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  1. #26
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The actual Links to the full stories, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available here: http://www.thetandemlink.com.

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    FEBRUARY 28th UPDATE (1,660)

    Want to know where the Stimulus $$ Might Be Going? Long-time, good friend Hank passed a long a pretty slick Website URL that allows you to search a data base of potential spending stimulus projects. It's pretty interesting to see how funds could be used in our area. Just searching on "bike" and "bicycle" I was able to find 240 projects totaling about $863,395,288 allocated to 33 different states. For perspective, that's about 0.11% of the $787B stimulus package. I've also extracted the bike & bicycle-related items into a spreadsheet that can be sorted or filtered and you can find a copy of that HERE or you can find the Stimuluswatch.org Website HERE.

    Note: Be sure to read the disclaimers and FAQs regarding this any any other site related to stimulus spending, e.g., from StimulusWatch.org:

    "StimulusWatch.org was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed "shovel-ready" projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes. Learn more by reading the FAQs."

    FAQ Example: "The data on this site comes from the U.S. Conference of Mayors' MainStreet Economic Recovery Report. If a city did not include its "shovel-ready" projects on that list, you won't find it here. However, this does not mean that cities that are not included here do not have projects they'd like to see funded. Once the stimulus bill passes, cites will make requests for federal grants, and we will likely see grants to projects not listed on this site."

    North American Handmade Bicycle Show @ Indianapolis, IN on Feb 27 - Mar 1: If you love bicycles and live any where near Indianapolis, IN, you owe it to yourself to attend this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show. This is a show for anyone who appreciates or wants to learn more about the art of hand-made bicycle frames and to see some of the most amazing bicycles you've ever seen as some 100 artisans gather to show and discuss their craft. You can find all kinds of great articles and find photos at the NAHBS Website HERE. Attendance at Friday's show was 1,700, far exceeding last year's 1,230 or so at Portland, OR. For those who can't make it to the show, be sure to search out some of the coverage and photos that will pop-up on the Web over the next several days, like the ones you'll find at Urban Velo's Web site HERE, HERE and HERE

    Interested in Being A Tandem Pilot For Sight Impaired Stokers? The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is working in partnership with the Blind Center Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto to match up local tandem owners from the South Bay area with sight impaired vets. You can read more about the program and find contact information in this article posted HERE.

    What Comes To Mind When You Hear "Custom Paint Job?" - One of the joys of having a love-affair with bicycles is taking the time and investing a few bucks (or sweat equity for those with the skills) to differentiate your machine from all of the others in the world. As it is with all other wheeled vehicles, a custom paint scheme is certainly a great way to do that. Of course, custom paint is a fairly wide-open field, ranging from simply picking a special color, specifying a multi-color or fade paint scheme, or in the case of a Co-Motion Roadster recently delivered by Jim's Bicycle Shop in Cincinnati, Ohio.... it could be a tandem where the front half was painted to mimic a Holstein cow while the back is covered with a field of sunflowers. You can see a photo of this eye-catching machine HERE.

    Iowa Considers New Law To Protect Cyclists - While some states have adopted 3-foot laws in an effort to protect cyclists from passing motorists, Iowa's Senate pass a new bill this week by a vote of 30-17 that mandates a 5-foot clear zone and other provisions. The bill is now in the House for consideration. You can read more about it HERE.

    No Job To Big - OK, this is yet another entry that's not specific to tandems but that may be of interest to tandem enthusiasts since getting a proper fit for non-standard sized teams is often times a challenge. You can find a nice little article on Co-Motion's Blog about one of their customers, a 7' tall, 325 gentleman HERE.

    Tandem Folks in the News: David & Marcia Sykuta of Springfield, IL - David & Marcia are recumbent tandem enthusiasts who live and ride throughout the Midwest. They are now working with other cycling enthusiasts in their community to develop a permanent bicycle advisory group for their community. You can read about their efforts HERE.

    Redlands Rotary Ride Offers Tandem-Friendly Pricing! WooHoo, yet another event where the organizers are reaching out to families by offering discounted registration rates for tandems as well as a family pack. This year's Redlands Rotary Ride in Redlands, California will be held on March 28th in conjunction with what will be the 25th running of the Redlands Bike Classic, California's oldest professional stage race. You can read the short article in the Redlands Daily Facts HERE, visit the Redlands Rotary Ride website HERE, and learn more about the Redlands Classic HERE.

    Tandems and Weddings: A Classic - While there are all kinds of stories about couples who have incorporated tandem bicycles into their wedding plans, I believe this may be the first time I've ever seen a couple ride a tandem into their indoor wedding reception as the MC introduces the new couple to their guests! Just plain fun and you can find the video HERE.

    Tandem Club of America Continues Its Slide Into Obscurity - I received my 2009 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last six years, I thought I'd share a quick look at the Tandem Club of America's (TCA) demographics. As always, my hand-tabulated counts from the membership listing were entered into my spreadsheets and looked at on a state-by-state basis as in comparison to data from last year's Membership Roster and, where noted, to the first analysis I conducted back in 2002. You can find my highly unscientific analysis HERE.

    In summary, and based on what was published in this year's 2009 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 914 is down about 9% compared to last year, with a net reduction of 92 members. In fact, the drop-off in 2008 is nearly the same as last year where we saw a net reduction of 91 members.

    Looking back and comparing membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 543 or about 37%: States like Texas have dropped dramatically from 71 members in 2002 to just 37 in this year's Membership roster.California has gone from a very healthy 111 members in 2002 to 68 members this year.Florida and New York have also seen quite a drop-off in membership during the past year.

    Editorial: Given there have been almost no changes in TCA staff, sans the folks who maintain the membership and hospitality homes lists up to date, and that there have been no changes in the way that TCA promotes itself or the services / value it offers membership, there is no reason to believe the net downward trend or the short-lived new membership trends will be reversed. TCA continues to cling to a model for enthusiast clubs that has not changed in over a decade and only survives because of long-term membership loyalty which, frankly, may also be tested in the next year. After all, even the nominal $15 membership fee may start to look excessive in terms of the value it delivers as members re-evaluate their household budgets and expenditures.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-01-09 at 08:51 AM.

  2. #27
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The actual Links to the full stories, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available here: http://www.thetandemlink.com.

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    MARCH 7th UPDATE (1,742)


    It's Open House Season At Tandem Dealers - If you've been thinking about tandems and wanted to learn more, see some hardware and perhaps take some meaningful test rides, now's the time to do it. Unfortunately, tandem speciality dealers are far and few between and only a couple put forth the effort to host these events and, in that regard, it's the folks who live within a few hours of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., who are best served:

    March 22 - Mt Airy Spring Demo Days (MD) - Larry Black at Mt. Airy Cyclery in Maryland will host his 18th annual Spring Demo Day featuring bicycle rides, food, displays, demos, and fun. There will be group rides, recumbent and tandem bikes on display and available to test ride, special needs equipment, local cycling club members on hand to offer tips, and plenty of food. Although a bit thin on details compared to their newsletter, you can find more details at their Website HERE.


    March 28 & 29 - Tandems East / Tandem Expo (NJ): A must-do event with guest speakers from Co-Motion (Dwan Shepard), Rolf Wheels (Rolf Deitrich), daVinci (Brian Davis), Seven Cycles (Joe Wignall), Cane Creek (Eric Smith), Your Cycling Italia (Bill Speckman) and master personal trainer Jeff Baker from Vineland, NJ. As always, your host and co-owner of Tandems East, Mel Kornbluh, will kick things off with his Tandeming 101. Oh yeah, and there will also be more tandems on display than you'll ever see in one place short of a very large tandem rally, refreshments and test rides are encouraged. You can read my post-expo report from last year at this URL and find more details regarding the Expo at Tandem East's Website HERE.

    Friends Don't Let Friends Ride Alone - Here's a great story out of Tucson, Arizona that speaks volumes about the value of true friendship and how, once again, a tandem can have a tremendous impact on someone's life. You'll find the story entitled Quite a ride with compassionate friends HERE.

    Canadian Triathletes Undeterred by Sight Impairment - The Blind Guys Tri Team is made up of 30 Canadians who range in age from 16 to 66 with varying degrees of sight impairment. While training in competing in triathlons is hard enough -- with or without sight impairment -- finding 30 tandem bicycles was yet another challenge this team had to meet. You can read their story HERE.

    NWTandemRacing.com Makes VeloNews - Regular readers may recall an early item here at thetandemlink.com regarding Henry Abel's new tandem bicycle racing website, NWTandemRacing.com. Well, word keeps getting around and Henry got a HUGE boost in exposure on March 3 when VeloNews ran a comprehensive article on the site. You can find it HERE.

    North American Handmade Bicycle Show Winners! - CyclingNews ran a very comprehensive series of articles on the NAHBS held in Indianapolis, IN back on Feb 27 - Mar 1 and in Part 3 focused on the winners of the "Best ____" awards. Taking top honors for the tandems was Stephen Bilenky's lugged homage to the Jack Taylor tandems of years gone by; resplendent in its deep red and cream colors. The CyclingNews Gallery can be found HERE and the tandem gallery from the NAHBS show is HERE. However, there was actually a second best tandem, but this one stole the Best Titanium Bike category. Kent Eriksen's coupled somehow eluded a few cameras but some diligent searching by yours truly has uncovered a few photos HERE and HERE.

    Tandem Folks in the News: Michael Armstrong, Portland OR - Michael Armstrong manages the City of Portland, Oregon's climate protection agency but, more importantly, he's a tandem enthusiast of the first order. He's also one of this year's Alice B. Toeclip Award nominees. You can read about and see photos of Michael and his family HERE.

    Big Ass Chard from Adler Fels Winery - I've got to give credit where credit is due to Gary Koenig whose column is carried by the Denver Examiner for this discovery... and it's a Big Ass find, literally. Adler Fels Winery apparently has a brand called Big Ass wines -- full-bodied, robust, soft, warm California wines -- that features some brilliant labels. Their Big Ass Chard (as in Chardonnay) label makes this the ideal gift for your next social, off-bike dinner party with your tandeming friends. We'll have to see if it's carried locally as the only thing we can buy direct from Adler Fels is the poster as direct alcohol sales are a no-no to Georgia residents.



  3. #28
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The actual Links to the full stories, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available here: http://www.thetandemlink.com.

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    MARCH 14th UPDATE (1,838)

    Registration Opens for Tennessee Tandem Rally on Monday, March 16 - Albeit a bit later than usual, registration for the Tennessee Tandem Rally will officially open on March 16th (EST) with the posting of the downloadable registration form to the TTR Website which you can find HERE. As in past years, attendance will be limited to 50 teams. GTR sold out in about a week or so this year, once you factor in the pre-registration window with open registration for the balance of the remaining slots filled in about 2 days.

    Bamboosero Bikes Now A Reality - Craig Calfee recently launched a new enterprise called Bamboosera Bikes to advance the production of bamboo bicycles in places of Ghana and anywhere else where inexpensive, easy to assembly transportation can improve peoples lives through both industry and the movement of people and commerce. Check it out HERE.

    Tandem Folks in the Bloggosphere: Seth & Kathy Krieger, FLA - Seth and Kathy are tandem enthusiasts who are doing a cross country tour on the installment plan. You can learn more about them on their blog which you can find HERE.

    Dancing Bear Bicycle Bash, April 3-5 Townsend, TN - Matt Alexander and Tennessee Tandem Rally gluttons for punishment Tim & Sharon Patterson have teamed up once again to put on a posh weekend of cycling in Townsend, Tennessee, Gateway to the Smokey Mountains National Park. You can read a great article about the weekend HERE or check out their Website HERE.

    Celeb Matt Damon = Ace Stoker? Yup, fellow tandem-geek Henry Able forward a link to a SkyNews article where Matt Damon took out from filing in South Africa to participate in a 110k cycling event call the Cape Argus Cycle Tour to raise money for the Make a Difference Charity. You can read more about it and see photos of Damon stoking for his brother HERE.

    MTB Tandem World Championship @ Cool, California, Oct '09 - I think we may have already posted an item on this new event but it bears repeating because it's, well, pretty cool. The event will be held in conjunction with the Mountain Unicycle and Single Speed Championships in NorCal the weekend of October 9-10, offer cash prizes for for the Co-Ed Class, and also provide awards and prizes for Male & Female teams as well. You can learn more about it HERE.

    How Tandem Cycling Changes Lives - It's no secret that a tandem can allow people to cycle who might not otherwise be able to ride due to various handicaps. Here's one story about just such a person, Peter Quaiattini of Calgary who has been sight impaired his entire life and a tandem enthusiast since age 8. More importantly, it was though tandem cycling that he met his wife who was a volunteer tandem pilot with the Trailblazers Tandem Cycling Club in Toronto. You can read his entire story HERE.

    HEY! That's a photo of US?! - The internet is a strange place in that every now and again a digital image of you hosted on someone's public photo album will show up in someone's Blog, personal website, discussion forum or even a commercial site... and often times in violation of copyright laws, i.e., without the permission of the photo's owner or a model release from the subjects of the photos. Sometimes it's harmless, sometimes it's not but it's always a bit disconcerting when you first make the discovery. Such a discovery occurred this week when a Bicycle Radar posting about a bike shop in the UK used a photo of some friends in just such a way. I first saw it in my daily search engine feed and shortly thereafter saw a posting on Facebook from a friend and one of the subjects in the photo who was equally surprised when they became cycling icons in the UK. Thankfully, it was a nice photo used in a positive vane; however, it's still a no-no given the commercial nature of the site and business being promoted.

  4. #29
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The actual Links to the full stories, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available here: http://www.thetandemlink.com.

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    MARCH 21st UPDATE (1,942)

    REMINDER!!! It's Open House Season

    SUNDAY March 22 - Mt Airy Spring Demo Days (MD)

    SATURDAY & SUNDAY March 28 & 29 - Tandems East / Tandem Expo (NJ)


    Tandems East Introduces Hokitika - Tandems East is introducing its own house-branded line of tandems to fill the gap left when Burley Design began to implode a few years back now.From the TandemsEast.com website, "With the departure of Burley Design Coop Tandems in 2006 a void was left in the steel tandem marketplace for tandems in the $2000 - $3000 price range. We believe the Hokitika 2-BE-ONE fills this void. A good quality American made tandem for the first time tandem buyers." You can find additional details HERE.

    MTBTandems Introduces US-Made Twenty-Niner - Good friend and mountain tandem bike empesario Alex Nutt of MTBTandems.com in Canton, Georgia, has been associated with Sherwood Gibson of Ventana USA for several years as one of Ventana's top tandem dealers. Along the way, Alex has become a big fan of 29" wheeled hardtail bikes and recently collaborated with Ventana to bring design & fabrication of MTBTandems' Fandango branded frames back to the US with their new 29" hardtail model. You can find additional details and pricing HERE. CLICK on the thumbnail photo to see a high-res photo of the first production model.

    Dave Porter Turns His Attention Back To Tandems & Cycling - Before moving into classic automotive car restoration Dave Porter made some very exciting frames including a national record-setting track tandem. Dave recently decided to see if he couldn't replicate his success and has embarked on a new track tandem project that you can read about HERE. His Tandem Project web page is quite comprehensive in that it takes you back to the late 80's and gives you the back story on his first tandem, through the entire frame fabrication process of the new tandem and as of yesterday reports on the maiden test ride. Pretty exciting stuff for the geeks among you. Sponsorship Opportunities: As a self-funded project, Dave would welcome offers of sponsorship and/or donations from component manufactures or enthusiasts for the planned Tandem Hour Record attempt in Colorado Springs later this year. The riders are to be John Frey (50) a former amateur Hour record holder and Josh Reddoch.

    Sebring Tandem Rally (Florida) Canceled - We learned through frequent T@H & BF contributor Bill Cotney that the 2009 edition of the annual Sebring Tandem Rally was canceled. Some of the regulars may still gather for unsupported group rides from the Kenilworth on April 4th and 5th.

    Covered Bridges Tandem Weekend (Ohio) - Doug Crush recently wrote to let us know he will once again host the Covered Bridges Tandem Weekend on September 12 and 13 in Northeast Ohio. No website but you can download the information sheet HERE.

    Co-Motion Offering Topolino Wheel Option on Racing Tandems - Co-Motion recently announced that it would begin to offer the Topolino AX3.0T tandem-specific wheelset as an upgrade option on its race-level Robusta, Supremo & Macchiato tandems. Although pricing wasn't posted to their Web site just yet, I suspect the up charge would be a a couple hundred dollars as the Topolino wheelset MSRP is about $400 more than the Rolf Prima-Vigor tandem model that they would replace. The added cost nets buyers a set of wheels that are 300 grams lighter than the already fairly light Rolf's and what I would characterize as a much more plush ride based on our past year's experience riding both the Topolino AX3.0Ts and Rolf's on our personal tandems.

    Editorial: We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the performance and ride qualities of our Topolino and Rolf wheels -- they look awesome too -- and would encourage anyone looking for these types of wheels to consider putting a set on their tandem. Just recognize that beyond the marketing there is reality. In this regard, the caveat I would apply to folks who are interested in high-end racing wheels but who will use them for daily use and training is, if you ride them every day they're no longer 'racing' wheels in that any performance benefit they might offer on race day will be lost since, well, that benefit will have been assimilated into your daily riding effort. Additionally, high-end racing wheels from folks at Rolf, Topolino, Bontrager and Shimano-Santana are expensive to buy, expensive to repair and must be returned to the manufacturer or an authorized dealer in most cases for any type of service. Therefore, hitting a pot hole on a recreational ride where a conventional set of wheels would have been more than adequate and appropriate can become a costly experience and put you off your tandem for a week or so UNLESS you happen to have that second set of conventional wheels as a back-up. Just some food for thought. We have a lovely set of White Ind / Velocity Deep-V wheels as well... Just in case.


    A visit to Calfee Design - Ben Marks recently took a tour of the Calfee facility at LaSelva Beach, California. You can read the article HERE and see a slide show where you'll find Craig in his jumpsuit hard at work on a tandem, underscoring that you're as likely to find Craig in the shop working on YOUR tandem (e.g., he's had his hands on ours a couple times), teaching folks how to build tandems in Ghana, visiting bamboo suppliers in Taiwan or meeting with consumers at the NAHBS or other shows around the world: Yes, I think quite highly of Craig. Now, speaking of Calfee the business, one of the things you'll read in Ben's article speaks volumes about Calfee and the depth of their expertise with composites, "Much of the activity revolves around the arrival of as many as half a dozen broken carbon frames per day. In fact, Calfee has quite a good side business going repairing the frames of its competitors. The fact that so many cyclists look to Calfee Design to get the job done right should tell you something." Like I said, this speaks volumes about Calfee.

  5. #30
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The actual Links to the full stories, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available here: http://www.thetandemlink.com.

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    MARCH 21st UPDATE (2,041)

    Slow news week.... so, now for something completely different!


    The Much Anticipated & Final Installment of My Calfee Journal Has Been Published!- At long last, I finally found a weekend where the combination of my immobility coupled with horrid weather and a lack of other tandem news left me with idle fingers to tap upon my keyboard. Hard to believe it's been 7 months since my penultimate update was published back on August 12; however, be that as it may... you can now find my final thoughs and impressions regarding what is now our year-old Calfee Tetra travel tandem, high-end tandems in general and some additional details on disc brake installation, touring gear and my flitation with exotic wheelsets HERE.


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    Bicycle Quarterly; Oh The Joy - As mentioned late last year, I gave myself a Christmas gift of a Vintage Bicycle Quarterly library, inclusive of all back issues, a current subscription and both Jan Heine's The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles and his latest book, The Competition Bicycle A Photographic History. Today, the Spring 2009 issue arrived and as always it was chock-full of interesting articles and wonderful images, to include the ubiquitous presence of tandem bicycles. This edition focuses on cycling in Europe during the 1930's and 40's an features a still photo of a tandem taxi racing team. The wealth of information in the back issues of VBQ regarding tandems and tandeming has been well worth the cost of the library alone, particularly for an enthusiast who has a deep affinity for the more simple times when bicycles were more common than the automobiles. Again, well worth a look for anyone looking for a restrospective on historic cycling, technology or current studies and book reviews.




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    Speaking of Retrospectives - One of the forums I frequent has been all a buzz about the risks associated with cycling ever since Lance Armstrong broke his collarbone. While tempted to weigh in I have, instead, elected to reminisce about the early days of cycling in my youth. This was a time when just about every kid rode a bike to school, families would go out for rides around their neighborhood and nearly all the local newspapers were delivered by kids like me who ride bikes. Funny how today the bikes have been long gone and now so too are most of the local newspapers: I believe this is called progress?

    Anyway, lest I digress further...

    As I pondered the past and cycling's rightful place in history I was reminded that helmets, risk and the other current trappings of 'cycling' just weren't a part of my memory. We rode our bikes in street clothes and knew how to ride with traffic, just as we all knew how to walk against traffic. Our bikes all had mud guards and kickstands and in the Northeast we nervously anticipated that annual safety check the local police would perform at the Tisdale Elementary School before they would trade our registration card for a brand new, shiny reflective registration decal.

    As I leafed through and pre-scanned my Spring '09 Bicycle Quarterly I saw several photos of tandems from the 30's that reinforced my recollection of cycling in Europe and urban centers in the Northeast US... Yes, people rode bikes! Cyclists were, in fact, the exception and not the rule as it was rare to see someone training on a bicycle outside the confines of a velodrome. In fact, and with this in mind, I did a Google image search on the phrase, people riding bicycles and found images of, well, people riding bikes. These were all kinds of people riding all kinds of bike and for a variety of different reasons but most in street clothes and not wearing helmets with a few helmeted cyclists dotted about and, yes, even a photo of naked people riding bikes (be forewarned). However, when I searched on images using just the term cyclists I was both shocked and surprised to find the results were dominated by helmeted racers, club riders and naked people riding bikes with just a few 'civilian cyclists' represented. There were far more cartoons and, well, just a lot of naked people riding bikes.

    In an effort to shake off both the images of body-painted and nude cyclists and as well as the packs of helmet-clad cyclists, I sought refuge at You Tube with a two-part video reproduction of a 1955 movie produced by the British Rail film board entitled "Cyclists Special." What would it be like to hold a tandem rally like this!?

    Cyclists Special, Part I

    Cyclists Special, Part II

    Of course, as fate would have it I also stumbled across another interesting video that chronicled cycling in all of its various forms during pre and post-war Europe, where tandems, recumbents and even semi-recumbents were all in evidence as were a few other more bizarre cycling creations: not much has changed aside at least in the variety department.

    Cycling in its many forms

    Thinking back on the Bicycle Quarterly I decided to build a small collage of cycling images from the 30's 60's and 70's, the latter all pulled from Bob Hufford's exceptional collection of Schwinn Lightweight Bicycle information, including scanned images of every consumer catalog from the 60's through the late 70's. For your enjoyment that is, if you're old enough to remember. Click on the smaller images to see larger ones and be sure to check out the prices on those tandems!!




    And, lets not forget what the prototypical mountain biker looked like in Marin County, circa 1976..

    From Charlie Kelly's Website



    circa 1977.. with the likes of Joe Breeze & Gary Fisher

    Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-29-09 at 09:11 AM.

  6. #31
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The actual Links to the full stories, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available here: http://www.thetandemlink.com.

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    JULY 13th UPDATE (2,218)

    A LONG overdue update follows

    Remembrances: When someone in the tandem community passes the unfortunate truth is we often lose not one but two friends. However, that pales in comparison to the spouse who has suffered a loss that touches every aspect of their lives, more so than most average couples in that they've also lost their cycling partner and may even see a chapter close on a very large and important part of their social life. It is especially difficult when one of our friends is taken suddenly and while still young, vibrant and so full of life.


    Santana Website Address For those who may maintain their own links lists or Web sites with links to tandem builders, touring companies and the like please note Santana Tandems can be found at http://www.santanatandem.com. Heretofore, the URL www.santanainc.com had also been used and it is no longer the correct address. Please made a note of the change and update your links at your earliest convenience.


    Tandems East Heading Back To New Zealand Mel & Barbara Kornbluh wrote to let us know that they're headed back to New Zealand on December 30th, 2009 for 17 nights and 18 days of tandem cycling and sightseeing that allows you to fully amortize the time and expense you invested in getting yourself, your mate and your tandem across the Pacific Ocean. You can read more about the trip HERE.


    Hokitika Tandems I mentioned back in March that Tandems East introduced its own house-branded line of tandems, the Hokitika a value-priced entry level tandem made in the USA that fills the gap left by the departure of Burley. Well, I finally had the opportunity to see one: it was their first Hokitika Triplet upon its delivery to the new owners at last weekend's Eastern Tandem Rally. I must say, for the price point the frame and paint was very good and the build kit was excellent. A great way for a team to get their toes wet with a hand-made steel tandem before making the next jump to a premium-brand tandem.


    Gates Carbon Drive Belts: Install & Remove With Care: AND THEY MEAN IT!! For those who have gone all-in with the uber-lightweight Gates Carbon Drive / Tandem Sync Belt Drive being offered on new Co-Motion racing tandems as an option or upgrade for other tandems that have ~28.4" stoker compartments, be respectful of the manufacturer's belt handling and installation guidelines. Here's the skinny: somebody had to be first to break a Carbon Drive belt and to go public about it and they did just that on one of the discussion forums I frequent. Thankfully, the team was very forthcoming with the conditions under which their belt broke to include the root cause: re-installing the belt by 'rolling it on' with a turn of the cranks after the belt was pushed off a pulley during unloading. The latter is clearly called-out as a Bozo-No-No by Gates in this warning notice. So, please read and heed, lest you find yourself asking your stoker to power you home all by themselves.


    R&E Cycles Newsletter Strikes a Chord With Me Being a certified geek, I'm on distribution for a variety of catalogs and newsletters offered up by the folks who produce and sell my beloved tandems. R&E Cycle's newsletter produced and largely written by Dan Towle routinely contains Dan's very subjective views on whatever particular subject that has recently caught his interest. In the July August edition Dan brought a smile to my face when he weighted in on "standards" or the lack thereof. Definitely worth a read to anyone who has an interest in (or perhaps an aversion to ) the ever-changing bottom bracket designs or other proprietary parts that eschew ISO, JIS or other standards. For those who would like to peruse back issues, here's a link to the archives.


    Team Tatt! The Faces of Tandemings Future At this year's Tennessee Tandem Rally we had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful 'kids' who may be the future of tandem cycling: Team Tatt, short for Team Tattoo. Jon & Stacy are friends and fellow track-rat friends of Billy & Melissa who also represent the younger generation of tandem enthusiasts and and took time out to chronicle their first tandem rally at their BLOG. It's a great article with lots of photos which you can find HERE.


    2010 Tennessee Tandem Rally: A New Location!! In an effort to mix-it-up a bit, the 8th edition of the Tennessee Tandem Rally (TTR) will be held in the mid-state region nearer to Nashville. For those who follow such things, TTR has been firmly ensconced in the Alcoa, TN area for the past 7 years and will go on the road in 2010 and 2011 before coming back to Alcoa in 2012 for the 10th Anniversary edition. Look for more details at the TTR Web site towards the end of the year when more details regarding the 2010 event.


    The Best of Craigslist; A few things from the bike shop. [Warning: PG-18] This was forwarded to me by good friend Tim P. of Louisville, TN over the weekend and, well, two comments: (1) the language and sentiment is for mature and open-minded adults only, and (2) it may not be as funny to some as it will be to others. It all depends on how often you actually use the sports racks on your Subaru. Without further ado, and once again warning you that the F-bomb and other colorful language is used, here is THE LINK.


    Canberra Tandem Festival: 19 and 20 Sept 2009 - Judy James wrote to let us know about a weekend tandem festival that will be held on September 19 & 20 at Commonwealth Park in Floriade, Canberra. Additional details can be found at the Pedal Power website, http://www.pedalpower.org.au/events via email cbrtandems@gmail.com.au.


    Minnewaska Mohonk Offroad Tandem weekend, Nov 6-8, 2009. Good friend Malcolm Boyd wrote to let us know that the Doubles of the Garden State (aka, DOGS) will be meeting for three days of off-road tandeming at Minnewaska State Park and Mohonk Mountain Preserve just west of New Paltz, NY on Nov 6-8. You can find more information at the DOGS website by clicking HERE.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 07-14-09 at 12:29 AM.

  7. #32
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated.

    The full text and actual links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.

    ------------------

    JANUARY 1st UPDATE (2,474)
    Note: This is a catch-up collection of items dating back to July 13th, when I made my last true update.


    Cycles of Life, by Scott Sutton: Cyclist, tandem enthusiast and long-time tandem discussion forum contributor Scott Sutton has published a collection of short stories entitled, Cycles of Life. A self-described celebration... of the merits of the cycling lifestyle for all readers conveyed through short stories and essays about tandems, club riding, the romance of the bicycle... The book is published by and sold through LuLu.com. However, you can also find an extract and a preview of Scott's wife Nancy's book, Ride Safe With Lil' Nancy, HERE.


    Hold The Date - 2009 Tennessee Tandem Rally: Tom Spears wrote to let us know the dates for the 2010 Tennessee Tandem Rally are June 4 through June 6. The location will be in middle Tennessee, which is a change from previous years. The TTR website will be updated with additional details in early February.


    What If You And Your Spouse Were Seriously Injured or Killed While Riding? It's a terrible thought, but sadly it can and does happen. We've had several friends who have been struck by cars while riding their tandems over the years and it makes you give pause to consider the question: are we prepared to deal with the consequences?

    Remember, unlike with a single bike where one of you is at risk, if a car strikes you and your spouse while you're riding your tandem either one or both of you could find yourselves incapacitated or worse. If both of you were seriously injured, who will help care for you, your family and your home? Do you have sufficient insurance, to include long-term disability or perhaps deep cash reserves to call upon? What if you were both killed? Do you have your wills in place and/or have you addressed who would care for your dependents? Who, if anyone, will be able to navigate the insurance and legal systems on your behalf or the behalf of your dependents to ensure just compensation is secured when appropriate? Again, while not a happy topic as we enter the new year I'm reminded that tragedies do happen.

    Case in point, back on Oct. 1, Gregory and Alexandra Bruehler were doing everything right while riding their tandem. They were riding on a two-lane road with a wide shoulder in broad daylight in Helotes, outside of San Antonio, TX, when a 40-year old motorist failed to keep his vehicle in the travel lane, drove off the shoulder of the road and then ran down the couple as he attempted to return to the road. Alexandra was killed by the collision and Gregory died enroute to the hospital. At home was their 7-year old daughter, Kylie. As if often the case, law enforcement officials were quick to dismiss wrong-doing on the part of the motorist before a proper investigation had been performed. The local DA interceded and the Sheriff's Office stepped back from the original statement but, as of this writing, no charges have been filed against the motorist for failing to maintain control of his vehicle. A civil wrongful death suit has been brought by the family to both ensure Kylie is provided for and to raise awareness regarding distracted and negligent driving practices. As is uniformly the case, the motorist's attorney has responded by making the claim that it was just an unfortunately accident. And, so it goes... A trust fund has been established in Kylie's name. Donations should go to the Kylie Bruehler Benefit Fund, c/o 24165 IH-10 West, Ste. 217-720, San Antonio Texas 78275-1160

    So, are you prepared?


    Daytime Tail Lights; A Good Idea Or Overkill? OK, so we all know a bright tail light is essential for cyclists who ride between dusk and dawn, right? In fact, it's typically required by law in most states. However, have you considered if running a tail light during daylight hours may also be prudent? We have and now we do. Yes, it scores fairly high up on the Fred Curve, but given we're riding a tandem, are middle-aged, non-competitive cyclists who wear mirrors attached to our helmets... we're fairly-well stuck in the middle of the Fred-Curve anyway.

    But, seriously, given the recent rise in collisions where motorists have rear-ended cyclists in which all indications point to a distracted motorist (see above for an example), we have finally come to the realization we need to do what we can to remove the "I didn't see you" defense from motorists.

    To that end, we were introduced to the DiNotte line of lighting products in a very dramatic way at a tandem rally when we found ourselves about a 1/2 mile back from good friends Bob & Jan Thompson. There was no way we could not see them up ahead even on a dead flat road in full daylight. I was impressed, but not yet moved to act UNTIL this past fall.

    I should note, in addition to the rear-end collision that took the Bruehlers' lives, a friend and company executive was also killed while riding his bicycle on the shoulder of a road. Once again, for unexplained reasons, a motorist drifted out of the lane and struck him from behind. To the best of my knowledge, neither of these investigations have been closed nor have charges been filed.

    Regardless, look for us on the road... Please!! Hopefully our bright red DiNotte tail lights will make that a bit easier for all concerned.


    Rolf's for Santana: Mark Johnson of Precision Tandems wrote to us back in September to let us know Rolf Wheels has released a 160mm rear-spaced version of it's Prima Vigor Tandem wheelset called the "Perfect Vision" (Geez-o-pete, I guess Perfect is the new Mega at Santana these days).

    The Santana-compatible 160mm rear-spaced tandem wheelset at 1768g per set (w/o q.r or rim strips) is about 1/2 a pound lighter than the Shimano/Santana Sweet 16 at 2055g per set (w/o q.r or rim strips). While not cheap at $1,495 (gasp) are priced to be competitive with the Sweet 16s. I should note, the 160mm "Perfect Vision" wheels have 20 spokes front & rear vs. the Santana-Shimano Sweet 16's with 16 front & rear. According to the folks at Santana, Sweet 16's will continue to be available to consumers.

    Note Regarding Rolf: In case you missed it, Rolf Dietrich sold Rolf Prima Wheel Systems to Brian Roddy (majority owner and one of Rolf Dietrich's original partners) and two other long-time members of the Rolf team back in August. There are several articles on the web regarding the change as well as a press-release from Rolf.


    Santana Offers Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting - At this year's big bike shows Santana debuted tandems outfitted with Shimano's Di2 Electronic Shifting. Bill McCready was kind enough to share more details regarding the system to the readers at the Tandem@Hobbes list back on Sept. 26 in a post that you can find HERE. Bill also posted a follow-up to address gearing limitations, i.e., double-only no triple cranks that you can find HERE. The twice mentioned follow-up on pricing, compatibility and availability has still not materialized. In December Jack Goertz of Tandems Limited in Birmingham, AL, posted a review of the system after putting their first Shimano Di2 equipped tandem into inventory that you can read HERE.

    What does the TheTandemLink.com think? Looking across the more recent technical offerings from the bicycle industry, this is yet another one of those things that makes me realize I'm really getting old. Does Di2 really do anything to improve the cycling experience? Not really. But it is cool and costs a lot so it will generate some much-needed revenue for retailers and give consumers bragging rights for a little while until the next great innovation comes along. Frankly, the smartest guy in the room is probably riding an aluminum or steel 90's model tandem with rock solid 9 speed components, conventional wheels, a steel fork with a few thousand extra dollars sitting in his Scottrade account. The extra cash will allow him to retire a year or two earlier than if he'd gone out and bought a $10k+ tandem with all of the latest "innovations". That's not a slam on Di2, by the way. It's just my take as a connoisseur of fine tandems has traded a few extra years of work for a stable full of really nice bikes and tandems that really are only as good as the folks who ride and maintain them. Seriously, it's not about the bike it's about riding the bike and keeping it properly maintained.


    Et tu, Alpha Q? For those who may not have notice, Reynolds quietly got out of the carbon fork business a while back so no more Ouzo Pro Tandem forks. In fact, John Slawta of Land Shark cycles apparently bought up a lot of Reynolds' remaining inventory and blew them out on Ebay at about 1/2 price. More recently I've learned that True Temper (aka, Alpha Q) is also exiting the carbon fork market so, again, for those who had tandems built around an Alpha Q X2 tandem fork, replacements may be hard to find as current inventories are exhausted. Now, on the bright side, I have it on good authority that a well-known bicycle design and fabrication house has approached True Temper regarding the possible acquisition of Alpha Q fork technology and tooling. More to follow IF something develops.


    Specialized Shiv Tandem Concept: Certainly by now, most tandem enthusiasts who surf the web on at least an occasional basis have stumbled across a video or photos of the Specialized Shiv Tandem Concept. The latest creation by Robert Egger of Specialized was first revealed in a short Twitter Video from Specialized back on December 7th. For those who have been tandem enthusiasts long enough to remember, Egger had produced a similarly, visually stunning track tandem concept bike back in 1992. Like the '92 bike, and being skeptical by nature, I suspect that this truly is a visual exercise and that the bike itself is not functional, right down to the brakes and purported shaft drive (noting the '92 tandem concept also claimed a shaft drive). However, it has likely had it's intended effect which was to stimulate a lot of Internet buzz in the cycling community and the buzz still seems to be making its way through the various blogs, magazine columns and discussion forums replete with the ubiquitous "I gotta have one" comments from folks who have never ridden a tandem in their life. Again, that's one of the reasons why designers like tandems: they are eye catching in a way that even a radical single bike like the S-Works TTR prototype for the Shiv Time Trial bike will never be.

    Anyway, while I'm hopeful Mr. Egger will return from the holidays and reply to my questions about his Shiv tandem concept, I ain't holding my breath. They included:

    1. The design appears to be time-trial specific; Yes?
    2. The frame appears to borrow molds from the TTR Prototype, e.g., head, fork, rear stays; Yes?
    3. What percentage of the frame is organic vs. borrowed from other prototypes or current bikes?
    4. Is the shaft-driven sync mechanism a modified production model from a 3rd party, a one-off outsourced model, fabricated in house or perhaps a spare from the '92 exercise?
    5 Are the brakes functional, i.e., is there a master cylinder buried in the frame for each brake that transitions the mechanical cable pull from the SRAM Red levers to hydraulics... or just part of the 'conceptual' package?
    6. It appears to have a conventional dual chain ring drive but no front derailleur; was this intentional and is there a conceptual application here or....?
    7. What is the actual weight of the concept bike in it's current configuration?
    8. Is the tandem fully functional such that it could be ridden by two adults in an actual time trial or is it purely a visual exercise?

    Of course, the internet being what it is, some details have come out such as a posting on the slowtwitch.com forums from Specialized's Mark Cote who noted:

    "Awesome model from the Specialized design master, Robert Egger. Robert worked on this concept piece for a couple of years and finished it last spring. Pretty killer concept bike. You can see how concepts like the fork on this bike have made it into real bikes (like the Shiv).

    Mostly made of alloy, wood, bondo, and paint but looks ready to race."

    So, as Mark notes, concept bikes are what they are; awesome-looking designs that often times provide a glimpse of what may be in store on future designs.

    The last comment I feel compelled to make is the timing of the '92 concept bike which may or may not have anything to do with the timing of the '09 bike. Although Specialized never produced the swoopy '92 time trial tandem, some will recall that 1991-1992 was a watershed year for big-brand tandem offerings. As noted in a New York Times article from September 7, 1991, it was in 1991 that Specialized introduced its only production model tandem, the 1992 Deja Two. Likewise, it was also in the 1992 model-year that Trek introduced its first tandems, the T100/T200 models. And last but certainly not least, it was also the 1992 model-year when Cannondale began to sell it's tandems as fully-assembled bikes instead of as frame-only offerings. Again, I doubt there will be a watershed moment like that in 2010 based on the very weak showing of tandem manufacturers at this past year's Interbike show in September.


    2010 Rally Dates & Calendar Update: As the 2009 Tandem Rally Season draws to a close it's time to start making your plans for 2010. We've recently rolled the Tandem Rally Calendar forward to 2010 and are starting to populate the dates and places for next years events. As usual our very organized tandem brethren across the pond in the UK have already posted up their entire 2010 calendar, beginning with the Annual New Year Rally on Dec 29 - Jan 2. Dates & locations for the Southwest Tandem Rally, Midwest Tandem Rally, Georgia Tandem Rally, Northwestern & Eastern Tandem Rallies are also posted. So, if you plan to do a rally in 2010 -- and I highly recommended it to anyone who has not -- start making your plans NOW by checking your calendar and penciling in an event or two. you can find the full rally calendar HERE.


    Here's Your Chance to Shape What You Read Here At The Bulletin Board in 2010: I'm almost at the point where I feel I can start updating on a more regular basis. However, before doing so I'd like to give any regular followers a chance to let me know what you'd like to read about. Is it industry news that captures your attention, or the more personal tidbits that pop up around the world. Would you rather see my rantings on whatever happens to trip my trigger in a given week, or is there something else regarding tandems you'd like to hear more about that you just can't find elsewhere on the web, at least without being inundated with all kinds of commercial stuff. Speaking of which, would you just as soon see the Google Ads vanquished from my site given that there are clearly some advertisers (whom I really don't control) that you're rather not be bothered with? Now's your change to let me know....

    Send me your thoughts via Email to: mark@werlivingood.com.


    Bloggishnish

    I'd like to think I've gotten over my writer's block, but we'll see. This entry was only possible due to very cold weather here in Atlanta coupled with a concerted effort to try and publish a few updates to cover the past 5 1/2 months. Of course, if writer's block was enough of a barrier, I also had a bit of a computer meltdown on the old '99 Mac G4 400mhz tower running OS9 that I've always used to update my site. A new to me G4 500mhz dual processor model how houses the hard drives from my old Mac so I'm back in business. Yes, yes... I should move over to iWeb on OSX, but I just haven't made the time to start over. Perhaps I'll try to update at least my home page in 2010.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-02-10 at 08:40 PM.

  8. #33
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated.

    The full text and actual links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.

    ------------------

    JANUARY 1st UPDATE (2,635)

    The Influence of Generational Shifts in Behavior on Tandem Clubs & Rallies - As you'll note below, links for the older Florida clubs we've had listed here at www.thetandemlink.com for many years were recently removed from the site as these clubs have quietly retired. As we wait for more updates during our annual update of rally and club information I'm also reminded that Pennsylvania's TOYS disbanded a couple years ago when founding members were unable to attract newer members to fill cub leadership / organizer roles. We recently heard from another club who report membership as well as registrations for one of the historically more popular mid-size tandem rallies has been in steady decline since 2003, with club membership down from 112 to the mid-60's and rally attendance falling from 125 to 57 in '09. I suspect this year's Tandem Club of America membership list will also show a continued decline from last year, a trend that's not changed in the 8 years or so that I've monitored it.

    Now, it's not all bad news as we've learned a new central Florida tandem club based out of The Villages is nearly ready to 'launch', with members made up of folks who have retired from their primary careers or who are making that shift and migrating from northern climates. We've also noted that as tandem clubs fade away, the more active members realign themselves with larger, cycling clubs like the Florida Freewheelers or middle-Tennessee's Harpeth Cycling Club which could actually be a good thing given the added exposure of tandems to other cyclists on club rides with the single bike crowd. It's also noteworthy that the tandem tour business, to include the higher-end trips, continue to do a strong business and sales of high-end tandems remains strong.

    Taken in aggregate this seems to suggest 'change' is a constant within the tandem community. Our own Georgia-based tandem club and inner-circle of friends has seen similar changes over the years that have caused us to see long-time friends with young children less often as school and extracurricular activities now have priority. Career moves and other life-events also thin membership roles and there definitely seems to be a general shift away from traditional 'club membership'. However, we've also gained new members because of those very same changes, e.g., new folks relocating to the region and/or 'new couples' discovering tandeming later in life.

    In closing, it will continue to be interesting to see how rallies and club evolve. We may even need to find a different way of capturing information regarding tandem ridership since those traditional barometers such as club membership, rally participation and even internet discussion group membership become less meaningful indicators.

    ------------------

    Yes, yes... we all know about Harry and Daisy. But what about C.C. Hassler and his tandem experience? In an item coming out of The Pantagraph, it was noted that in the late 1800's Bloomington, Indiana was home to local poet Charles Cunningham (C.C.) Hassler. Poetry was quite popular at the time, to the extent it was more or less a performance art practiced in various public places. Much of Hassler's work was characterized as homespun and humorous and became published in The Pantagraph under a column "Fun on Farm", to include a short poem in 1896 that captured his first experience with a tandem bicycle. I suspect his sentiment is still echoed by many first time tandem riders to this day...


    Now I've rid a buckin' bronco, an' a mule that kicked an' balked
    An' every four-legged critter that had ever run or walked;
    But of all the everlastin' wabbly things that I have met,
    This tandem wheel of ours is the most uncertain yet.


    You can read more about C.C. Hassler HERE.

    ------------------

    Team Wiggle Tandem... When Names Go Wrong - While I'm not sure there's anything they can do about it without changing sponsors, we've learned Dave Harmon and Jez Hastings from across the pond will be teaming up on a tandem in 2010 with the goal of breaking several tandem cycling records. Their sponsor is bicycle retailer Wiggle (who we have found to be a great source for great products at great prices, by the way) which means they are, in fact, Team Wiggle Tandem. Frankly, we've seen a lot of tandem teams over the years who easily fit the moniker "Team Wiggle", so I can't help but wince ever time I read the name. Nonetheless, for those who are interested, it appears Dave Harmon will be the keeper of the primary tandem team blog updates which you can find HERE.

    ------------------

    Almost New Calfee Tandem $3,000; Too Good To Be True? Not necessarily. Bargain hunters rejoice, it's winter time and folks are tightening their belts all over the place. These two conditions can combine to produce all kinds of interesting deals on high-end or luxury items, to include tandem bicycles (Note: Unless you're using a tandem for transportation or competitive sport, it technically is a luxury item). Anyway, a couple of these high-end tandem offerings were recently brought to our attention by Ritterview on BikeForums, who has a proclivity for surfing the web to find all kinds of interesting and/or arcane things tandem. One was an older-model, fully-assembled Calfee coupled tandem being offered for $8,000 (perhaps a bit high) and the other was a frame & fork for $3,000, which is a heck of a deal given how Calfee's frame prices have skyrocketed over the past couple years (i.e., up about 20% since we bought ours in 4Q07).

    While on the surface it might seem to defy logic that someone might drop $5,000 on a high-end carbon frame and then turn around and sell it just a couple years later, if you're really interested in one of these deals by all means ask the seller for the back story; there usually is one. In the case of the $3,000 Calfee frame, the seller is the second owner who actually got a good deal when it bought it on a whim from someone who simply wasn't happy with the frame. However, since they already owned a very nice tandem, there wasn't a real sense of urgency to build up the Calfee. As time passed the owners realized they were actually quite happy with their current tandem and couldn't justify the expense of building-up the Calfee. So, it's on the market and someone's going to get a good deal if the frame fits.

    Speaking of which, when looking at previously owned Calfee tandems, it's a very good idea to ascertain some details regarding the original owners, i.e., were they really strong or heavy riders? An even better idea it to get the serial number and contact Calfee to verify that the frame is suitable for your team's weight and to learn anything else about the frame's history that might have a bearing on your planned purchase.

    For example, our Calfee was designed to accommodate us, a 280lb team. If we had been a bit heavier, our tandem would have needed a larger diameter top tube to provide the necessary stiffness. So, if we were to sell it, the frame would not be a good fit for a team that weighed, say, 350lbs. Now, not even all Calfee buyers realize this so by all means, ask the seller or Calfee for that additional information. Again, if you call Calfee they'll also have the history for that frame which could reveal that it was damaged and repaired (no big deal since Calfee is one of the few firms that knows how to repair composite frames) or modified in some way that may be of interest to a buyer.

    ------------------

    Link Updates:

    Rally info added for:

    - Sebring Weekend in Feb, downloadable application/info added
    - Alabama Tandem Weekend in April upated
    - Western North Carolina Off-Road Tandem Weekend in May added
    - Saranac Lake Tandem Rally in June added
    - Co-Motion Classic Stage Race in July, dates added


    Others added:

    - U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection on the Links page (Website under development)
    - http://www.gorgeousjewelrydeals.com/Bicycle-Necklaces offers a nice, inexpensive
    tandem necklace and has been added to our Gifts, Jewelry and Collectables links.


    Tandem Clubs added / removed:

    - Updated - WABITS now listed for Virgina, Maryland & DC
    - Added - PANTHERS of Central Florida
    - Added - Tandem Wing of the Harpeth Bicycle Club
    - In Limbo - Many clubs we've not heard from in a while
    - Removed - Florida's FLaTTS, TASTE, Flyers & FLIRTS and Ohio's GOATS


    ------------------

    Bloggishnish

    Dang, it's cold! That about sums it up. Atlanta -- like many places in the US -- has been subjected to a blast of cold air coming out of the Northwest instead of warmer air from the South and Southwest. Our temps while mild compared to more northern climates have been fully 20 to 30 degrees below normal for Atlanta. Adding insult to injury, after a week of below freezing temps it warmed up just enough to drop freezing rain and snow and then went back to sub-freezing temps leaving all of our roads iced over most of Friday.

    Will the Bulletin Board survive? Good question. My guess is, it may not make it as a weekly update. It takes a lot of time to create since I actually read and summarize instead of plagiarizing or listing RSS feeds. And, as noted, overall interest in the arcane aspects of tandeming, clubs and broader items of interest seems to be in decline.

    Annual Poll, will that happen? Again, not sure if the juice is worth the squeeze. I need to look at the suggested questions I received last year and see if there's a common thread and if it ties in with things that interest me. I'm tempted to use more write-in answers this year, if only to draw out insight that you just can't get from multiple choice, one-of-ten or similar canned responses. Time (and weather) will tell.

  9. #34
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated.

    The full text and actual links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.

    ------------------

    JANUARY 24th UPDATE (2,768)

    Tandem Bike: Those Darn Accordions Provide Tandem Enthusiasts With A NEW Musical Standard - Let me be the first to admit that I have never been all that enamored with Harry Dacre's 1892 Daisy Bell's lyrics, although the music still lends itself to some very nice renditions like Will Fly's solo guitar piece. It's just that, as a tandem enthusiast, it never captured the spirit or 'fun' of tandeming. So, you can only imagine how excited I was when a fellow Hobbsian (i.e., a Tandem @Hobbes list subscriber) shared a link to a contemporary, upbeat and fun song about tandem cycling by a San Francisco-based accordion quartet called Those Darn Accordions hosted on YouTube. In fact, I was so taken by the song that I contacted the band leader for Those Darn Accordions, Paul Rogers to learn more about the song's inspiration and how it came to be. It's a great story and I've now posted all of the information about the song's origin, links to the YouTube video, the group's website and the lyrics to a new Web page here at TheTandemLink.com. . In the interest of equal time I also included a link to an authentic 1920's - 1930's audio recording of Harry Dacre's 'Daisy Bell and the lyrics for anyone who may have never heard it or who have forgotten it. You can find the new Web page HERE.


    Virtual Tour of the Co-Motion Factory - With yet another tip of the hat to a fellow Hobbsian, this time Brian Wasson, we were also treated to a multimedia tour of the Co-Motion Cycles facility in Eugene, Oregon with a written narrative and many, many photos by Neil Gunton, aka, Crazy Guy on a Bike. Neil's article provides readers with an in-depth look at what goes on inside the Co-Motion factory from a December 14, 2009 visit with Dwan Shepard, co-owner of Co-Motion. Although not specific to tandems, as Brian noted in his posting to Hobbes, it provides all kinds of insight into what all goes into making our beloved tandems.


    U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection Web Site is Now Live - The U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose purpose is to, "increase the participation of individuals who are visually impaired or blind in the exhilarating sport of tandem cycling by connect blind and visually impaired cyclists with sighted cyclists, educating people about tandem cycling, disseminating information about cycling clubs, events, and opportunities for visually impaired cyclists and otherwise addressing the needs of the blind tandem cycling community. Christine Tinberg had contacted us a few weeks back to let us know about the pending launch of her organization's Web site so we're thrilled to see that the site is now up and running. You can visit the site by clicking HERE.


    Anyone Need Any Tandem Decals? - During the early years of 'TheTandemLink.com' we used revenues from the sale of tandem decals to defray the costs of hosting the site and it worked out pretty well. However, we may have saturated the market early on, as sales of the decals have fallen-off quite a bit from the 'boom' years right after they were first introduced. More recently what had become about the norm for annual sales fell by 40% in 2008 and then another 60% in 2009. So, to those who have asked, 'Why the Google Ads?' for things like tandem-shaped objects... it's simply become an alternative source of revenue for the site. Since we are essentially non-commercial and don't do much in the way of promotion or advertising those Googe AdSense revenues aren't all that much, perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of what we generated in decal sales back in 2000-2002. So, please accept our apologies for the ads if they seem bothersome or don't always align with the values or views of TheTandemLink.com, it's just a necessary evil to keep the fires buring, so to speak.

    So, how goes the Survey? - Well, it's been over a week since we launced this year's survey and about 270 folks have been kind enough to take some time to be respondents. If last year's survey is any indication we'll probably get perhaps another 20 or so responses. In four of the eight previous surveys we did get some pretty big response rates; however, in those instances it appears that the survey audience extended well past the normal Hobbes / BikeForums/Double-Forte on-line communities and beause the questions were more consumer-based, e.g., how many bikes do you own, what types, etc... Anyway, I won't delve into any of my armchair analysis just yet. There are indeed some interesting trends in the data and, at least for me, it has been insightful to see the results. Speaking of data, just for kicks I took a look at when the 270 responses came in following the launch of the Survey last Sunday night. Monday was a big day with 140 responses and it's tailed off from there. More to follow.


    Central Florida Now Has A New Tandem Club: The PANTHERS - Per their official 'press release' this afternoon, the PANTHERS Tandem Club, Inc., was organized by nine teams in Central Florida. The club will hold weekly tandem rides in and around The Villages with additional organized events held in other locations throughout Florida. The PANTHERS Web site is now up and accessible at the following URL: http://www.floridatandemclub.org/ The club hopes to promote safe cyling and to encourage the cycling sport of tandem riding.


    Tandems East Announces 2010 Events - We received our annual event notice from Mel & Barbara Kornbluh at TandemsEast.com this past week... who probably just finished up leading a 3-week tour in New Zealand. Anyway, their annual Open House will be held on March 28 & 29 in Pittsgrove, New Jersey and this year's guest speakers on the 28th will tentatively include tandem industry folks like Co-Motion's component buyer Chuck Hood, daVinci Design's Brian Davis (always entertaining), ATOC/Thule & Draftmaster rack-master Charlie Buchalter. More info can be found on their Website in a few weeks after they return from New Zealand and make the updates. The TandemsEast Tandem Weekend will be held at Cape May, New Jersey on September 10 - 12.


    Santana's 2010 Tour Calendar Firmed-Up - We also received a nice Email from the folks at Santana announcing their 2010 tours. The ones that aren't already filled up include Feb 15-20 Valentine's Week - Hawaii Three Island Tandem Tour, May 6-9, Mother's Day - Colonial Williamsburg Tandem Rally, Aug 9-12, Family Friendly Durango Tandem Rally, Aug 26 - Sept 2, King Ludwig's Castles - Euro Tandem Tour, and Sept 6-9, Napa-Sonoma Wine Country Tandem Rally. A bit too rich for our modest means, if you like to be pampered and can swing it these are really wonderful events. You can find more information HERE


    Calfee, Calfee, Calfee - I tell you, there's no shortage of articles, blog entries and other web content regarding the Calfee bamboo bicycles these days. Every once in a while a video interview pops up as well. Here's one from the San Diego Custom Bike Show back in April for anyone who may have never had the opportunity to see or hear Craig Calfee speak.

  10. #35
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated.

    The full text and actual links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.

    ------------------

    FEBRUARY 6th UPDATE (2,907)

    The Tandem Curmudgeon Gets Ready For The Valentine's Day Tandem Blitz - Yes, it's time for the happy-news reporters and columnists to pull out those ubiquitous lists of suggestions for how couples can show their love for each other to include "Ride a Tandem"! Never mind that February 14th falls in the middle of winter or that finding anything other than a 60lb tandem-shaped objective to rent is nearly impossible even in those places where it's not below 40°, raining or snowing on February 14th each year. Ah yes, and if a couple did happen to find themselves in a warm sunny place with dry roads and a tandem at their disposal how long would it be before a self-appointed safety-expert told them that they'd need helmets to be safe on that thing because, after all, cycling can be dangerous... and they'd need to find a bicycle path because they certainly shouldn't ride on public streets; not only is it unsafe for the cyclists, it's irritating to the motorists. Well, and if that weren't bad enough, didn't you know that bicycle seats can impair you ability to have sex! Heck, even that cycling racer Lance Armstrong developed testicular cancer and has called these things 'Divorce Machines'! Why on Earth would you want to put your gonads or relationship at risk like that on Valentine's Day! So, by all means, just get some chocolates for your lover, go out to eat and then settle in for a nice movie or perhaps an Episode of the Biggest Loser: yeah, that'll stir the love juices.


    We Told You So; Tandem Rallies Are Filling Up Quickly - As mentioned earlier this year, and as noted in our tips for first time tandem rally goers, you really need to make plans to attend rallies early so that you can be sure to get a room at the host hotel and secure a registration for the event.

    - Sebring Tandem Weekend in Florida is just a few weeks away and has 30 teams signed-up.
    - Southwest Tandem Rally in Paris, TX (Apr) had just 15 slots left as of last weekend.
    - Georgia Tandem Rally in So. Carolina (May) limited to 100 teams is essentially sold-out.
    - Tennessee Tandem Rally near Nashville, TN (Jun) opens registration in Mid-Feb.
    - Midwest Tandem Rally at Shipshewana, IN (Sep) has now opened registration.
    - Mid-Atlantic Tandem Enthusiast Society (MATES) rally at Warrenton, VA (Aug) is now setting up shop.

    There are many other tandem rallies across the US and around the world that are now open for registration or will be soon. As always, we try to keep most of them listed on our events page which you can find HERE.


    Co-Motion's 2010 Dual Disc Brake-Through - In addition to doing a re-vamp of their Website, blogging, opening up a Facebook page and sending a team on a field trip to Taiwan, the good folks at Co-Motion also found time to make some changes to their 2010 line-up of tandems. Perhaps the boldest change was making dual discs standard on their steel and aluminum 'Performance' tandems, e.g., Speedster, Mocha, and Roadster as well as their Periscope Scouts & Torpedo models.

    What also caught my eye was their new rear disc I.S. mount location; bravo! This is where I have always preferred the rear disc mount for a number of reasons. Anyway, good friend and co-owner of Co-Motion Dwan Shepard offered up the following additional information on some of the 2010 changes to a posting at Hobbes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwan Shepard of Co-Motion Cycles
    After a gentle provocation from [the TandemGeek], I thought I'd chime in on this topic of disc vs. cantilever brakes. As observed, disc brakes are standard on many of our [Co-Motion] tandem models, including the Speedster. I believe it has also been noted that the Arai drum brake is no longer being produced. That's a game-changer for anyone looking at tandem touring, as the Arai brake was long relied on to fulfill the role of supplemental brake in situations when the rim brakes became overwhelmed: Namely long or steep descents, especially when the tandem is heavily laden with touring gear.

    Of course, rim brakes are simple and mostly reliable, and familiar enough to most of us that we feel comfortable with them. However, for many people, rim brakes are inadequate for tandem touring. So, why not combine rim brakes with a supplemental disc brake? That argument has played itself out many times here on Tandem@Hobbes over the years. If you've been sitting back and observing, you may recall claims by one tandem expert or another stating that discs were not "tandem specific". That myth got its start back when people like myself and Bill McCready began querying disc brake makers Hope, Avid, Hayes and others about using their brakes as a supplement to rim brakes. Without exception, these brake makers shuddered when they heard how tandem riders used the Arai brake. It's true- no disc brake can take that kind of punishment.

    But, let's not forget, the Arai brake itself has never been a very good brake on its own. It's an old warhorse, sure. Because it has so much mass, you can apply it and let it drag forever and it will get nice and hot, but to its credit, it won't fail. By itself however, it does a lousy job of slowing your bike, which is why you've probably never seen a bike equipped with front and rear Arai drums.

    Now, back to those disc brake manufacturers: Every one of them stated unequivocally that their brakes should be used as the PRIMARY brakes on a tandem. While they all expressed concern over their brake's use as a "drag", none were concerned about their brakes being used to stop a tandem. If you've tried a good disc brake on a tandem, you know it doesn't take long to discover why disc brakes have become more commonplace than cantilevers on all kinds of bicycles.

    Maybe the question we should be asking ourselves today is why it has taken for tandems to become available with dual discs. Well, we tandemists are a conservative crowd, aren't we? We embrace innovation in one hand and eye it with suspicion in the other. Here at Co-Motion Cycles, we began offering Avid BB-7 disc brakes as a published option on a regular basis about 6 years ago. Getting to that point meant having confidence in the brake, lots of tests on the toughest descents here in Oregon, and many reports from early adopters. It didn't take long to discover that the Avid BB-7 with a 203mm rotor was the way to go, and we soon developed new tandem forks specifically for disc brake applications as well.

    The mounting points for the disc brakes are integral with the dropouts we make here at Co-Motion on our CNC equipment. For 2010, we redesigned our rear dropout to orient the disc adjacent to the chainstay, and reconfigured the dropout eyelets to make rack and fender mounting easier and more accommodating to more rack types. It's just another step we've taken to ensure that our bikes are easy to get along with, and do the things you need them to do.

    I've shared with you all on T@H several times over the years how our customers have driven the development of our bike line. We listen to what our customers are asking for, and we strive to provide what will make the most people happy. Making disc brakes standard on more tandem models is one of the decisions we've made based on those observations. On the Speedster, the vast majority of our sales of the model were shipping from here with optional dual disc brakes in the past two years.

    Yes, you can still get a Co-Motion tandem with canti- or v-brake mounts. Our Primera tandem comes with linear-pull Avid SD-7 brakes. Or, you can order a custom version of any of our tandems with any kind of brake mount you'd like. Also, we do offer framesets, a nice option if you'd like to work with your dealer on selecting all components from start to finish. What would I recommend? A Speedster or maybe a Mocha with discs, no question. We have lots of choices, and as always, we're happy to help you make the choice that works best for you.

    Not Everyone Who Rides A Bike Does It Because They Enjoy It Or To Be Green - When ever the subject of cycling safety and accident statistics comes up it's common for most cyclists to simply project themselves into those numbers in terms of just what type of cyclists are represented in those numbers. The assumption often is that they were cyclists just like themselves, doing everything right who were clipped by a careless motorist. Now, clearly, there are way too many collisions and fatalities that occur just that way. In fact, one of the more high-profile ones that we reported on last year involving a couple run down and killed while riding their tandem near San Antonio, TX, still remains under investigation four months after the fact. Anyway, an interesting blog entry from a tandem commuter couple in the Carolina's came to my attention that speaks to the often-time not mentioned bicycle commuters who simply don't have a choice between a car or a bicycle that is worth a read. You can find it HERE.


    An Electric Tank For Two? - Call me a tandem elitist if you will, but what's the point of creating a $2,300 electric-powered tandem that weighs 75 lbs? Does this replace the family car so that the kids can be given a ride to school or does it allow someone to simply ride on a bike path without getting any exercise? Wait a minute, can you even use 'motorized' bikes on bike paths? Don't get me wrong, there are clearly some very cool electric-powered commuter bikes coming on the market that will make bicycle commuting far more practical for anyone who lives where there is challenging terrain and/or to make longer commutes by bicycle more practical. But this surely isn't one of those more practical applications and, good Lord, what happens when this $2,300, 75 lb behemoth runs out of Juice leaving the riders on their own to pedal it up a hill?


    CanVelo - Israel Guide Dog Center Tandem Club - Moti Regev wrote to let us know about the CanVelo Tandem Club in Israel, a part of the Israel Guide Dog Center (Can = Canine / Velo = Bike). From Moti's note, CanVelo is a "team of 20 visually impaired stokers and 40 captains with 14 Cannondale MT tandems, 3 Cannondale RT tandems and 3 Cannondale street tandems that ride as a team every weekend. Although their website is written primarily in Hebrew, it can be translated using Google to learn more about the group or you can just check out the photo galleries.

    [/LIST]
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-10-10 at 08:01 PM.

  11. #36
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated.

    The full text and links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.


    FEBRUARY 14th UPDATE (3,017)

    This is a special edition of the Weekly Reader that focuses on my annual look at TCA Membership.
    ------------------

    I received my 2010 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last seven years, I thought I'd share a quick look at the Tandem Club of America's (TCA) demographics. As always, my hand-tabulated counts from the membership listing were entered into my spreadsheets and looked at on a state-by-state basis in comparison to data from last year's Membership Roster and for reasons I explain in my more detailed report & analysis, the January 2008 membership roster. You can find my highly unscientific analysis HERE.

    http://www.thetandemlink.com/surveys...ership_10.html

    In summary, and based on what was published in this year's 2010 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 765 is down 16.3% compared to last year, with a net reduction of 149 members.

    Sadly, the prediction in my editorial from last year's analysis was correct and this was the largest single drop-off I've seen since keeping track of the membership trends.

    Looking back and comparing membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 692 or about 47.5%.

    • 36 of 50 states saw net losses in membership while only 4 saw a net increase of one-each.
    • Leading the pack (not surprisingly) was California which lost a net of 21 members in the last year, down from 111 in 2002 to 47 members as of January 2010.
    • For the first time since watching the data there are now only members in 49 of the 50 US states, as the one lone tandem team from Wyoming dropped from the roles this year.
    • Wisconsin was another state that stands out with the loss of 12 members, down from 46 in 2002 to just 19.


    Editorial: Just as I noted last year, unless TCA abandons its laissez-faire approach to managing the club and develops some type of vision for how it will deliver value to members in the future, I would expect the slide in membership to continue until the revenues from memberships will no longer cover the cost of printing and mailing out DoubleTalk and Web hosting fees. At that point, I'm not sure what happens. Just looking back two years 25% of the long-time TCA members have dropped from the roles (22 of 87) and of the 273 or so newer members who joined TCA during 2007, 131 (48%) of them have not renewed their memberships.

  12. #37
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    In summary, and based on what was published in this year's 2010 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 765 is down 16.3% compared to last year, with a net reduction of 149 members.

    Sadly, the prediction in my editorial from last year's analysis was correct and this was the largest single drop-off I've seen since keeping track of the membership trends.

    Looking back and comparing membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 692 or about 47.5%.
    Potentially contributing to the drop in membership is the inability to register online. There is a Paypal mechanism, but after entering in information and going to the next page, the potential member gets an error message about a duplicate user name (even though user name wasn't a field), and the information entered is deleted. The TCA website has no contact information, which contributes to the whole enterprise appearing to be at best haphazard.

  13. #38
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    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated.

    The full text and links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.


    February 20th UPDATE (3,126)

    Survey Says... Interesting Stuff, As Always - Well, it's been about a month since I launched my annual Tandem Survey back on January 17th and with just a few responses trickling in now, five in the last week and the last on February 17th, I figured it was time to give the results a look see and offer up my analysis. Because the questions covered more or less a potpourri of topics there's not much to summarize at a macro level, other than in spite of the economic down turn tandem cycling has seemingly held it's own this past year. Steady growth is the norm, folks are riding as much or more and while we hear a lot of chatter about problems with tandems, the reality is that quite a few folks don't have many issues with their machines (or themselves). The latter suggests what we always expect to be the case, which is for every problem or complaint you hear about on the internet there are 4x - 10x as many folks who have no such problems.

    Anyway, I've compiled a snap-shot of the results as of February 18th and provided my analysis of the responses to each question. You can find the results HERE.

    If you'd like to see the results from all eight (8) year's worth of surveys, you can find them HERE.

    Finally, because it's been such a sensational winter for so many folks, we may launch a second survey here in the next week or so. There were a number of things that came to mind and that many folks who wrote to us suggested that might be 'fun' to explore to melt away winter blues. More to follow.


    Spring Is Just Around The Corner... Really! I say this because Don Walker's North American Handmade Bicycle Show is next weekend and the Mid-Atlantic States' tandem specialty dealers have firmed up the dates for their annual Open House & Demo Days events.



    Mt. Airy Cycles Spring Demo day on April 11 at Mt. Airy, Maryland. You can find all the details at their Website or by going directly to their flyer by clicking HERE.

    Tandems East's Open House on March 28 & 29 at Pittsgrove, New Jersey. As mentioned in an earlier event update for Tandems East, this year's guest speakers on Saturday the 28th will tentatively include tandem industry folks like Co-Motion's component buyer Chuck Hood, daVinci Design's Brian Davis (always entertaining), ATOC/Thule & Draftmaster rack-master Charlie Buchalter. More info can be found on their Website.


    We Told You So #2; Tandem Rallies Are Filling Up Quickly - As mentioned just two weeks ago, if you plan on attending a tandem rally this year where sign-ups or hotel rooms are somewhat limited you really need to jump on it.

    - Southwest Tandem Rally in Paris, TX (Apr) has FILLED their rally and registration is now CLOSED.

    - Georgia Tandem Rally in So. Carolina (May) is FILLED and the waiting list is pretty long.

    - Tennessee Tandem Rally near Nashville, TN (Jun) opened registration on Feb. 15 and is nearly FULL.

    - Midwest Tandem Rally at Shipshewana, IN (Sep) has now opened registration.

    - Mid-Atlantic Tandem Enthusiast Society (MATES) rally at Warrenton, VA (Aug) has opened up registration and only has room for 40 teams.

    - Tandem East's Weekend at Cape May, New Jersey on Sept 10 - 12 is 50% filled.

    There are many other tandem rallies across the US and around the world that are now open for registration or will be soon. As always, we try to keep most of them listed on our events page which you can find HERE.


    Belfast Racing Team's Team Tipping Taking On Mt. Washington Hill Climb For Charity: Friends John & Sonja Tipping from the granite state wrote to let us knw they have signed up to take on the Mt. Washington Hill Climb in August with their tandem. The hill climb is also a fund-raising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center and they need YOUR help in generating proceeds for their effort. So, please visit their fund raising page where you can see a nice photo of this awesome team and consider sending a few $$ their way.


    Bloviation & Ignorance On The Web, Which Is Worse? As many readers have figured out by now, each night I have a little search engine that runs and provides me with a collection of news stories, blog entries and other RSS-type feeds on the internet pertaining to tandem cycling and some of the brands I follow more closely. As a result I see a lot of different types of web sites, blogs and postings from internet discussion forums each week and some grab my attention more so than others.

    In some respects, I think the tandem community was better served by the pioneering listservers like Tandem@Hobbes than the proliferation of 'forums' and tandem groups. With Hobbes, you clearly had a critical mass of no-kidding tandem experts and enthusiasts from whom reliable information could be obtained. You also had industry insiders -- quite a few in fact -- who volunteered their time to weigh-in on matters. It was really a special place that is now a mere shadow of what it was. But I digress.

    I have my own adopted home on one forum where I try to moderate and share my insights with a larger audience in the hope that the lurkers will have access to information that is on par with what Hobbes used to provide on a daily basis and, for the most part, this particular forum has remained very civil, objective and useful for both the regulars who post, newbies and lurkers. There are, however, the occasional passers-by who lower the bar but, for the most part, they move on to other forums where dubious suggestions and advice are not quickly called into question. Admittedly, I do tent to write in a very matter of fact way that carries an arrogant tone, perhaps even bordering on bloviation: hey, we all have our crosses to bear.

    In some cases I suspect I suck the air out of the room and cause folks who would like to be a resident expert to move on to other forums. In most cases that's goodness in that as I read their posts on the other forums most of what they offer seems to be based on what they've learned from good sources or personal experience and is offered objectively.

    However, there are still a few too many folks looking to 'share their opinions' who lack the objectivity and knowledge needed to be of any value to readers and I can only hope that readers either challenge writers who drift into areas where they are truly ignorant or heavily biased in the hope that they'll either 'get it' and clean up their act or move on to some other forum vs. gaining a foothold and otherwise tainting every tandem-related discussion with their misinformation and self-serving commentary.

  14. #39
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Valentine Day article . . . with tandem

    Valentine tandem story appeared front page in the Gazette van Detroit (the only Belgian newspaper in the US). The Gazette's an international publication for Belgians; and yes, Rudy worked for them back in 1951-52 as a printer's apprentice.
    Wrote a rather long article for the Gazette (in English) for a series called "The Belgian Next Door". Editor opted to print the intro in their Valentine Day issue with 'the rest of the story' to be serialized in subsequent issues.
    The article follows Rudy's WWII wartime experiences and subsequent move/adventures.
    . . . and yes, tandeming does get a brief mention.

    So, some 'real' tandem photos/stories do appear for V-Day!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    March 6th UPDATE (3,308)

    The Bulletin Board at http://www.thetandemlink.com has been updated. The full text and links to the full stories, photos, etc, that are the basis for my summaries are available at http://www.thetandemlink.com.

    The Bulletin Board has undergone some changes.

    Going forward, my miscellaneous ramblings, commentaries, tandem news and bloggishnish writings will appear on my new, The TandemGeek's Blog at: http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com

    The Bulletin Board will continue to carry updates to links, events, club notices and summaries of my Blog updates at: http://www.thetandemlink.com

    For at least the time being, I will continue to capture a summary of my past week's writings for anyone who'd like to fill their idle time perusing my comments. As always, you will need to go to the respective Blog or Websites to find the full text, photos and links to the referenced external sources.

    ---------------------

    Maintenance Day: Looking Good for Another Year

    Other than putting new handlebar tape on the Calfee tandem today, not much else was needed. It still needs to be cleaned as it’s wearing all the road dirt and splatter from our post-snow day ride on Feb. 23rd and, gasp, from another wet day back in November: I’ll get around to that at some [...] Read more…


    Tandem Rally & Event Updates @ TheTandemLink.com

    We’ve received several emails from our tandem friends in various places here in North America over the past few weeks and finally got around to updating both the Road & Off-Road event pages at our companion Web site, TheTandemLink.com. In summary, here are the latest…. Road Tandem Events: http://www.thetandemlink.com/RallyInfo.html - PANTHERS Lake Wales Ride on Apr 9 – [...] Read more…


    Bloggishnish: March 5th

    Perhaps it’s a mid-life thing, perhaps the Olympics had a subliminal effect or perhaps it was “just one of those things”. Regardless, after a 20-year hiatus from skating that began when the right-hand blade holder on my then 13-year old Planert racing skates broke during a Saturday evening public skate at the Ice Castle rink [...] Read more…


    Trust me… Really.

    OK, let’s be honest: I’m pretty much obsessive-compulsive when it comes to consuming, analyzing and sharing information about tandem cycling with the tandem community. Moreover, over the years I’ve bothered a lot of the folks in the tandem biz with all kinds of questions to satisfy my own curiosities and otherwise established friendships with them [...] Read more…


    Time To Think About That Spring Tune Up…

    If you haven’t done so yet, perhaps now would be a good time to think about cleaning and looking over your tandem(s) to see what it needs to get ready for the cycling season here in the Upper 48. These recommendations are based on wear & tear on a tandem that’s ridden 3,000 – 5,000 [...] Read more…

    Townsend, TN – Spring Bike Bash at Dancing Bear Lodge

    While not a tandem event, per se… the cycling routes and aspects of this great escape to the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in Townsend, TN, is put together by our dear friend, tandem enthusiast and renaissance-man Tim Patterson. Therefore, the ride routes and cycling events have that same quality that hundreds of tandem [...] Read more…


    Updates At TheTandemLink.com: STR, TTR & Site Changes

    Lest anyone think that I would neglect the Bulletin Board at my Web site, I made the following updates tonight. Registration for 2010 Southern Tandem Rally Now Open – Jack & Susan Goertz, hosts of the 32nd Southern Tandem Rally, wrote to let us know registration is now open! STR ‘10 will be held in beautiful [...] Read more…


    2010 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

    Updated: More award winner photos. Oh, if only it was just a bit closer than a 9-hour drive… or if I could somehow justify attending as a business expense. Anyway, early reports seem to suggest that despite the record-setting winter snowfall that hit the Mid-Atlantic States and Richmond, VA, NAHBS still set some new records of [...] Read more…

    Bloggishnish: March 1st

    Well, I was going to rant a bit about one of the biggest problems we face today: the erosion of facts and accurate information on the Internet. But I ultimately decided against it. The crux of the problem is best exemplified by the parlor game of ‘Telephone’ Read more…


    The Winter Survey, Part Deux… Meh?

    Wowzer. I guess I assumed a bit too much about just how much interest there might be in a second survey for Winter 2010. Despite the less cerebral subject matter and format (pick all that apply for all 9 multiple choice questions), respondent participation is way down from the first survey: 163 compared to 270 [...] Read more…


    Loveboat: The fastest, most efficient ever designed?

    Probably not, and it’s not even an original design. While Bingo Sun Noon’s ‘Loveboat‘ design is novel, you can find examples of similar stoker-over-rear-wheel designs from the 1890’s, some of which were used to pace track cyclists before the bigger, more expensive triplets, quads and quints were acquired by track clubs. I came upon this [...] Read more…


    The Tandem Survey – Winter 2010, Part Deux

    Ok, it’s been a really long and somewhat more wintery-winter this year in most parts of North America. While my 2010 Survey was interesting as always, it wasn’t really FUN So, here’s a bonus survey that looks at what we ride: tandem stuff. You know, what do you ride, what kind of computer (if any) do [...] Read more…

  16. #41
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    MARCH 13th UPDATE (3,386)

    For at least the time being, I will continue to capture a summary of my past week's writings for anyone who'd like to fill their idle time perusing my comments. As always, you will need to go to our Blog to find the full text, photos and links to the referenced external sources.

    BLOG: http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com
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    Tour de Cure: Can You Spare A Fiver, a Ten Spot… or?

    Team Lockheed Martin & Team TandemGeek Team Up! As a 25-year employee of Lockheed Martin and life-long cyclist, it was hard not to accept an invitation to join my fellow employee-cyclists in their quest to field a cycling team for the expressed purpose of supporting both the Tour de Cure in the Spring and the MS150 [...]

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    Track Tandem Retrospective… Part Deux

    Apparently the item I posted in the wee hours of the morning on Friday regarding the ‘52 Olympic Tandem Sprint achievement of Aussies Lionel Cox and Russell Mockridge struck a chord with our friends John & Sonja Tipping in the Granite State who sent along the following video of an exciting tandem track sprint from the [...]

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    A Tale of Two Tandems… For Sale on Ebay

    One of the more perplexing things a tandem buyer or even a tandem seller must do it figure out how much a given tandem is worth. On new tandems, the retail marketplace usually takes care of that as there’s not typically a lot of haggling or discounting unless a dealing is sitting on old inventory [...]

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    It’s Never Been About The Bike…. 1952 Olympic Tandem Sprint

    Every once once in a while you come across a news item that puts some wind under your sails and this was one of those stories. Sadly, the story is told again at this time because one of the main characters has passed at 80 years young after losing a bout with pneumona. Australian cyclist Lionel [...]

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    .. In Case Anyone Missed It: Google Maps / Bikes

    During this week’s League of American Wheelmen, er… Bicyclists National Bike Summit at The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., Google announced the roll-out of ‘Grab Your Bike and Go with Google Maps‘, a new overlay for their Google Maps that provides routing tailored by a combination of algorithms, contributor inputs from organizations [...]

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    Santana’s Tandem-Specific, Shimano Approved Di2… an update.

    Back on January 1st I posted an item on the Bulletin Board at our companion Website (pre-Blog) regarding Santana’s optional tandem-specific, Shimano-approved DuraAce Di2 shifting system. Santana had just recently debuted the Di2 system on it’s flagship composite & titanium “Beyond” tandem model at Eurobike then again at Interbike and there was a pretty good [...]

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    Yikes!! Tandem & BMW M6 Collide; Anyone We Know???

    If you believe the caption, this BMW M6 was purportedly hit by a tandem bicycle and its riders at the bottom of a hill. No other details were shared beyond what was in the photo at www.wreckedexotics.com. A Google search failed to turn up anything regarding a collision between a tandem bicycle and car in [...]

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    P.S.

    As a reminder, the Bulletin Board has undergone some changes. Going forward, my miscellaneous ramblings, commentaries, tandem news and bloggishnish writings will appear on my new, The TandemGeek's Blog at: http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com

    The Bulletin Board will continue to carry updates to links, events, club notices and summaries of my Blog updates at: http://www.thetandemlink.com

  17. #42
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    MARCH 21st UPDATE (3,483)

    For at least the time being, I will continue to capture a summary of my past week's writings for anyone who'd like to fill their idle time perusing my comments. As always, you will need to go to our Blog to find the full text, photos and links to the referenced external sources.

    BLOG: http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com
    RSS Feed: feed://tandemgeek.wordpress.com/feed/

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    Frame Deflection Test Rig, aka “Otto” (Part 1)

    This past week BF forum member ‘Ritterview’ (RV) shared a maiden ride report on their new Calfee Dragonfly tandem; yes, the very same one that earned the “Best Tandem Award” at this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBA) that we reported on a few weeks back. The first outing for their Dragonfly was the [...]

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    Tandem Riding: In-Phase or Out-of-Phase

    Tandem crank-phasing is a frequent subject of hot debates on various tandem discussion forums and what-not that is best addressed one tandem team at a time. Really… I can’t even begin to count the number of threads I’ve seen over the years, although one of the better ones included a poll (somewhat skewed by [...]

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    Italy’s L’Eroica Ride: Old School Cool With A Tandem Sub-Plot

    BikeForum.net – Tandem Sub-Forum regular Chris_W in Switzerland posted up a link to a video produced by Brooks England, maker of the famous Brooks leather saddles since 1866 that provides a glimpse into last year’s edition of the famous Italian amateur Gran Fondo the “L’Eroica”, a 200km randonneur in Tuscany held annually on the first week [...]

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    Sad News: Cycling Innovator Phil Wood Passes…

    Terry Shaw of Lightweight Cycles who seems to keep up with such things, reported on the passing of Mr. Phil Wood this past Sunday, March 14th in a posting to the Classic Rendezvous mailing list today. Per Mr. Shaw’s note, Mr. Wood had been battling cancer for some time. Other reports have noted that Mr. [...]

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    Another Co-Motion Factory Tour Report: Portland Oregon’s Bike Gallery

    Matt Cardinal from the Bike Gallery chain of cycling stores located in and around Portland, Oregon, just posted a nice trip report from a visit to the Co-Motion facility back on February 10th. While it definitely reads like Bicycle Magazine copy, i.e., BG and Co-Motion have had shared a 20-year relationship so don’t expect to [...]

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    Bloggishnish: March 16th

    Just some random things that popped into my head over the past couple days… diNotte Tail Lights – A Post Script: Absolutely AWESOME, but rendered worthless if the batteries go dead. We headed out for our first group tandem ride of the year with four other couples this past Sunday. It was a cold, gloomy day [...]

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    A Focus On: Rohloff Speedhub & Chains

    Back in February, long-time Double Forte list member Jack Tomkinson posted out a link a video by the German-language IBC’s MTB News recorded during a tour of the Rohloff factory in Fuldatal, Germany. The tour features Rohloff production manager Marco Rauch walking and talking through the assembly process (in German) where a lot of emphasis [...]

  18. #43
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    MARCH 21st UPDATE (3,483)

    Frame Deflection Test Rig, aka “Otto” (Part 1)

    This past week BF forum member ‘Ritterview’ (RV) shared a maiden ride report on their new Calfee Dragonfly tandem; yes, the very same one [...]

    Read more…
    Just doing my part to provide content for your blog, TG


    Another pic, depicting the data collection on a clipboard, with a pre-printed table.




    Here's a flipped pic with detail of the table.



    The fields, as I recall are:

    Make
    Model
    Year
    Weight (lbs)
    Deflection (mm)
    Captain, Stoker weight (IIRC)
    Fork make, model (IIRC)

    A lot of interesting data collection. Sure would be nice if your bud Bill shared it with you.

  19. #44
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Just doing my part to provide content for your blog, TG
    And don't think I don't appreciate it.... However, I do my best to give credit where credit is due, i.e., citing and linking to sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    A lot of interesting data collection. Sure would be nice if your bud Bill shared it with you.
    It is indeed interesting and beyond what Bill has shared thus far (Part 2... or maybe Part 3; our exchanges tend to be pretty long as do the phone calls) I'm not sure how much of the analysis will see the light of day.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    ...It is indeed interesting and beyond what Bill has shared thus far (Part 2... or maybe Part 3; our exchanges tend to be pretty long as do the phone calls) I'm not sure how much of the analysis will see the light of day.
    None of it will if it doesn't follow along with one of "his" engineering certainties...oops...
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  21. #46
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    MARCH 28th UPDATE (3,636)

    For at least the time being, I will continue to capture a summary of my past week's writings for anyone who'd like to fill their idle time perusing my comments. As always, you will need to go to our Blog to find the full text, photos and links to the referenced external sources.

    BLOG: http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com
    RSS Feed: feed://tandemgeek.wordpress.com/feed/


    -------------------------------------------------
    Bloggishnish: March 28th
    Well, we’ve been able to get out for some friendly tandem rides with a few other teams for 3-weeks in a row!! I think our sum total of on-road mileage for the year up and until that point was somewhere under 200 miles for a variety of reasons, none of them really good other than [...] Read more…

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    Fund Raising Conundrum: Too Much of a Good Thing…?
    As we endeavor to raise donations for what will be our first fund-raising event in 10 years we were quickly reminded of why we opted-out of these events: many of our friends, family and co-workers also participate in fund raising events. While on the surface this seems like good news, the reality becomes: there are [...] Read more…

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    If You Thought Bad Weather Was A Rally Organizer’s Worst Nightmare…
    I think I’m safe in posting this now as the word has gotten out to all the affected parties… If you’ve never attended a tandem rally (or any rally of any type), then this may all be lost on you. However, as seasoned rally goers with perhaps 40+ events under our belts, the thing that typically [...] Read more…

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    From Mary B. In Chicago Comes This Video Treat… (Unrelated to Tandems)
    We have amassed an amazing collection of friends and acquaintances that spans the globe where the common thread is tandem cycling. On any given week we’ll get a couple Emails that cover everything from figuring out who’s attending which rallies so that we can all converge for a reunion to just plain silly stuff. This is [...] Read more…

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    Remember VeloTV? Episode #10: Tandems
    A couple years back, Comcast SportsNet’s VeloTV hosted by Sal Collura produced 10 30-minute episodes, the last of which was entitled “A Bicycle Built For Two”. It was filmed in conjunction with the 2008 edition of the Co-Motion Classic in Eugene, Oregon. I thought I’d share out the YouTube videos for anyone who may have missed [...] Read more…

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    Armstrong & Kornheiser… On A Tandem?
    That Tony Kornheiser is a bit of an attention craving boor who says stupid things to draw attention to himself isn’t exactly breaking news, and by now most cyclists who surf the web have heard that Kornheiser said some stupid things about cyclists. And, in an unexpected twist, none other than Lance Armstrong got word [...] Read more…

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    Tour de Cure: Can You Spare A Fiver, a Ten Spot… or?
    Just a reminder, we’re still actively looking for contributions!! Our thanks to the folks who have already kicked-in; it’s sincerely appreciated. As a 25-year employee of Lockheed Martin and life-long cyclist, it was hard not to accept an invitation to join my fellow employee-cyclists in their quest to field a cycling team for the expressed purpose [...] Read more…

    -------------------------------------------------

    Santana’s Frame Deflection Test Rig, aka “Otto” (Part 3)
    Again, if you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2, you might want to do that first. Picking up where we left off in Part 2, with Santana’s old test fixture no longer available and their efforts to successfully use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to further enhance their tandem frame designs still maturing, Santana decided to [...] Read more…

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    Santana’s Frame Deflection Test Rig, aka “Otto” (Part 2)

    As mentioned in Part 1 (which you really should read before diving into Part 2, otherwise you’ll be a bit lost)… Bill had a 12-hour flight back from Taiwan and as he often does when asked a question via Email, on Tandem@Hobbes discussions and in person, he provided a very detailed, articulate reply that included quite [...] Read more…

  22. #47
    Too lazy to pedal Knubby's Avatar
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    Fyi TG, Co-Motion posted about about your blog on their Facebook page today.

  23. #48
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knubby View Post
    Fyi TG, Co-Motion posted about about your blog on their Facebook page today.
    Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Not being on FB, I'm at a loss here. But, thanks for letting me know. It probably explains some extra traffic that I noted today.

  24. #49
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Not being on FB, I'm at a loss here. But, thanks for letting me know. It probably explains some extra traffic that I noted today.
    http://www.facebook.com/CoMotionCycles

  25. #50
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
    Cool. Thanks for the link.

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