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  1. #1
    DoubleDipTheChip
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    Fun causing havoc at the local "racer rides"

    You know them, every town has them, those saturday AM group rides that all the racers (including myself) do when not racing... also complemented by the the "Tuesday/Thursday" training rides?...

    Well my regular stoker (girlfriend) and I do OK on our local hilly Saturday "racer" group ride. We would usually fall just off the back on the hills and then catch up on the down hills.... but able to barely maintain within the group... only doing real well on the flats and down hills.

    Last week she could not ride so I asked a friend of mine to fill in. He is a pretty fit 23 year old and only 140#... and I'm only 145#.

    We had great fun roasting by the group on the down hills and then soft pedaling up the rollers waiting for them to catch up... occasionally one attentive rider would snag on for the free ride.

    We played with the group (annoyed them??! ) until the main hill climb of the ride - Ridge Road. 2.9 miles with 800 feet of climbing. I expected to fall off the back as usual, but with my light weight turbo stoker we not only kept pace with the group but passed them on the steepest part of the climb. We lead out the lead group most of the way and ended up 2nd to the top... and to my amazement tying my personal best time up the hill.

    Way cool! Way fun!

    Of course I couldn't act too excited about the ride having a fast stoker in my girlfriends place and having a BLAST... that would not be good for the relationship!!! I swear, if my girlfriend could only do that... oh well, one can dream...

    CJS

  2. #2
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Good times.

    My stoker is a looong ways from joining me on a Tuesday Nighter. There is a tandem that shows up in the Bs quite often, powered by two racers (the stoker is Ron Burzese, a visually impaired silver medal winner in the Paralympics). When I raced in the B group, I would always mark them, because they would string it out every so often. I can barely edge them out in a sprint finish, and we'd be 5 lengths ahead of the next rider. Lots of fun with them

  3. #3
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    I love sucking tandem wheel. If there's a tandem in the group ride, I claim their wheel right off the bat and hold it through most of the ride. I had practise doing this all winter, as the DC Randonneurs training rides were led by a tandem.

    Sometimes I'll relinquish the spot to someone else, but I find most are sqeamish about descending behind a tandem. If I see that the tandem is ready to power down a hill and the other rider on their wheel doesn't look like they're going, I'll jump up to the tandem as it's starting to head off before they gap the group.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  4. #4
    sch
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    The captain I ride with sometimes has an excess of testosterone when we
    ride with the group on occasional Tu/Th fests with 20-30 spandexed
    singlets on sub 18# rides. He likes to blast along at 30-32 on the flats
    and string out the pack. Occasionally we get up to 34-35 for a ways
    and it is amazing how some of those guys can jump the 50-100yds and
    catch us even at that speed. I figure they are putting out 600+ watts.
    We usually blowup after a kilo or so at these speeds and the pack will
    catch us. We are still working on staying on on the hills though.
    380-390# of team+bike and a combined age of 123 puts definite limits
    on what we can do with a group consisting of cat 2-4 riders 10-20yrs
    younger.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I ride offroad and don't often get the chance to "Race" with others but a couple of years ago and after a long winter of Hard training- me and the pilot were fit- and I mean fit. We met a group on the hills and they took the typical view that a Tandem looks good but does not work on hills or Single track. We stayed with them on the hills and obviously walked all over them on the Downhills but when we got to the single track- They found out how far you can bounce off a Tandem if you do not give it room. They tried to Muscle us off the track to prove a point and it backfired on them. Now whenevrer we see that group on the hills- They are always taking a different route to us.-Mind you- We have lost "That" fitness as we just go out and ride nowadays.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  6. #6
    Terri's Captain RickinFl's Avatar
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    Re: blowing away the singles- I call it "Tandem Retribution". Doesn't happen often, but when it does, I milk it for all it's worth.

    I especially love the phenomenon of "tandem rollers" because the singles never knew what hit them as they watch us disappear up the road. (need an "evil grin" emoticon here).

    Rick

  7. #7
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    My wife and I enjoy our tandem but she isn't very powerful (okay - lets be honest, she is there for the ride and to get me back the last 30 minutes). Well, one day, our daughter who is the same size (115 lbs) but who runs track went with me.

    Wow! We were cruising at something over 26 MPH! Normally for us to maintain 18 to 19 is doing very well. Usually I can barely tell my stoker is there - but that day it was obvious.

  8. #8
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Is there any reason why a tandem wouldn't smoke singlies? The muscle-to-bike ratio should be more advantageous with tandems, no? Also, the two cyclists have the same, more or less, aerodynamic profile as a single cyclist - with twice the power.

    So why wouldn't a tandem be really, really fast?
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 07-05-07 at 07:48 AM.

  9. #9
    DoubleDipTheChip
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
    Is there any reason why a tandem wouldn't smoke singlies? The muscle-to-bike ratio should be more advantageous with tandems, no? Also, the two cyclists have the same, more or less, aerodynamic profile as a single cyclist - with twice the power.

    So why wouldn't a tandem be really, really fast?
    You hit the nail on the head... IF the power to weight ratio is the same between a single vs tandem then a tandem can do very well on hills and then kick butt on the down hills and flats, but for a lot of us the stoker is not the ravenous racer type and usually a bit off the desired power to weight ratio... so usually we SUFFER in the hills.

    Yes, aerodynamics + weight = very fast down hills and good on flats... but unless you have that desired power to weight ratio prepare to suffer on the hills (if you are trying to stay with most singles).

    CJS

  10. #10
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    One of the best pieces of writing lately was by a Cat 3 stoker behind a Cat 2 captain during a California Death Ride some years back. They were first bike to finish that day, 150 plus miles over 5 mountin passes. Yes, power to weight ratio. And practice as a team,
    This space open

  11. #11
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    One of the best pieces of writing lately was by a Cat 3 stoker behind a Cat 2 captain during a California Death Ride some years back. They were first bike to finish that day, 150 plus miles over 5 mountin passes. Yes, power to weight ratio. And practice as a team,
    Where can one read that? Linky?

  12. #12
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    One of the best pieces of writing lately was by a Cat 3 stoker behind a Cat 2 captain during a California Death Ride some years back. They were first bike to finish that day, 150 plus miles over 5 mountin passes. Yes, power to weight ratio. And practice as a team,
    Are you perhaps referring to the article written by pro tri-geek Jim Riccitello where he describes his day as a "tandem bit*h" stoking for Gord Fraser at the 2001 Tour de Tucson? The Tour de Tucson is a 115 mile ride and, yes, they finished first... besting several other pros on 1/2 bikes.

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadin...lo/tandem.html

  13. #13
    Geek tandemracer's Avatar
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    After many years of showing up to the hammerfests on our tandem we finally found a new way to aggravate the singles. On Thursday night's training ride the pack had strung out on a long flat section and then a gap developed. We jumped hard and bridged up to the leaders - with our 6-month-old baby in the trailer. We got a lot of double takes when the struggling racer-boys saw a trailer passing them.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandemracer
    After many years of showing up to the hammerfests on our tandem we finally found a new way to aggravate the singles. On Thursday night's training ride the pack had strung out on a long flat section and then a gap developed. We jumped hard and bridged up to the leaders - with our 6-month-old baby in the trailer. We got a lot of double takes when the struggling racer-boys saw a trailer passing them.
    Now that is funny .

    Occasionally I will put on a better than average speed with my 6 year old stoker and 3 year old in the trailer but I have not tried it in an A ride. I have heard the occasional "slow down"......peons, lol.

  15. #15
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    One of the best pieces of writing lately was by a Cat 3 stoker behind a Cat 2 captain during a California Death Ride some years back. They were first bike to finish that day, 150 plus miles over 5 mountin passes. Yes, power to weight ratio. And practice as a team,
    Are you perhaps referring to the article written by pro tri-geek Jim Riccitello where he describes his day as a "tandem bit*h" stoking for Gord Fraser at the 2001 Tour de Tucson? The Tour de Tucson is a 115 mile ride and, yes, they finished first... besting several other pros on 1/2 bikes.

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadin...lo/tandem.html
    I liked the Riccitello article, but Tucson isn't in CA, 115 doesn't equate 150 and I doubt Gord Fraser is a Cat 2 cyclist - other than that, it's probably the right story

  16. #16
    Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
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    Were not that fast but were still getting better. We occasionally do a popular training ride that usually holds 20-22 until they kick it up for a few miles before the rest stop and then sprint the last half mile or so.

    I took us a while before we could even keep up with them and we got dropped plenty of times.

    Yesterday we waxed them.

    Then at the rest stop, Im walking by a couple of guys and overhear one of them say I was just barely hanging on and all of a sudden the tandem goes VWOOOSHHH, right by us.

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