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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 06-06-07, 12:13 PM   #1
Hermes 
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Race Report - Dunlap Time Trial

2007 Steve Dunlap Memorial Time Trial
Winters, CA
34.3K (21.2 miles) Flat terrain with minor elevation changes and several technical right and left turns
Tandem Division: All tandems classes compete together
Official results not posted
Unofficial time:53:18 average speed 23.4 mph
Team: Alto Velo/Webcor

It was a beautiful day in Winters with temperatures expected to reach 88 degrees. This is our second sanctioned time trial race and the first course that we have raced on that is flat so we did not have a benchmark. We set our pre-race target time at 54 minutes. Since it was in their back yard, we talked two other bike forum members (Red Rider and her husband) into riding in this race on their tandem. This is their first time trial on their tandem.

We arrived 2 hours early and checked out other riders equipment and talked with some of our Alto Velo teammates.

There were a number of tandems including a Co-Motion, Cannonale with HED tri-spoke front wheel and a rear disc wheel, a Zona, another Santana, a Trek and a Raleigh. Most single bike riders had TT bikes. To see pics of all the hardware and people sorted by age and categories go to http://www.hcphoto.smugmug.com/DBC%2...%20Team/329218

Here is a pic of the starting line.



Here is a rider right after the start going down the course.



For this race, we took our stationary trainer with us and got a really good warm-up right before the start.

The tandems were the last group to race and went off 30 seconds apart in alphabetical order. We went first followed by one of our Alto Velo teammates. The captain is the current national TT champion in my age group and his wife a Cat 3 racer. This is our 50+ competition. In addition, there were two men’s teams one of them being the current CA state TT tandem champions. Well, there will be at least three teams passing us on this warm afternoon.

Our start time arrived and off we went. I monitored speed and average speed on the Shimano Flight Deck and HR on my Polar and my wife monitors speed, average speed, time and her HR on a Garmin. My heart rate rose immediately and settled at my max less 5 beats ~ 173. The warm-up paid off. We felt good and we settled in at 25 mph. The wind was cross and slightly from the rear.

Came upon our first men’s single on TT bike. He started 2 minutes ahead of us. It is great to pass somebody in a TT. The stoker’s job in races is to monitor her performance and advise me of drive train problems, cadence issues and to check for traffic behind. One of her advisories, which is not my favorite, is another tandem approaching. The stoker announced that a tandem is approaching. The first one that passed was our Alto Velo teammates and when they went by they looked really good and very aero. We were doing 25 mph at the time they passed. We came to the first right hand turn and turned into the wind and some rough road. Just for a little extra annoyance, the road pitched up slightly. Our speed dropped to 22 mph. Up to that time, our average speed was 24.5 mph. We came upon another TT bike and passed him. The road was straight and I could see the tandem that passed going out of sight. Stoker announces, another tandem approaching – cr@p. Average speed is dropping with the current is speed at 22 mph; HR 173; legs okay but I definitely feel the work. Hit another slight incline speed dropping to 21 mph. Finally, right hand turn into a cross with a slight head wind. The average speed was now 22.8 mph, but the current speed picked up to 24 mph. Stoker advises, another tandem approaching…oh well, we anticipated three tandems passing us. Check with the stoker…what is the elapsed time. She replies…35 minutes. That means at least another 19 minutes of cycling at this HR and discomfort. Fine, now it’s time to concentrate and suck it up. I visualized myself floating in the pedals just barely scraping the bottom trying to relax and ignore how I feel as I keep my head up, back flat, knees in close and think aerodynamic and fast thoughts. We are back to 24.5 - 25 mph with the average speed rising. Stoker announces…another tandem approaching…holy sh@t that is four . My mind flashed to the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when Butch and Sundance were being chased by a relentless posse. “Who are these guys?” Final right hand turn, wind at our back with a couple of miles to the finish and a little uphill. Back to 25 mph with the average at 23.4 mph – smooth pedal stroke, float and relax. Speed now 26 mph and HR is 178; maximum for me and my stomach is not happy, breathing faster with the finish line is in site. We crossed finish line at 53:18 with my Flight Deck recording 23.4 mph average. My stomach settled down – phew!

What a rush…max power on the tandem for over 53 minutes competing against and being pursued by some of the best teams in the region.

The stoker did a fabulous job providing excellent constant power output and those great approaching tandem advisories were just the ticket to keep us focused with the power at max.

After the race, we talked with the Alto Velo tandem captain that owns the Zona carbon fiber tandem. He had it built specifically last year for the national time trials which have 800 feet of elevation in 18 miles. His team placed third. The bike weighs 25 pounds as ridden. He only rides it in races.

We were jazzed up by the race and pleased with our performance. We are excited about the State TT Championships 40K at Sattley, CA next week and look forward to a good week of preparation.

We were treated to post race hospitality at Red Rider’s place and had a delightful afternoon. She and Chris were fantastic hosts and did a great job at their first tandem race.
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Old 06-06-07, 12:20 PM   #2
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Great write-up! Great average speed!

Are there any male tandem teams that compete in TTs like this? If so, what kind of average speeds can they hold? What were the average speeds of the fastest teams on this TT?
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Old 06-06-07, 01:15 PM   #3
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Very good write up. I felt like I was there.

Good luck next weekend.
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Old 06-06-07, 02:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by oldacura
Great write-up! Great average speed!

Are there any male tandem teams that compete in TTs like this? If so, what kind of average speeds can they hold? What were the average speeds of the fastest teams on this TT?
Yes, there were two male teams at this event. The Alto Velo team with the Zona tandem and another. They have placed 1 and 2 for the last few years. The 2nd place was ~48 minutes and I suspect the AV guys did it in 44. We will not know until the results are official.
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Old 06-06-07, 03:11 PM   #5
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Hermes - you guys ride OOP, right? How about the other tandems?
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Old 06-06-07, 04:27 PM   #6
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Hermes - you guys ride OOP, right? How about the other tandems?
All other tandems were IP. I question the value of OOP for flat time trial races because the acceleration is slower from the start and coming out of turns turns. Our team’s pedal stroke is pretty good at full power so I suspect there is no advantage and may be a loss. I thought of changing to IP for Dunlap and Sattley next Sunday, but I was hesitant to change anything. We are doing great with this setup so I decided to stay focused on training and not introduce new variables.
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Old 06-06-07, 08:28 PM   #7
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We were OOP as well.
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