I have just clocked over 900 miles on our new tandem. All these miles are my first on a tandem and my first as a serious road biker. My wife/stoker/superpower in the back has been riding for about 2 years. She and her regular riding partners have me on an accelerated training schedule and every ride until this last Friday have been, for me, a hammerfest. Every ride we learn more about how to get the most out of our bike and ourselves by teamwork, coordination and cooperation. She has been a great teacher and has helped me become stronger, smarter, and better all around. This next weekend we ride the Tour de Palmsprings century.
One of the things I have learned is that there is a tremendous amount of power and stress on the drive train. When we road in the rain, we were both surprised at how quickly we could spin a wheel on a climb. I have broken a chain early on in my training missing a shift. I have learned how to communicate which is essential when riding with an independent, strong, powerful rider with a lot more skill combined with control issues of her own and mine.
Today we were climbing a steep grade and as I atttempted a simple downshift, the bike would not stay in gear, kept jumping gears in the back. We made it to good stopping place and as I spun the rear wheel to see if I could figure it out, I found the wheel would barely turn from dragging on the rear disc brake. I could not seem to adjust it so after looking some more I found that the last time I had put the rear wheel back on, I had not tightened the crap out of it. I popped the quick release and the wheel jumped a small amount so that the disc became immediately centered. This is at about mile 50 of a 60 mile ride full of hard climbs, rollers and fast flats against the wind. I know I tightened it as much as I normally tighten the singles but some how we pulled the wheel out of alignment. This was amazing. In a few moments I had the caliper adjusted and we were back on the road. This time I really tightened it.
As the miles go by, I am slowly getting it. We are are a great team and I look forward to the first century and those to come. Thanks to all I have learned from on this forum as well.