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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 05-15-08, 02:14 PM   #1
markmolloy
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Bilenky tandem

My wife and I live in Tracy, CA and have been riding a Burly Rumba since August. We've realized that the bike is smaller than what we need, and so we've ordered a new larger Bilenky signature tandem. It should arrive in a couple of weeks. We're curious about this forum's experience with Bilenky tandems.

We aren't racers. We ride for fun and wear normal clothes and shoes. We normally avg about 12.5 mph and stop for coffee, yogurt, and ride to spend time together. I'm wondering how we would fit in with other tandem riders in the bay area if we where to join in on a ride. Would we be "out of place" in our street clothes and sandles? All we ever see are the "racing dudes" on their carbon bikes (nothing against this, but it's not our style). This bike will have Brooks saddles, fenders, Berthoud bags, etc, so not exactly a speed demon.

Looking forward to hearing from some of you expecially in the SF bay area. We drive to the Dublin/Pleasanton area and then ride to Walnut Creek and Concord, and our longest day of riding is 50 miles at this point.

Mark $ Debbie
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Old 05-15-08, 02:30 PM   #2
merlinextraligh
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if you're doing 50 mile rides, you really might want to consider bike shorts. They are way more comfortable.

If it's a style, or modesty issue, you can get lycra shorts, with chamois, and then a loose fitting outer short.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:37 PM   #3
markmolloy
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Actually we do wear bike shorts under our "normal" shorts. My wife read about a really good pair of shorts on this forum and got me a pair, which I do like.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmolloy View Post
We're curious about this forum's experience with Bilenky tandems.
They're absolutely perfect for what you've just described.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markmolloy View Post
Would we be "out of place" in our street clothes and sandles?
I believe the answer is self-evident. Ignoring that for a second, tandem teams come in all shapes and forms and there really are two things that will determine if a given team will 'fit in'.

1. The ability to ride at a similar pace and with good form.
2. Social skills and a willingness to be a part of a group.

Like most social situations, the folks who live at the far ends of the bell curves in these areas are the ones who will usually end up feeling left out. Therefore, it's the willingness and desire to be a part of a larger group coupled with the ability to make the compromises needed to 'fit in' that will hold the answer to your own situation.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:41 PM   #5
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't Aint what you wear, 't aint what you ride . . .
Most folks tend to wear cycling specfic clothing/shoes but 't aint necessary.
Just because you're wearing a jersey does not make you a 'racer.'
Cycling specific clothing does make some sense, eventually. Padded cycling shorts for comfort, same with cycling gloves. Jersey has pockets in rear for stowing stuff and long zipper to control temp a bit and most are made with moisture (sweat) wicking material. Helmet to protect the noggin in case of a crash (always 'unplanned").
Cycling specific shoes instead of tennies (stiffer soles) and they do make sandals for clipless (SPD) pedals.
None of these things are 'mandatory'.
Just think how someone in full riding kit on a fancy bike feels when folks like you in 'non-riding' street clothes pass them?!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether !
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 05-15-08, 04:00 PM   #6
markmolloy
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I apprecitat those comments. "'t Aint what you wear, 't aint what you ride . . ." is appropiate. We are comfortable and enjoy the ride. For the last 7 or 8 weeks, we've done over 100/week. That's 8+ hours a week of time together.....just the two of us.....and that's why we enjoy tandeming so much.....the TWOgetherness. We think all mariages should experirnece the teamwork, communication, etc that comes with sharing a tadem experience together. Here is a picture of our current Burley.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:53 PM   #7
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Hey! You've got clipless pedals! That's sort of racer like....

Seriously, my wife and I are in the same catagory as you - some serious miles covered, but at our own pace. We recently went to a tandem rally and it was fun, but we were far and away the "lowest tech" tandem team there. We decided to run the shorter route and were the only team out of 40 something to do so. However, we still had fun talking with folks and swapping stories.

We also have a lot of fun riding around with single bike riders of a wide variety of abilities.

Just keep a smile on your face and you'll fit right in...

-Ken

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Old 05-15-08, 11:40 PM   #8
markmolloy
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Well, actually our pedals are regular ones. See, our son works for Rivendell Bicycle works www.rivbikes.com who are big believers in non-traditional biking - wearing normal clothes, leather saddles, wool clothing, more upgriht position, etc. He's gotten us into this sae philosophy. Even on the hottest days, I wear a very thin 100% merino wool t-shirt and I can wear it for weeks and it doesn't stink. We would have ordered a tandem from Grant Peterson at Rivendell, but tandems are only in the future for them right now. Oh well.

It was nice to hear about your tadem rally, we've read about them and really want to do that!
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Old 05-16-08, 06:10 AM   #9
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I notice there is a tandem club in Modesto.
  • Modesto Area Tandem Enthusiasts (MATES): Lois Lyndall Frantz, 443 Davison Rd., Modesto, CA 95357, (209 )523-6963.
We recently joined a tandem club in Colorado and they are all about accepting newcomers and making them part of the group. Club members have every type of bike and clothing imaginable. Weekend rides have planned stops along the way for teams to regroup after they get strung out. Normally there is a stop for lunch and socializing.
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