Hi, I am a tandem newbie and this is my first post here. My question is around the wisdom of riding a weighted tandem with v-brakes down a steep and long descent.
I have a Santana Visa tandem with a Burley Piccolo tag-along bike which connects to the rear rack. I ride with my two sons - 7 year old & 65 pounds as a stoker (with a kidback raised BB) and 4 year old & 40 pounds on the Piccolo. We have been out a few times and we all seem to be learning and are definitely having fun.
We are planning to do an overnight trip on Orcas Island in the San Juans later this month. I am thinking of climbing Mt constitution, which is a 1500 foot climb over 5 miles. I do question my legs, but am more concerned with the descent. Our bike has v-brakes. Although they function well, I am wondering if I should be concerned about all the weight (280 pounds of riders, the 30 pound Piccolo, and 25 pounds or so of panniers). I have never climbed mt Constitution, but it has 15% grade in places. We will have only bare necessities in only front panniers - we are hotelling it.
Although we have not taken our "mysteryship" on anything this steep yet, we have done well on shorter steep climbs, and the bike tracks very well and feels safe at 35 mph, which is the fastest we have been able to go. (I have ridden extensively as a solo cyclist, and also with my oldest son on the Piccolo with a solo bike).
I'd like your expert opinions and advice on safety. Thanks.