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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 07-29-07, 11:34 AM   #1
NewbieIATandem
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Two tandem family first ride

We just went on our first major family ride with both tandems today. (Trek T900 new 2005, and a 1990's Univega we just picked up used) Quite the stares from a couple of runners before we even unloaded them from the top of the van.

We had a blast. The decision to buy a second tandem for the kids was great. Our 14 year old son on his single wants to go fast, our 13 year old daughter on her single wants to go slow. We would rather go somewhere in-between. With the two of them on the Univega they were marginally faster than we are, but we didn't hear the whining and complaining about, "too fast", "too slow", "catch up", "slow down", etc. Smiles all around.

Gotta get the Univega into the LBS for a once over. I am marginally competent with bike maintenance, but no genius. I was happy to get the tires changed back to the original fat mountain bike tires that they original owner still had (the road tires were weather ed). I think I have the tires on backwards, but there is no arrow on the sidewall to let me know the proper direction of rotation. I've adjusted the brakes, adjusted and lubed the chains. It has a tendency to throw the chain off the small chainring, so likely needs to have the shifting adjusted. But will probably take it in to the LBS anyway.

Now if I can just find a vintage single-speed tandem in decent shape, and a work stand so I can make the adjustments more easily, and maybe a triple...

Is this normal, or just tandem insanity?
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Old 07-29-07, 12:33 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I like hearing the stories about a family getting out and doing things together like they should be. Just don't see that very often now days. I wouldn't worry about the tire direction unless you plan on high speeds in the rain or climbing up a slippery muddy off road hill I'm not sure if it's "tandem insanity" or just a case of being bitten by the tandem bug but it does seem to get in the blood and control your thoughts rather quickly. The Wife and I rode our singles for 2-1/2 hours(our longest so far)yesterday and had a blast. This morning we started planning our day to allow plenty of time to ride the "Ol' Clunker" tandem this evening. I never imagined how much fun riding "Twogether" could be. In a few more weeks/a few more $$ saved I plan to surprise the Wife and "upgrade" to the Kent CRUISER tandem for a bit better brakes,gearing and ability to back pedal after stopping for proper pedal position for take offs. Maybe we can get together with our Son & Daughter in law and get them on a tandem and see if they get "bit by the tandem bug". That would be nice.
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Old 07-29-07, 04:44 PM   #3
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'Tandemitis' is contagious!
30 some years ago, our 3 sons used to ride with us in events. Snagged quite a few family trophies too!
Of course, later they discovered 'the opposite sex' and cars and got married and had kids, etc.
But those memories endure. Enjoy the moment!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 07-29-07, 06:55 PM   #4
ken cummings
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Bravo! Ole! Now try www.santanatandems.com for a quad. You will really get those joggers watching you.
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Old 07-29-07, 07:05 PM   #5
NewbieIATandem
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Not only is the acquisition portion contagious, but I have started to tinker. Moved some water bottle cages, adjusted the brakes (again, I think the brakes may end up being an LBS trip, for about 3 of our 4 bikes...). Switched out the stock seats with the seats the kids liked from their single Trek's they had outgrown (seemed to be the same seats that are on their current Trek singles). This after a four hour community college bike maintenance course two 1/2 years ago. Adjusting the shifting too... Next thing ya know I'll be building my own tandems.

We hope that the tandem can actually become part of our kids' courting. "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do..." Part of their own family life when they find the love of their life. The joy of riding with their children. (I think we may have to give up on even trying to have them believe cycling is just as good or better than driving.)

Tandeming for our third of X years TWOgether.
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Old 07-29-07, 07:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ken cummings View Post
Bravo! Ole! Now try www.santanatandems.com for a quad. You will really get those joggers watching you.
GULP! we just bought a used van for the entry price of a Santana Quad. Would love one, but our bank account disagrees.
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