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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 10-12-07, 10:34 AM   #1
rjberner
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Help please?

Noting that this forum has largely become a fishing hole for cheap tandems, I thought I would reluctantly post this and help a buddy out.

My good friend is very shy and introverted and is afraid to directly query other people. It all happened back in ’78 when he went to defend his PhD thesis on parallel universes and was literally laughed out of the room by some pretty pompous professors. It might have been his claim that he actually visited one, I don’t know. But I’ve found him to be a pretty precise and believable guy. Now, after years of prolonged and painful therapy, he is comfortably working at Home Depot and has found his niche as arguably one of the world’s experts on cordless power tool batteries. But that is another tale for another time……

He and his beloved wife of 34 years want to start tandeming after we pulled up in our’s one day this summer. But he doesn’t have much disposable income. He only has his almost-full, 2.7 gallon jar of pennies which by his calculations, amounts to $57.13. He also has collected 13,169 empty cans over the past 6 years (and 9 months) which are stored in his garage and which are worth a dime apiece here in Michigan (minus the 1.7% he figures won’t go thru the machines). But for some stubborn reason known only to him, he refuses to turn them in until he has an even 15,000 cans. (He figures he will be there by November of next year if he works at it and can use the money to upgrade a tandem). He also has $2,146,589 in various retirement accounts, but he is 2 years and 4.5 months away from the age of 59 ˝. So he only has the $50+ in pennies to spend on a tandem. And he would like your input. I know, I know……….

They will be a 426.7 pound team as of this writing. He is only 161.1 lbs and the rest will be riding on a (large) seat on the rear. (His wife is a sweetheart and no doubt found more comfort in food than she should have while he was out collecting returnables). And that’s their biggest motive in all this – to lose some weight and have her along as he cruises for roadside treasure. I applaud that. I have told him that yes, they do make some nice large seats and no, solid rear tires on a tandem are not a good idea.

Sooooooo, that’s pretty much it. Anybody know where he can find a nice used tandem for $57? Are there any agencies out there that take in abused tandems for loving homes – like for all those dog breeds?
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Old 10-12-07, 05:23 PM   #2
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First off, I haven't seen this forum as a source of cheap bikes.

Here's one in the right price range, though:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Columbia-2-perso...QQcmdZViewItem

Here's one in the right state:
http://cgi.ebay.com/BURLEY-RUMBA-TAN...QQcmdZViewItem

I wouldn't have hopes of lasting happiness with any cheapo bike unless you just get a steal somewhere. The old ones are old and 1-speed, there are new cheap ones (see ebay), but they can't be too great, so don't expect a lot. It's sort of like looking for a $100 car...they're out there, but don't expect it to be a great car.

If Craigslist covers your area, keep checking there- I've seen several old and/or cheap tandems pop up here in the Dallas area in the last week.
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Old 10-12-07, 07:22 PM   #3
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We all have a wish list . . .
Reality is another chapter.
Sell the car, buy a used tandem. Yes, he can ride it to work solo and his beloved can start by pushing away from the table and going for walks around the block before she gets on the back seat and pedals around the block.
Suggest he adapts to life as it is, get rid of those cans to make room to park that used tandem and check that jar of pennies to see if he has any with numi$matic value.
We ain't rich, nobody handed us anything for free and we always worked our butts off, but managed to improve ourselves one bit at the time. Our lifestyle has been: if we can't afford it, dont get it as it only puts you deeper in debt.
Our tandem is worth more than our one-and-only car, but those are our choices/priorities.
We all got to where we are by making choices.
End of sermon . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 10-12-07, 07:41 PM   #4
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In the words of the great Argentinian poet Atahualpa Yupanki (translating and paraphrasing) "everyone is where-ever wants to be most of the time without thinking about it" If he really wants/needs a tandem, he will find/get one.... let it be.
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Old 10-12-07, 07:49 PM   #5
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a $50 tandem and parallel universes... i see the connection
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Old 10-13-07, 03:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rjberner View Post
). He also has $2,146,589 in various retirement accounts, but he is 2 years and 4.5 months away from the age of 59 ˝.
Either this is an enjoyable tongue-in-cheek post, or this is one very unusual and interesting guy (and gal)! Either way it brightened my day. While I suspect the former -- due to the very, very precise figures -- my sage advice is to get the stoker on a single for the next 2 years to reduce team weight, and then start shopping for a nice new starter tandem after spending the 50 bucks to rent one for a day to see if it works for the team. Or ... borrow one from a tandem friend and spend 8 bucks out of the cookie jar to get the friend a decent six-pack of local brew. As others have said many times, you should try before you buy to see if these two folks would be compatible as tandemistas. Early in the two-year future stoker riding, she may pick up enough cans to put the can pile "over the top" and -- voila -- the money is there.

Sounds like this team will want 26 inch wheels with those larger soft-ride tires. Fortunately many entry level tandems could be a good match for the needs of this team. Kick stand would be essential for the frequent stops described as being contemplated. That's my $0.02.

Last edited by DBC Steve; 10-14-07 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 10-13-07, 06:40 PM   #7
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I have an idea on how to leverage the captain's proven track record collecting returnables. Obviously, he knows where to hang out to get the highest and best use of his time and most cans per hour. You might suggest to him that he hang out at Walmart. As we all know, they sell tandems and there may be returns that, well, just cannot be resold as new. In fact, they may chuck them out in the dumpster. I suspect your guy has a lot of dumpster expertise and may find what he is looking for there. He may have to spend some of the penny jar getting a properly fitting seat for the stoker - she certainly sounds like a gem. And, I have a suggestion there as well. I would post this to the 50+ forum to see if any of those boys who recently lost weight could donate a large seat or sell it very cheap - a Brooks perhaps. Good luck.
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Last edited by Hermes; 10-13-07 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:34 AM   #8
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Funny . . . we used to refer to Brooks saddles on rear of tandems as "broad-bottomed Brooks'!"
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Old 10-14-07, 03:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
In the words of the great Argentinian poet Atahualpa Yupanki (translating and paraphrasing) "everyone is where-ever wants to be most of the time without thinking about it" If he really wants/needs a tandem, he will find/get one.... let it be.
"por que no engraso los ejes, me llaman abadonao"...because I don't grease my axles they call me a slacker
"si a mi me gusta que suenen, pa que los voy a engrasar"... if I like them to sound, why should I grease them?
Could not resist bringing up another relevant lyric of Atahualpa in this forum, but I cannot bring up your line Cornucopia, what is the song?

What about melting down the pennies and the cans, would we get a decent enough alloy to draw out some tandem tubing....just a thought.
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Old 10-14-07, 07:24 PM   #10
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Could not resist bringing up another relevant lyric of Atahualpa in this forum, but I cannot bring up your line Cornucopia, what is the song?
El payador perseguido. The original lines goes: ... uno esta donde uno quiere, muchas veces sin pensar...
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Old 10-16-07, 08:15 AM   #11
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He also has collected 13,169 empty cans over the past 6 years (and 9 months) which are stored in his garage and which are worth a dime apiece here in Michigan (minus the 1.7% he figures won’t go thru the machines). But for some stubborn reason known only to him, he refuses to turn them in until he has an even 15,000 cans.
With all that aluminum in the garage, has he thought of building a tandem?
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Old 10-16-07, 05:37 PM   #12
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. . . $1,000+ worth of cans do not draw interest do they?
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Old 10-16-07, 05:57 PM   #13
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Yikes...
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