Drove (shame) our bike out to the mouth of Lefthand Canyon on Sunday. Rode from there up to Brainard Lake. A very popular local ride. I was feeling pretty good but stoker wasn't feeling too well (but she insisted on riding anyway). Start of ride is at 5600'. Brainard is at 10,300'. About 21 miles each way. Probably 75 degrees at start of ride, maybe 60 degrees at the lake. For the first time, I had one bottle full of Accelerade. This seemed to help me quite a bit.
Beginning the descent we had to use the brakes quite a bit because of steep roads & tight switchbacks. However, once we were below the town of Ward, the curves open up. A total of 21 miles downhill. The lower 15 miles we could let it fly. As we descended, I could see packs of single bikes ahead. We would close on them with each curve. We passed a group of younger (20s - 30s) and 3 - 4 of them tucked in behind us for a while. If my legs were fresher, I think we could have dropped them. Anyway, they hung with us for about 8 miles before they turned off. We were holding a pretty steady 35 mph in the 54/13 - 54/11 gears.
Lefthand Canyon is ideal tandem terrain. New pavement, steady long descent, wide sweeping turns, little car traffic, rushing stream alongside. Tandem Time!