We last posted a message in June but have now made a decision.
After much deliberation - hence the long silence - and with many thanks to all who contributed we have decided to get a Thorn Raven Adventure for our first ever tandem tour in Europe. We have toured on single bikes before but this is a leap of faith for us both. Me that he won't scare me by going to fast and he that I will make my contribution to the pedalling. All the feedback from tandemists (is that the right term) we have met is that we will have a great experience. Any advice for first timers will be gratefully received. We plan to travel for about 5 months. What do you think?
300 to 500 miles of debugging and accustomization riding is in order before
taking off on a tour. The bike WILL need to be debugged, adjusted in that
time frame. The riders will need to work out communications, and the pilot
will need to determine how hills, turns, braking and other handling is approached.
Tandems need a different technique in gear changing. Then you need to
figure out how you are going to load and pack your machine, whether a
trailer might be a good idea etc. Saddles are a serious problem and long
saddle time on a tandem is a lot different than same on singles. With luck
this will not be a problem for you.
Congrats on ordering the Thorn!
Do get in a few hundred miles, including praticing hills with panniers/trailer loaded before heading out on tour.
We used to load up our panniers with old encyclopedias and do the local tough hillclimb on our tandem. Every couple days, we'd add a couple more encyclopedias . . .
'Be prepare' is not only the boyscouts motto!
Enjoy the new ride TWOgether!
Rudy an dKay/zonatandem
I agree with the above. I road singles for years with a saddle that worked well, then we got the tandem... Same saddle worked fine for one hour rides on the tandem, but our first 5 hour ride was very tough on my bum. Still can be although I changed saddles twice. I didn't appreciate how much shifting I do on the saddle when I ride single, including standing up. On the tandem it isn't as easy to wiggle, stop pedaling off and on, stand, etc. Work this out - as well as the other bugs BEFORE a big, expensive, long trip.
Thanks everyone for the tips and advice. We are planning about a month's worth of accustoming ourselves to the tandem before we set off in earnest and will certainly take a few long rides to check that our saddles are comfortable. Any advice for seatposts for the stoker? I have read many varied viewpoints.
This tour will be a dream come true - we know we are very fortunate to have the opportunity.
Still six months planning to go - the excitement is growing!!