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  1. #1
    Newbie but oldbie
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    Second ride feedback

    Hey y'all, here's a follow-up to the thread I posted a few weeks ago.

    Actually, contrary to the subject line, this is an update from the second tandem renting experience. The first led to a very upbeat and satisfying two rides (the earlier thread).

    Today I'm happy to report that ride #1 of the 2nd tandem rental was ... GREAT!! Yesterday the Missus and I started in Los Gatos and went up and over the hill to Santa Cruz. For those familiar with the area, this involved climbing OSCH (Old Santa Cruz Highway) to Summit then taking Soquel-San Jose to Capitola then on to SC itself. I do this trip all the time but the Missus had never done it and always wanted to. It's a beautiful ride.

    I was of course very worried about the Missus' ability to trudge up the moderate climb on OSCH. But she proved me wrong once more and, with virtually no training on her part, she was with me the entire way. This proves once again that the tandem is truly an effective way for her to get in rides she'd probably never do on her own. And she loves the fact that I'm left to worry about steering, avoiding potholes, traffic, and braking.

    Going down Soquel-San Jose was challenging only in that my hands and shoulders hurt a bit. I find that it's difficult to let go of the bars for even a moment on a tandem where on a single you can do so at most any time. And b/c the rental KHS has no descent brake (drum brake?) I was squeezing the brakes the entire way. The Missus loved the speed and length of the descent, however. We certainly went faster than she'd ever do on her own!!

    Going through Capitola on a busy day we attracted a lot of attention, as we did in Santa Cruz. We ended the adventure with a slow ride to the end of the pier in SC. I think we did a little over 30 miles in total.

    All in all, a very upbeat test ride. I'm absolutely thrilled that we were able to take the hills as we did. OSCH is by no means the toughest climb in the area but it tells me that we can rather easily go to San Francisco from San Jose -- a ride I often do and the Missus is itching to do. This is a 70-mile ride so it'll take a few lengthier tandem rides to build to this level.

    From a teamwork perspective, we were right on the mark again. Absolutely no issues with communications and such. We quickly found a climbing pace that worked. We were a solid team on busy Capitola/Santa Cruz streets.

    Today is ride #2 of test rental #2. I'll fill you in later on how it goes. The Missus is itching to go.

    Andy

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Nice and positive ride report!
    On the shoulder/hands hurting: relax a bit, don't have a 'death grip' on the bars.
    Braking on descents: instead of grabbing/squeezing brake constantly, alternate braking between front/ rear . . . and rather than grabbing a handful of brake, anticipate your braking a bit more, slowing a bit before curves, etc.
    Communication does help considerably. Congrats to you both on becoming a tandem team!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  3. #3
    Newbie but oldbie
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    Hey zonatandem, thanks. Yes, I know all the tricks. It's just a long, long descent, that's all. Plus, the rental's not set up like my bikes so there's a little bit of adjusting on the fly.

    Anyway, today marked ride #2 of rental #2. Today was mostly flats along Foothill Expwy from Cupertino to Stanford, through the campus to El Camino, up Page Mill to Foothill again, and back. Not as much drama as yesterday's ride but this was planned. We stopped at several coffee/bakery joints, a great sandwich shop in Los Altos, and even indulged in a post-ride Carvel Ice Cream right next to Chain Reaction Bicycles, our starting spot.

    Once again, great fun and a safe, relaxed ride in beautiful weather. The Missus was thrilled with the ride and has all but given a green light to buying a tandem.

    By now, after just four rides, we've completely and totally settled into a routine. But this was actually the case even during the first ride! Only now, after the fourth, the tandem's odd characteristics -- the flex, the lumbering nature of the ride, the slow responsiveness, the turning radius!! -- all seem 100% natural. I've actually come to enjoy the smooth, cruise ship-like ride.

    More later!!

    Andy

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    All bikes/tandems have their own idiosyncracies that we can adapt to.
    We've been riding as a duo for decades and have things pretty well sorted out . . . but it can take up to 3months to get tandem totally dialed-in for both riders. A little adjustment here and tweak there.
    Sounds like you two are really carbing-up during the ride! The first time we did the Grand Canyon to Mexico Tour (early 80s) stoker Kay indulged in quite a few 'fueling stops' and after 6 days and covering 500 miles, with lotsa climbing, she had gained (Yikeees!) 5 pounds! The next year we rode it, she was a bit more judicious in carbing up and gained only 2 pounds. What a stoker!
    What have you got in mind for a tandem for the 2-of-you?
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  5. #5
    Newbie but oldbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    ...What have you got in mind for a tandem for the 2-of-you?
    Well, we'll have to see. Multi-day trips are definitely in the cards. One of my daughters will be in attending school in SoCal so we have in mind a San Jose-to-LA trip some day. But most likely we'll take on organized events and our own lengthy rides here and there.

    First things first. Time to shop for a tandem.

    Andy

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