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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 09-03-03, 09:51 PM   #1
IowaParamedic
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My wife hated cycling - until the tandem

It started innocently. She began riding on my group leisure rides and I thought it would end there. Two things changed and I have a new tandem in my bike collection.

#1 We bought a women's specific seat. She was very uncomfortable in the stock saddle, so we bought a seat with a cutout. She forgot she had a new seat - it was that great of a ride.

#2 We borrowed a few tandems to test out. We did our first weekend ride -- with MY bike club. We stayed with the fast group. She loved every minute of the ride. She insisted we go shopping for a new tandem that day. BTW - you cannot impulse buy a tandem in Iowa, because we called every bike shop in the east half of the state.

NOW, we own a tandem. She likes the fast club ride on Wednesdays. She would like to make Sunday our tandem ride day. With a road tandem, we can cover 20 miles in an hour or so. That leaves plenty of time to stop and chat, then do another 20 miles. She really wants to go on RAGBRAI now.

I have created a monster!
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Old 09-04-03, 12:53 PM   #2
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Iowa this is awesome!!!, congratulations on the new tandem, what kind did you get??....Yeah Ragbri next year will be a blast for you two, keep up the riding, and hey maybe you might want to check into membership with the TCA that's the tandem club of america, you get like 6 issue's a year of the "doubletalk" that is produced, my Mom and I are members of that, and find it very good....Also you may like going to the various tandem rallies around the country, we just got back from the midwest tandem rally this past weekend!! that's the big one, and it's just great!!..This year the organizer of the dayton rally was trying to get some Iowa city to be the host of the rally in 2005, so stay tuned for that..Next year's rally is in columbus indiana, and it's always over labor day weekend..

Just something to do if you're soo inclined, but I really like them, and thus try and push them a bit..

Enjoy the tandem!!

Benjamin
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Old 09-04-03, 01:10 PM   #3
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Sooo... what kind of tandem did you get??? I fell in love with the Cannondale when some friends in our local club invited some of their friends from out of state to join them on the BRAG (Georgia version of the RAGBRAI)that had a solid white Cannondale tandem. I got a chance to ride it one afternoon with both the captain and the stoker. The thing was awesomely fast. In fact, the passed me one day of the BRAG going down a mountain and they told me that they were doing 63 mph as they passed me.

Looking back, I'm sure this was partially the reason I now ride a 'Dale.

My other friends had a beautiful magenta Santana.
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Old 09-04-03, 02:50 PM   #4
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Pointyhead, that is pretty cool!, getting passed by a tandem doing 63!! man that's awesome...

I love Dale's also and have the mt800 one that we converted to a hybrid/road type...So which one do you ride??


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Old 09-04-03, 04:21 PM   #5
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My wife never did hate cycling, but she didn't like trying to ride with us on singles because we were faster and she had to try too hard to keep up, or we had to slow down. Now, with the tandem, she loves flying along with the other riders since we can keep up with them.
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Old 09-04-03, 05:24 PM   #6
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strange this my partner has now got herself a solo still riding the tandem tho
she is learning about gears and brakes as she goes along
poss tour next week to the outer hebrides islands in scotland

i like the tandem for long tours with the trailer

nice to get out on the solo's for small rides
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Old 09-04-03, 06:02 PM   #7
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I just got a tandem, and my wife loves it cuz she can look around and doesn't have to pay too much attention to the road. She is very new to riding bikes in general, so it's gonna take some work to get the distance up. I hope she keeps enjoying the ride.

Congrats on your purchase and I hope to see you out there some day.
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Old 09-05-03, 07:40 AM   #8
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Caadman, I've got an old R800 that I bought new in 89. I've got over 10K miles on it and its still fine as ever.
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Old 09-05-03, 08:00 AM   #9
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Ahh gotcha Pointyhead, that's pretty cool, 10 thousand miles man that's impressive!!....Say I see you down there in Georgia, are you per chance going to the southern tandem rally in Tallahassee?? it's halloween weekend this year..

Benjamin
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Old 09-05-03, 10:30 AM   #10
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We found a used Trek T200. There are a few things that we are getting used to. The stoker has a road bar, instead of a flat bar. She doesn't seem to like the road bar yet, but the hoods are in a strange position. I think I will move the hoods up a little when I change tape.

She wants to put a suspension seat post on, but her seat is pretty low. I don't know if we will have enough room to put one one or not. It's a steel bike, so there is plenty of flex and I think the ride is wonderful.

I got back on my single bike to ride this week, and it is soooo squirrelly. I thought something was wrong during the first mile.
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Old 09-05-03, 01:18 PM   #11
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Yeah Iowa I know what you mean by squirrely on the single bike after riding the tandem for a while, it's really noticible in the back of the single bike, I noticed that a lot back when I was first riding tandem, when I got back on the single (or in the tandem world they call them half bikes) the first 10 or so minutes of the ride, the back just felt weird without that extra person back there...Very weird feeling.

That's cool that you found a used one cause you can use that and work with it to find what the next one will be and the way you want it to fit..

Keep on putting miles on it, and congrats again on the tandem..

Benjamin
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Old 09-05-03, 01:41 PM   #12
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Caadman, I won't be going to the Tandem rally in Tallahassee, even though I have a cousin that lives there and I'd have a free place to stay, because I don't have a tandem. My 'Dale is a criterium frame "half-bike". My wife has been mentioning that she's open to renting one for a week to give it the old college try, though. We may do that next summer if all goes well until then.
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Old 09-06-03, 08:00 AM   #13
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Our story is similar to yours. When we met, I was a serious rider and my wife was VERY casual. Her longest ride was about 4 miles on a Montgomery Ward's bike. After reseting everything and fitting her as properly as I could, we went out for 8 miles and she had none of pains that she had before. In time, we bought her a Trek hybrid that fit her exactly and she went out with me on organized rides. She would do 25-35 miles and I'd be still out doing the 50+ mile routes. She didn't mind.

What she did mind was that riding around our area on our own, I am more aggressive to cross the street when its clear then she is. Needless to say, we would tend to separate along the route and that would lead to DISCUSSIONS about turning back, never riding with me again.

WE BOUGHT A USED TANDEM!!!

It was a early 70s Schwinn Twinn Deluxe Sport. Men's frame/Ladies Frame. We loved this bike so much and enjoyed this new way of riding and STAYING TOGETHER, that we actually named the bike the "Roadrunner." She was having so much fun passing up more people than she ever did before. After leading up to longer rides, she just couldn't get comfortable no matter how many new components we bought, and some didn't even fit the old bike, that we purchased a 2000 Vision Recumbent Tandem. Yes, "Roadrunner II" complete with roadrunner mascot on the front leading the way.

There was no adding on or swapping out of basic parts, we just hopped on and rode. That bike is so comfortable that we just got back from MTR 2003 and we did over 100 miles in two days. I'm so proud of her and she's very comfortable sitting, eating, viewing and sometimes napping (while pedalling) back there.

She enjoys the sport so much that she's incorporated her work into it a little. She's heading up the "2004 Prairie State Tandem Rally" that our tandem group, CATS, is hosting. Look for our PSTR website soon.
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Old 09-14-03, 04:42 PM   #14
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My wife and I ride an Angletech Viewpoint tandem. You may view one at www.angletechcycles.com . It is great for us because I have a 33 inch inseam while her's is 25 inches. Our Viewpoint allows her to pick her own cadence or even coast while I am pedaling because she has her own shifter and gear cluster.

It's not for everyone, but we sure like it.

Michael
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Old 09-14-03, 05:33 PM   #15
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Originally posted by BacchettaLover
My wife and I ride an Angletech Viewpoint tandem. You may view one at www.angletechcycles.com .
Viewpoint Trivia....

The Bilenky Viewpoint (aka. Harmony or Counterpoint Opus IV) was developed by James Weaver back in 1982 and originally called the Counterpoint. The Harmony and previous Counterpoints are/were fabricated by Dennis Bushnell up near Seattle, WA. The "Viewpoints" are fabricated and sold by Bilenky and its retailers (like AngleTech) under license back to James Weaver.

There is a very healthy "Viewpoint" owner's group that you can check out at the following URL: http://www.bilenky.com/viewpnt.html

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Old 09-15-03, 07:46 AM   #16
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Ooops sorry there Pointyhead, I somehow thought that you had a tandem! My bad I guess.....Well that's ok if you can't make the rally this year in Tally, keep in mind though if you and your wife do get into tandeming, the 2004 STR will be in Charlotte, so far my Mom and I are planning on going to that one also, maybe you can make that if you have a tandem by then, they are really a lot of fun!!..

OnYoLeft, hey that's awesome to hear that you and your wife will be putting on the PSTR again next year, I certianly will stay tuned to see the details for that...My Mom and I went to the one Sam Watestreet and his wife organized this year, and had a blast at it!!..I don't know where you'll have it next year, but I know Hoffman estates is near Chicago Ohare, (my dad's from Chicago) and that's not bad of a drive for us from here in the Detroit area, so we look forward to coming over again next June or so..

Take care,
Benjamin
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Old 09-29-03, 09:13 AM   #17
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I thought I would give you a little update on how much my wife loves the tandem bike.

We joined the group ride for my bike club on Sunday. There were 10 riders and it started out at 45 degrees out. There was a tailwind to begin, but it was going to be picking up as we rode.

We took off with the group and passed everyone on the first downhill. From that point on, we stayed at least a mile or so ahead of them. We were barely pedaling trying to let people keep up. We decided to stop at each rest stop and let people arrive and leave before we would go. It was just too hard to ride at the pace of a single bike.

We made it to the destination and had a wonderful breakfast with friends. It was a great time. Then we headed back.

The riders on the way back were mostly guests to our club, so we didn't want to leave them behind completely. So we pushed into the wind and rode our own pace. We waited a long time at the rest stop for the single riders. When they arrived we departed again. We finally made it back to the starting point.

It was a very windy ride, but much shorter than our previous rides, so my wife said "I think this was too short of a route for us, I like the 50 mile routes".
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Old 09-29-03, 12:11 PM   #18
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Sweet!
Now that is what I like to hear....now if I could only hear my wife say the same things as yours did.
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Old 10-07-03, 09:16 PM   #19
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I thought I would give you an update on how much my wife likes tandeming. She is taking Thursday afternoon off work, so we can go ride somewhere. She wants 50-60 miles in. It is supposed to be 75-80 degrees outside.

I am just shocked on how much she likes riding.
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Old 10-08-03, 12:23 PM   #20
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Nice!
We were supposed to make our second ride today, but I think I'll pass on it due to the hoards of "ladybugs" out there. I went riding yesterday and was pelted like crazy with the little buggers.
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Old 10-08-03, 01:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinGate
Nice!
We were supposed to make our second ride today, but I think I'll pass on it due to the hoards of "ladybugs" out there. I went riding yesterday and was pelted like crazy with the little buggers.
Those little buggers bite too!
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Old 10-14-03, 09:25 PM   #22
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I just had my 1st speed rush as a stoker on our tandem. Went downhill at 41 mph on mullholland highway. Needless to say for a girl who isn't used to road biking, the speed was exhilirating and scary at the same time!!! But the uphill sucked
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Old 10-15-03, 12:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by brnigrl
I just had my 1st speed rush as a stoker on our tandem. Went downhill at 41 mph on mullholland highway. Needless to say for a girl who isn't used to road biking, the speed was exhilirating and scary at the same time!!! But the uphill sucked
WOW! Now that scares me. I don't know if I'd have the guts to go that fast on a Tandem.

Congrats.
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Old 10-15-03, 04:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by SinGate
WOW! Now that scares me. I don't know if I'd have the guts to go that fast on a Tandem.
This isn't intended to start a "my dog's bigger than your dog" thread; it's just provided to add some perspective....

It's actually quite common for many of the "more spirited" tandem teams to hit or exceed the mid-40's. Our personal high water mark was 63 mph along Talladega Scenic Drive, near Anniston, Alabama in the Spring of 1997. Closest we've been to that is 59 mph several times in the North Georgia and North Carolina mountains. In fact, mid-50's are quite common on our rides in the North Georgia mountains, noting that we hit 54 mph twice coming into Blue Ridge, GA, two weekends ago. We see the mid-40's on just about every ride that has a hill of any appreciable size.

The key ingredients for warp speed descents are:
1. A Stoker with a very competitive spirit of adventure;
2. Confidence in your bike handling skills;
3. Confidence in your equipment (with special emphasis on tires & brakes);
4. The Stoker's confidence in your skills and the condition of your machine;
5. Gravitational pull from the earth;
6. An aerodynamic profile; and
7. The willingness to tempt fate and accept the consequences if you "screw the pooch" or have a patch of bad luck.

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Old 10-15-03, 06:49 PM   #25
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Viewpoint Trivia

Quote:
Originally Posted by livngood
Viewpoint Trivia....

The Bilenky Viewpoint (aka. Harmony or Counterpoint Opus IV) was developed by James Weaver back in 1982 and originally called the Counterpoint. The Harmony and previous Counterpoints are/were fabricated by Dennis Bushnell up near Seattle, WA. The "Viewpoints" are fabricated and sold by Bilenky and its retailers (like AngleTech) under license back to James Weaver.

There is a very healthy "Viewpoint" owner's group that you can check out at the following URL: http://www.bilenky.com/viewpnt.html

Regards,
Mark Livingood
Near Atlanta, GA (USA)
http://www.TheTandemLink.com
Mark,

I first saw the Viewpoint in "Bicycle Guide" magazine back in the late 80s. At the time, it was indeed called the Opus IV. I thought then that it would be a great tandem for my Angel and me. Later that same year, we actually saw two of them on the same tour. I was sold, but it took us until 99 to save enough pennys to buy one. We love it. It was worth the wait.

Michael
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