I don't post here much - at least I haven't so far. But I do appreciate all your thoughts and read regularly. So here goes my post.
My bride (of 28 years) and I picked up our first tandem last fall and didn't start riding until it warmed up enough for her this spring - her first significant amount of riding in probably 30 years. We've been on lots of "solo" rides and a couple of group rides to the extent that she is now comfortable with the pace line thing, though large groups still make her somewhat uncomfortable. Progress - I'm proud of her already.
This past Saturday we did the morning "pancake" ride to a small community nearby. It's about a 34 mile round trip - roughly 18 over and back. We decided that we didn't want to kill ourselves trying to keep up with the fast group which leaves a bit earlier than the slower group - but we were willing to ride with them as long as our lungs and legs would take us. The route over is flat. Coming back there are some rolling hills, but nothing significant.
To our suprise we managed to hang on with the "big boys" and had averaged 22.5 mph for the trip over. We even pulled for 4 or 5 miles (guessing here). We were both surprised and pleased. During breakfast before we headed back we elected to go at our own pace and let the "big boys" go. About half way home we picked up a straggler they dropped and finished our ride back to town. When we got there we had still averaged 21.8 for the entire trip.
My stoker (having a genuine appreciation for the male ego) credits my recent cross state tour for our uptick in speed. I know differently as I could feel her pushing us over the rollers on the way back. She had plenty of energy and really seemed to have enjoyed the ride when we finished. I'm telling you, there is considerable joy in accomplishing that which we both believed to be impossible only a few short months ago - hence the pride in my stoker. She's a great companion - on or off the bike!!!!!!
I should have been clearer and have edited my original post for that purpose. She's my bride of 28 years. We were married in 1979. I'm not at liberty to discuss her age. Suffice it to say, she is currently celebrating the 28th anniversary of her 20th birthday. (OK - she's 48 - but you didn't hear it from me!)
Nice ride report bschoen!
Pulling for 4 or 5 miles? . . . suggest shorter pulls.
We were pacelining years ago and told 'you 2 on the tandem have to pull twice as long' to which stoker replied, 'then we sit on the back twice as long, right?'
You kids have fun now!
We are . . . (ages 74/72)!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Normally I take (much) shorter pulls when riding my single with others. But we weren't really working too hard and it was at the start of the ride so we just stayed put. Besides, they all seemed happy enough to stay put behind us - go figure!! I also knew that when the other guys decided they wanted to take it up a notch they'd do so. When the time comes they just pull out and go around. When they did we fell into a gap (created by a newer rider) and sat there for our turn(s).
I like your math. Pulling for four miles = drafting for 8 miles. That's pretty much what we did. By the time it was our turn up front again, we were at the "town line sprint". When the others REALLY drop the hammer (maybe 3/4 mile out?) we can't hang (27-28 mph) so we just rode on in at our pace - maybe 200 yards behind 'em.
It was really fun.
By the way - I've seen enough of your posts to know how long you two have been at this. I've discussed with my stoker my desire to carry on for as long as you two. I think she's fine with it. Congratulations!!!!!!
Singles love to draft a 2-seater! Then . . . they try to drop you on the hills; but, you can give them their come-upance on the downhill . . . come from behind, shift to that big ring and stomp on it! Just give 'em a wide enough berth so they can't hook on to your wheel as you z-i-p past!
The way you two are going, you'll outlast us!
Pedal on TWOgether!