little guy had never been on a tandem or on a bike without training wheels. He was really excited. New gloves & helmet. The girl was almost as excited about the road tandem. She's been a stoker since she was about 5. Never had a tandem on this path system. Or ridden double tandems before.
The little guy caught on immediately. Amazing to have the girls pull up along side, a whole family on 2 bikes. Just a blast. Didn't go too far, but rode the whole path system. It is rather flat, follows streams.
On the way out things were fine. Just loafing along. The path isn't user friendly really. Right angle turns across bridges with posts blocking the middle. Roots bulging things up. Uphill stop signs. The usual poor design by well meaning engineers. Had lunch at Atlanta Bread. A nice lugged team Fuji and a newer Fufi Sagre in the rack already. Then the day cleared up and people got out on the path. I can see why so many good riders avoid paths. Very poor level of coherence and politeness. Several families taking up the entire path. I carefully passed one group with coaching to ride to the right. Then a little girl turned right in front of me without warning. I stopped in a track stand while she got off to the side. These people were totally out of control, no idea how to behave. Several other instances like that. One kid just kept riding at me on the left side of the path while pointed to the right side (his right). The mom just stared at us. People sitting in the path. Loose dogs. Groups of walkers completely blocking it. A real minefield of human and canine hazards!
But having 2 tandems out was a complete blast. We couldn't really get up any speed, of course, but a nice shakedown cruise. I think the 26 tooth inside chainring is too little for the Santana's rear to wrap. At least with a 54 outside ring. The jockey wheel rides on the cogs no matter what I do. Pulled a link out, will see what that does. But I'll probably end up with a 30 on there. And did some other adjustments. But overall, really nice. Will take them up to Cades Cove in the Smokies for further shakedown. Maybe the little guy can learn to push hard and long enough for us to hit some rallys. I know the girls are good for it already!