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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 06-02-07, 01:36 PM   #1
Ginny
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I'M SO EXCITED! Long and probably rambling

ATTENTION: READERS SHOULD SIT BACK FROM THE MONITOR OR RISK GETTING ENTHUSIASM ON YOU!
I've got to calm down.

I've known for quite a while that Tom and I read each other's minds. Today confirmed it once and for all.

We dressed (not alike) and got on the bike. Newly white lightning'd chain. Hoping that helped the popping. I told Tom to go where he wanted, I would follow. We did a loop that is new for us this season, uphill for half and some nice downs as a reward. The first up hill of any REAL consequence was where we found out the front drlr wouldn't put us in the smallest chainring.
We had to power up that puppy and it about killed me. At the top we had to stop for a good 8 minutes so my heart rate would come out of the rafters. I wasn't wearing my HRM and that prolly helped. I think if I saw how high it was I would have passed out. I was close as it was; light headed, cold, seeing spots. It was pretty scary for me really. It was then that I realized that I'd EATEN but not really hydrated this morning. (Note to self, OJ in the morning from now on). I also experienced my first charlie horse in my hands, thumb pads can cramp up? who knew???

That was the biggest and longest hill and when it was over I knew that it could get hard, but not as hard as that one, baby!! Tom, hearing me pant up that hill kept telling me to clip out and he'd get us up the hill. NO WAY! Maybe next time though (hopefully the granny gear fixed will make it something to never worry 'bout again).

After that hill and the rest and some water, I felt better and we went on our way. Things I learned: the backs of Tom's shoes are the perfect place to look when we go 'wheeeeeeeeeeeee' down the hills, my husband's butt is really cute, when Tom powers up hills he throws the bike slightly and if I just relax and let him all is fine, water is the best tasting substance on the planet, 0-30 on a tandem is just under 10 seconds for us, and the most important-I trust my husband wholy.

By the end of 5 miles we had the stopping/starting thing down pat. He leans the bike slightly to get on and I now can counterbalance slightly so he can. We communicate really well. I can turn all the way around and see what's behind us and it helps a lot. We had to turn left and cross three lanes of traffic to get to the left turn lane, we did it without problem in pretty decent traffic. Did that twice actually! Maybe it's the funny looking bike, people slow down to get a good luck at it.

Tom will get me thicker grippy handlebar tape today, my hands charliehorsed. The saddle doesn't suck which is great. I'll be able to get used to it and not have to buy a new one.

Several remarks from kids today, all 'ohhh, cool bike!' All the kids on our block (10 kids in 4 houses) came out to send us off this morning. I'm thinking Tom is going to have to give out short rides today.

All in all the best $2K I've ever spent. I love this bike. I love my husband and I love my LIFE!
God, after-biking endorphines are GREAT!!!!!


Ya'll have a nice day now, ya hear?
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Old 06-02-07, 04:25 PM   #2
Carbonfiberboy 
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Yeah, it's just like or maybe not just like, but kinda like that other thing, isn't it? Thanks for telling us all about it, though. That's always fun.

The first difficult ride I took my wife on, on singles, her HR went to max about half way up a hill and she kind of passed out and fell over. Tandem for us. For some reason our HRs stay within 3-4 beats of each other on a tandem. Our new bike should be here in about 10 days.

White Lightning is a PITA. I used it for a long time, but it just builds and gums everything up. Try any of the Finish Line lubes; which depends on the length of your rides and dry or wet conditions. Or try Pro Link.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:40 PM   #3
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Sounds like loads of fun Ginny. I hope you have many more happy rides together. The kids will get a kick out of trying the tandem. I took 4 older female cousins for spins this past Xmas (unseasonably warm here). They all had a blast and took seconds.

The expense of the bikes really fade with the time and joy of all the rides. Your excitement for the riding should do alot toward helping you with your weight goals. I think after things settle here a bit my wife will be more active on ours too. I don't think as excited as you but very satisfied.

Enjoy the hard days too!
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Old 06-02-07, 07:45 PM   #4
djsincla
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Great to hear your enthusiasm! Everytime we go out, we comment how nice it is together and how nice it is to get back out.

+1 on the negative for White Lightening. Leaves a dirt/black gunk on everything. I recently switched to a Teflon based lube for alll my bikes - Can't comment yet on its effectiveness.

reading your post I did not understand the 'leaning" of the bike when your husband gets on and off.

For us starting:
1. I (captain) get on. I swing my leg over the front of the bike. Got very good at this and pretty much "mount" my other bikes the same way.
2. I form a "triangle" straight legs bracing the tandem with my seat in the small of my back.
3. Stoker (Wife) jumps on and clips in.
4. Stoker moves my right pedal to 2PM position and I click in my right foot. Only my left foot is on the ground supporting us.
5. 1-2-3-GO.
6. one big push and I click my left pedal in.

Stopping:
1. Stoker always stay clipped in. Stoker's responsibility to to move my right pedal to 2pm position.

Getting off:
1. Reverse of starting. Stoker gets off first.
2. I get off by swinging my leg over the front of the Tandem.

On hills and/or in low gears or intersections I want to keep the bike moving I specifically instruct at start to keep pedaling and I will click in my left foot at my convenence - This always works very well for us.

We use Shimano SPD.

Last edited by djsincla; 06-02-07 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 06-03-07, 08:28 AM   #5
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Pictures -- your readers need pictures!
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Old 06-03-07, 09:44 AM   #6
Ginny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djsincla
Great to hear your enthusiasm! Everytime we go out, we comment how nice it is together and how nice it is to get back out.

+1 on the negative for White Lightening. Leaves a dirt/black gunk on everything. I recently switched to a Teflon based lube for alll my bikes -
Can't comment yet on its effectiveness.
Yeah, he says he's gotten that advice before and will switch when he's out of White. Which will be soon, the bottle is almost empty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djsincla
reading your post I did not understand the 'leaning" of the bike when your husband gets on and off.
For the last 4 years, Tom has leaned his solo bike to the right in order to SEE the left pedal.
He still does that on the CoMo but with me on the bike too he doesn't lean it so much.
He'll get it, and I just lean slightly to the left. It was bigger on Friday and by end of ride Sat,
the lean was much less. He just has to get used to not looking at the pedal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djsincla

On hills and/or in low gears or intersections I want to keep the bike moving I specifically instruct at start to keep pedaling and I will click
in my left foot at my convenence - This always works very well for us.

We use Shimano SPD.
We now do this too. He takes the left pedal and then after the turn in over or we are up to speed he will clip in. We use SPDs too.

Going out again today, but later, I'm not feeling well right now.

Pictures soon!
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Old 06-03-07, 09:48 AM   #7
Ginny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Yeah, it's just like or maybe not just like, but kinda like that other thing, isn't it? Thanks for telling us all about it, though. That's always fun.
Yeah. Not as messy-depending on the weather-and you can do it outside in public.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:01 AM   #8
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Ginny - congratulations.

We find that eyeglass or helmet mounted mirrors work great. Especially important for the captain, helpful for the stoker. They really help you see behind before you pull out into traffic. On a single bike, it's easy to look over your shoulder. On a tandem, the stoker often blocks the captain's view to the rear.

The one I like is called "Take a Look" (I think). It's made from wire & brass tubing.

If the bike won't shift to the granny ring you may need to get a tune-up. We had the same problem recently. I replaced the chain & now it drops to the granny easily.

Have fun!
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