Newbie needs avice
I've been lurking around the site for a while now and love what I have seen. Decided to join up and post.
Although I'm new to the tandem world, I'm not new to bikes. Actually, all thorough college I never owned a car and the only transportation I had was my Gary Fisher MTB.
Now, 15 years, 3 kids, a real career, and 20+ pounds later, My wife and I came up with a hair-brained idea. We are not in bad physical shape, but not great shape either. We both want to get back in good shape but needed some incentive to do it. We decided that next Summer we want to bike the Oregon Coast (Washington to California) for Summer vacation. (Grandma and Grandpa have volunteered come along in the support vehicle and carry the gear and the kids.) We plan on biking approx. 50 miles a day for the trip. (By the way, I haven't missed a day of exercising since we made the plan to do the trip!)
Anyway, I found a 2001 Raleigh SC Tandem that a couple bought, used a dozen times and then hung in the rafters of their garage for 6 years. Even though it is 6 years old, it is virtually brand new. I picked it up for well under $400. (I think I did okay?) I know it isn't the nicest bike but it is comfortable, runs really smooth and has already proven to be a ton of fun.
Since I bought it I have made a few adjustments. I added bar ends for comfort, put on better pedals, and a few other minor things.
There are a few more things I want to do, but am looking for advice from some people in the know before I make my move. I am worried that 6 year old tires, even though they look brand new, may need to be replaced? The team weight is currently just under 350 lbs. (hopefully that will drop a bit!) The current tire size is 26 X 1.95. I am wondering what brand and size you experienced cyclists suggest and what tubes you suggest a well. I want something that rides smoothly but that is really tough. The last thing I want is a front blow out, I'm sure that would be enough to have my wife throw in the towel and not get back on the bike, even if we didn't go down.
Also, We need to add a small bag of some sort to carry a few tools, spare tube, etc. I am looking at some of the small trunk bags that attach to the seat post. Good idea? or is their a better way. And how about a pump? What brand/type do you recommend.
Thanks in advance for your help! (sorry about the length of my first post)