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  1. #1
    Senior Member 72andsunny's Avatar
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    Tandems Everywhere!

    Our troubles with the tandem and Amtrak are well documented...or if they are not, they should be; so it was with some trepidation that we signed up for the Amtrak Century. [Actually, it seemed like a pretty safe bet since the ride is put on by the Orange County Wheelmen--they have their very own tandem division.]

    After running into a tandem team we had met previously on a Santana tour of Europe (and a few of their friends on a tandem and a single), we opted for a 6AM start. The ride began with a 10 mile loop around Irvine, followed by a trip through San Juan Capistrano, before heading to the Coast. Most of the route followed our typical path to San Diego (as featured in Bicycling the Pacific Coast). The OC Wheelmen did not get permission for 1,100 bicycles to ride through Camp Pendleton, so the route sheet called for 8 miles of I-5...we did not follow directions, and went through the Marine Base (without a problem).

    Team Mike/Nico was in perfect 80 mile shape, which got us to the bottom of Torey Pines. At the rest stop at the top of the hill, we rested with extra cold Popsicles and made a few repairs...and didn't see our riding companions again until the end. A horrible headwind after La Jolla slowed us down to a crawl. We drafted behind a blue Trek tandem for a few miles (thank you blue Trek tandem), but they proved to be too fast us. Only the Navy was enjoying the wind. [I believe this is the only picture Nico took during the ride; the boats appear to be Santana 22s...no relation to the tandem bicycle company).

    We arrived at the train station, loaded our bike onto the "tandems only" 48' truck, changed, and walked over to happy hour before the train ride home.

    The ride home turned out to be on a rented MetroLink train. We had not packed well for the train (no cooler full of beer), and were in a relatively tame care (filled mostly with moderately loud drunks and people trying to feed us). Above us, someone had brought 12V blenders and enough margarita mix to feed a train. We heard stories of pole dancing in the other cars. I'm not quite sure what one had to do to get beads from the bead guy.

    We saw 20+ tandems during the ride (and a few others who were not doing the century, including chichi, who apparently had no trouble getting the tandem on the train). A few interesting bikes: One beautiful blue Erickson, one sparkly green Meridian, and a red Calfee. Tandems, tandems, everywhere.

    Total mileage: 103.5 miles
    Total pedaling time: 6:43
    Total time: a little over 8 hours
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    always good to see other tandems out. We did the Endless Summer Watermelon Century today. Saw at least 7 other tandems. Another Co-Motion that started fast, but we didn't see again. A Burley in the Parking lot, that we didn't meet on the road. A team on a Trek that worked strong in a double paceline, and I thinkthen opted for a shorter option. A DaVinci, and 2 Cdale's with child stoker.

    We want to pu together a club for North Florida. I wished I had a sign up list to pass out.

    As for our ride, we're getting ready for Everest Challenge so needed to make it a long day. Did most of first 90 mostly with a group, then added 50 on our own.

    Ended up 138.4 miles, 6:43 (7:06 overall), and 20.6mph.

    We were going to make it an even 140 lapping the parking lot at the end, until we were corrupted by friends yielding beer.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  3. #3
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    Jenn and I were out there on your old Burley. I saw y'all rolling by at the start, but missed you thereafter. I did see most of the other tandems you mentioned, including the other Co-Motion couple, who we joined up with for a few miles into Bryceville, where we stopped and they went on. We did 80, which was Jenn's longest ride to date. Beautiful day to be out there!
    Kendall Frederick

    Orange Park, FL

  4. #4
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^ Good work. I think that's the bike's long ride too.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  5. #5
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Kendall, Jenn,

    You guys made the papers!

    http://photos.jacksonville.com/mycap...tegoryID=10519
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    To the OP: I'm sorry to have hijacked your thread so thoroughly. I really like your pictures of the bay. We used to live in Mission Valley (I worked at North Island for a while) and those definitely bring back memories! Did the Amtrak ride come included in the ride registration? If so, that's a really cool idea.

    Merlin: thanks for finding the picture; we had a good time and Jenn was even smiling like that at the end of the ride.
    Kendall Frederick

    Orange Park, FL

  7. #7
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    By chance I was rididning a portion of the Amtrak century (San Juan Capistrano to Del Mar) on Saturday. I was amazed at the number of tandems I saw. I was even more amazed by all the tandems I saw on Sunday at the Bike the Bay in San Diego, a short ride that went over Coronado bridge. My favorite was a Jack Taylor tandem being ridden solo, maybe it was a tribute to makers recent passing?

    I had some business to do in various parts of California so my wife and I made a weekend of it with a ride in Yosemite Valley, the 2 rides in the San Diego area and a ride in the hills above Santa Barbara topped of by a stop at Calfee to check in on the new bike. Great weekend of riding.

  8. #8
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    We went down to San Diego for the Bike the Bay, along with another couple of friends on their recently built up Specialized tandem. There were many other tandems out there as well. Getting to see more and more tandems at rides.
    Did the Amtrak (solo) back in 2001. Kendall, there are 800 spots with train fare included. This ride usually sells out in a few hours or so.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member 72andsunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KendallF View Post
    To the OP: I'm sorry to have hijacked your thread so thoroughly. I really like your pictures of the bay. We used to live in Mission Valley (I worked at North Island for a while) and those definitely bring back memories! Did the Amtrak ride come included in the ride registration? If so, that's a really cool idea.
    This year they had room for 700 on the train (I believe registration was around $70/pp, which included 4 rest stops, an unimpressive lunch, transport of a cooler and carry-on bag, SAG, a truck ride home for your bicycle, and the train ride). They allowed another 400 people to register (for $40/pp) without the train ride...the 1100 spots were gone in 20 minutes, or something crazy like that. I'm guessing a few hundred more people rode without registering.

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