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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 08-06-07, 12:44 PM   #1
oldacura
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The tandem advantage

On Saturday, August 4th, Lisa & I rode The Copper Triangle. This is a 78 mile ride in the Colorado Rockies that is run by The Colorado Cyclist. The last 2 years it has been a fundraiser for the Davis Phinney Foundation - raising money for Parkinson's Disease research. About 2900 riders. It goes over Fremont Pass, Tennessee Pass, Battle Mountain & Vail Pass.

After a rest at the aid station at the top of Fremont Pass it was Tandem Time! We began the descent into the headwaters of the Arkansas River & started passing other cyclists like crazy. After a bit, we closed on a pack of 10 - 20 strong riders. Once we got around them, the lead rider tucked in behind us (I could see him in my rearview mirror). We pedaled hard for another 3 - 5 miles. Lisa said "I've never pedaled so hard downhill". We maxed out our 54/11 gears.

When the road began to flatten, the tandem lost its advantage & the lead rider behind us pulled alongside & said "I knew I grabbed the right wheel - I know how those things work". Lisa said something to me but we were going too fast to hear. We couldn't keep up & they dropped us.

Later at a rest stop Lisa said "That was Floyd Landis!" I thought he looked familiar but I had my doubts. At the end of the ride, I said to a staffer "My wife thinks she saw Floyd Landis on the ride". She replied "She probably did - he rode today".

I guess he & Lance are in the area getting ready for the upcoming Leadville 100 - a 100 mile mountain bike race at 10,000' and above.

Our ride stats: Distance = 78 miles; Elevation gain = 5981'; Maximum speed = 54.4 mph; Average speed = 14.7 mph. I think we could have been faster but we had to brake most of the way down Battle Mountain because of vehicle traffic. Also, the descent of Vail Pass was slow because of many tight switchbacks on the bike trail. Our team age hits 100 in 6 days.

Bottom line - WE PULLED FLOYD LANDIS!
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Old 08-06-07, 02:29 PM   #2
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A wonderful tale and a great memory for you and your wife.

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Old 08-06-07, 02:32 PM   #3
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how cool!
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Old 08-06-07, 02:33 PM   #4
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It is totally cool. What would you have done if you KNEW he was on your wheel?
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Old 08-06-07, 03:00 PM   #5
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dang, floyd is sucking wheel on a recreational tandem team? the might has fallen.

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Old 08-06-07, 03:29 PM   #6
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Had we known it was Floyd, we would have pedalled our guts out. Oh wait, that's what we were doing.

Maybe asked to draft him for a bit?

I don't recall that any of the others thanking us for the pull. Oh well, the space behind us doesn't belong to us.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:58 PM   #7
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great story! seeing that you guys can give landis a run for it, you might want to test those testosterone levels!
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Old 08-06-07, 03:59 PM   #8
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Great story and one to cherish/remember!
We live in Tucson and in winter we get several pro teams training in our area.
We were out for our usual tandem toot many years ago and caught up with four riders that were animatedly yakking in French. Could not resist, and addressed them in French. Sort of got a startled look and was told they were with the Canadian National team training in our area.
About then was a nice downhill and we shifted onto our 56 x 13 gear and flew down for over a mile with the Canadian team sucking our wheel. When things flatted out they passed us with a big wave and a hearty "Merci bien!"
Hey, we're all cyclists, however some of us . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 08-06-07, 06:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
WE PULLED FLOYD LANDIS!
That was cool...
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Old 08-06-07, 08:07 PM   #10
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How cool was that!

I'm impressed. Your max speed makes the hair on my arms stand on end. Woof!

Props to you and Lisa. Way to go!
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Old 08-07-07, 07:51 AM   #11
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This experience reinforces "That's why I love tandeming".

Often I do lunchtime (single bike) rides with my co-workers. Several are younger & stronger than me. They encourage me to go along but this often means I'm riding at my limit just to hang onto their wheels. Sometimes I pull but I know that they could drop me if they choose. It's "good for me" but not so much fun. They'll often ride 19+ miles in an hour.

When on the tandem, under the right circumstances, we can "run with the big dogs". Together, we can lead riders much stronger than either of us. I have to admit that it is an ego boost to be out in front & have other riders working to hang on. It doesn't happen often but it's a blast when it does.
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