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  1. #1
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    Southern Tandem Rally

    So who is going to be at the rally next weekend? This will be our third STR. This has been our favorite rally the last two years. We are planning on leaving a few days early and will spend some time around Asheville and Raleigh before the rally. Our fitness is pretty good this year so we are looking forward to riding with some of the faster teams that are usually at this rally. Hope to see some of you there.

  2. #2
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    We'll be there. This is our first tandem rally, so we are pretty excited! Can't wait to ride with a huge mess of two-seaters!

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    We'll be there... White/Silver/Purple Erickson.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-16-06 at 08:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    We wanted to let everyone know what a great time we had at the rally. This was our first tandem event, and we'll be attending many more! It's a blast being on the road with 90 tandems! From what I gather, this rally is small compared to some of the larger rallies (Midwest and PacNW).

    The routes were nice, definitely a bit easier than our local terrain. We enjoyed visiting the Alston House, it's always a treat when your route includes a good destination, rather than just a loop ride. Gotta say, those last 10 miles or so before lunch on Saturday killed us, pretty solid climb with a pretty solid headwind.

    This was our first time in a tandem paceline... talk about exciting! My wife was also pretty stoked (pun intended) about the 45mph we hit on the downhill Sunday (the hill near where lunch was served on Sat). That's a record for us, but I'm sure many of you have seen speeds higher than this.

    Stoker is already talking about training harder and faster for the rallies next year so we can keep up with the lead group. We hung on for a while on Saturday, all the way to the dam... but that crew is FAST and we just couldn't do it after that.
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  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Absolutely a great event. Smith & Claude did an excellent job of providing the participants with a VERY affordable STR (about $336 for registration + two nights lodging) that featured great meals, bottomless snacks and non-alcoholic beverages in the hospitality suite, a live Bluegrass band playing throughout the banquet, nice polo shirts (I'm hoping my very large Large shinks a bit), some great riding on low-traffic roads that offered a little of something for everyone: flats, rollers, a few hills, destinations at points of interest, and perfect weather!

    Quote Originally Posted by KnoxBreezer
    From what I gather, this rally is small compared to some of the larger rallies (Midwest and PacNW).
    Most all of the rallies in the Southeast range in size from about 50 teams to 125, with 75 being the norm unless attendance is limited, e.g., Tennessee Tandem Rally and the first couple of Georgia Tandem Rallies were capped at 50 teams due to seating capacity at the Saturday banquet locations. However, we're told by Tim P., host of the Tennessee Tandem Rally and manager of Cycology Bicycles (former Chain Reaction) in Marysville, TN, that they are investigating a new host hotel / conference center in the same general area around Alcoa, TN, for the event which may allow for a larger number of attendees. As noted by the representative from the Northwest and Midwest Tandem Rallies, 400 - 600 teams are not all that unusual for those events... and they make for a very different type of event vs. the smaller Southeastern rallies. We prefer the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by KnoxBreezer
    The routes were nice, definitely a bit easier than our local terrain....We hung on for a while on Saturday, all the way to the dam... but that crew is FAST and we just couldn't do it after that. This was our first time in a tandem paceline... talk about exciting!
    It was definitely some interesting terrain. Apparently Sanford sits up on a plateau which meant that as you rode away from town you enjoyed a 1%-2% downhill grade which accounted for the somewhat spirited pace by the larger than normal group to the Dam on Saturday morning. After the dam, the route became flat for awhile and then worked its way into the moderate to major rolling hills, particularly on the long route. The "A Team" riders -- a group made up of the 8 or 9 strongest teams, which included PaMTBRider (Daniel and Roxann) -- finally took off around the 40 mile mark as the rollers became big enough to kill your momentum well before you were 1/2 way up the other side of the dip in the terrain.

    As for the paceline, I'm sorry to say that we never did get a true paceline going. What we had, in fact, was a large number of tandems -- perhaps as many as 20? -- riding in two abreast drafting the lead riders taking long pulls at the front. No doubt that it makes for some visually awesome and exiting, fast-paced riding... but, alas, it was not a paceline, per se.

    Quote Originally Posted by KnoxBreezer
    Gotta say, those last 10 miles or so before lunch on Saturday killed us, pretty solid climb with a pretty solid headwind.
    See comments above about coming off the plateau... you gotta pay for those "easy miles" somewhere. We and our fellow B-Teamer's were also cussin' and fussin' on that long, gradual 1% climb into the steady 10 - 15mph headwind on sun-baked chip-seal back towards Sanford. We also found that by Sunday we'd pretty much used up our moderate level of fitness and endurance and decided to find our own pace after hanging with the pack for about 15 miles.

    All in all, a great time. We're definitely looking forward to next year's rallies, noting that STR '07 is shaping up to be a somewhat more high-end event as it will be hosted in downtown Chattanooga, TN.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-25-06 at 10:16 AM.

  6. #6
    TWilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnoxBreezer
    We wanted to let everyone know what a great time we had at the rally. This was our first tandem event, and we'll be attending many more! .
    We also attended our first tandem rally (MTR) over Labor Day weekend, and had a great time. We regularly ride with one other tandem team, but beyond that, don't really ever get a chance to ride with other tandems...especially those that Tandemgeek has classified as "A" teams. Seeing some of those folks ride really inspired us to step up our game a little bit, especially standing climbs.

    We also had a chance to ride about 40 miles with another "A" team last week. It was pretty cool to see their techniques, and made us feel pretty good about being able to hang with them for so many miles.

    What we really decided, was that even though we had pretty much learned on our own and gotten to the point of being as fast or faster than most "B" riders, there is still a ton that we can learn from more expeienced tandem teams, and that we need to find more opportunities to ride with others.

    BTW, KnoxBreezer, that's a great looking bike you've got there! It's hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like it says Tosa across the top tube. If so, we ride it's steel cousin (DUET) that's decked out exactly the same!

  7. #7
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Anyone have any pics to post for us poor souls who could not make it???

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1
    Anyone have any pics to post for us poor souls who could not make it???
    Randall & Barb Angell of Bothell, Washington, send a note to me C/O my Web site, http://www.thetandemlink.com, to let me know that they had posted their photos from this year's Midwest Tandem Rally at Cedar Rapids, Iowa to the Web.

    You'll find their short write up and a link to their photos on the 10 Sept Bulletin Board entry HERE

    You can also go directly to their photos at this URL: http://sports.webshots.com/album/553844357ZKXYuc

    I suspect the STR photos will start to pop up within the next week. As the photo-share page URLs emerge they'll be added to a Bulletin Board entry at TheTandemLink.com.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilkins9076
    BTW, KnoxBreezer, that's a great looking bike you've got there! It's hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like it says Tosa across the top tube. If so, we ride it's steel cousin (DUET) that's decked out exactly the same!
    Yup, it's a Tosa with the carbon fork normally sold on the Rivazza/Piratella. We're in love with the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1
    Anyone have any pics to post for us poor souls who could not make it???
    Unfortunately we didn't get many pictures, other than the below group shot. The picture was taken soon after the lead group reached the dam stop on Saturday's ride. We kept up largely due to the nice downhill route TandemGeek mentioned. After this our pace was much slower, though we managed to average 16.5mph for the day on the 55 mile route.



    I really enojoyed checking out other riders techniques, the setup and outfitting of their bikes, ect.

  10. #10
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    This was our third STR and we had a wonderful time. We really enjoyed the Saturday ride and getting to ride with so many fast teams. Our tandem rides at home are usually at a much slower pace and are used as recovery or social rides. Now that we know CL on a cue sheet stands for county line we need to practice our sprinting. It was amazing to see how quickly some of the teams (Kip & Ann) could accelerate.

    STR is typically our last weekend long event of the season and is a great way to spend time with friends on the bike and socializing in the evenings. We are already planning on STR 07.

    I will post a few pics from saturday's ride tomorrow.

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaMTBRider
    It was amazing to see how quickly some of the teams (Kip & Ann) could accelerate.
    There's a reason they're called "Team Godzilla"...

  12. #12
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Nice pics.....thanks for the link Geek

  13. #13
    Senior Member mtbcyclist's Avatar
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    Oh the jealousy.... if my wife read this thread she too would be jealous. I bought a tandem last year after riding my single with Smith and Claude for a year or two on and off at club rides. Heck they live about four miles from me!!! Now with a 4 month old son the Burley Rivaza is collecing dust. Hopefully that will change next year.

    Looks like a fun event that I missed out on. Oh well... maybe next year.

  14. #14
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilkins9076
    ...especially those that Tandemgeek has classified as "A" teams.
    My unofficial heirarchy of tandem teams:

    Elite Teams: Teams who transcend all others in terms of fitness and endurance, most likely genetically gifted and making the most of it with a few other teams that have simply trained hard and long enough -- usually chasing racer boys or riding brevets instead of riding mostly alone or with other tandem teams.

    A Teams: Often seen in the company of Elite teams, A Teams are the ones who are always at the front or off the front. Although some are genetically gifted or amortizing racing legs that haven't turned a crank in anger for several years, most of these riders have the discipline and have set aside time for fitness training and regular training rides. Elites will usually hang with the A Teams which can blur the lines between an Elite Team and an A Team.

    B Teams: Former A Teams (Elites rarely fall below A Team levels), new teams on their way to A Team status, and all other forms of fast recreational "weekend warriors" who ride their tandems almost every weekend, but who haven't incorporated a more rigorous training program into their weekly schedules. Some B Teams will have one team member who is easily an Elite or A Team rider on a single bike where the other is a C Team or "civilian" cyclist that causes them to temper their performance. A Teams and even Elites will often times “play nice” and hang back with the B Teams at tandem rallies and events, but it’s usually short lived. Invariably, at some point the Elites and A Team will get on the front and start pushing a tempo that is just too brutal for the B Team to sustain where upon the B Team riders will usually allow (or downright encourage) the A Team and Elites to just "go on ahead".

    C Teams: Pretty much all of the other teams who are more advanced that "civilian cyclists", but who have no desire to run with the "faster" teams. This includes a wide variety of tandems teams, including those who "could" ride with the A or B Teams but who would rather enjoy their time on the tandem at a more relaxed pace, perhaps even taking time out to smell the roses or to enjoy a cup of coffee at an impromptu or regular ride stop. Yes, you could easily further divide C Teams into C+ and C- or any one of a variety of other classifications; however, I’m fairly confident that the C Team is best looked at as “the big tent” where more than ½ of the tandem teams can find a nice fit without resorting to caveats for recumbents, multiseat triplets, quads, quints, semi-recumbents, trikes, tandems with trail-a-bikes, parent-child teams, seasoned teams, and the like. It’s noteworthy that B Teams will often times ride with the C Teams at tandem rallies and events for a variety of reasons; visiting with friends, a desire to be more social, taking time to see the sights, or just trying to recover from the previous day’s time spent chasing down the A Team. A Teams and Elites will occasionally announce that they intend to “play nice” and ride with the B/C Teams but, more times than not, succumb to the need for speed as they push the tempo beyond the “this ain’t fun” threshold of the B/C Teams. When observed, the latter usually results in someone from the B Team "putting a letter in the file" of the offending A Team(s).

    Civilian Cyclists (aka, Civilians): These are folks who ride tandems and bikes on an infrequent basis who feel more at home on bike paths and quiet country roads than they do on more busy throughfares. Absent from most riders are clipless pedals, cycling jerseys & shorts, or other cycling specific equipment that one normally sees on people who characterize themselves as cyclists. Most non-cyclists who become cycling enthusiasts transition though the Civilian Cyclist ranks. I won’t further describe Civilians because they are, as you’d expect, fairly easy to pick-out in the crowd… not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, you’ve got to start somewhere and there’s nothing to say that today’s Civilian tandem team won’t be kickin’ butt with the A Team in 12 months once they “catch the cycling bug”.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-04-06 at 02:17 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1
    Anyone have any pics to post for us poor souls who could not make it???
    Here is a pic from Saturday's ride that Roxann took over her shoulder.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    TWilkins
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    It's taken a while to get around to uploading pics of MTR 2006, but here is a link. We didn't take many on Sunday due to the rain.

    http://www.dotphoto.com/go.asp?l=twi...&CID=0&T=1&E=Y

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