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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-09-09, 10:54 PM   #1
DanRH
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Any double century riders out there?

I know USPSPRO is. I do 3-5 a year and have Knoxville Double Century (It's the staff ride) coming up this weekend and Death Valley Fall Double next month. The regular ride is the week after the staff ride, which I'll be driving my mini-van as a SAG vehicle. Anyway, I digress..

We haven't ridden the tandem on a double yet but I would love to. I'm not sure she's got it in her. We will be doing our first single later this month on the Riverbank Century (her idea).

So, any of you crazies here do doubles?
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Old 09-09-09, 11:43 PM   #2
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I've done most of them at one time or another. I think I have 4-5triple crown plaques sitting around. I stopped counting a long time ago. The Central Coast Dbl is my home one so I either ride it or staff it. I think I've ridden it 7-8 times over the years. I kind of stopped doing the southern ones back when Hugh Murphy was running them. He was a little spartan on the support. Since Planet Ultra took over I still haven't done any...for no particular reason. If I do one it's usually the Terrible Two, Devil Mtn, CCD, Grand Tour or Knoxville. They charge an awful lot to do those rides and I have a hard time justifying it when I can do a dbl from my house for free. Plus, I've moved on to ultra's like the Furnace Creek 508, Hoo Doo and RAAM. I'll be on the tandem at the FC508 this year. This will be my third 508 on the tandem.
There are lots of good doubles to break in your stoker on. I would suggest the Solvang Dble. It's one of the easiest and most beautiful! It's also very tandem friendly. A friend of mine did it in 8:45 on his tandem!
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Old 09-10-09, 12:41 AM   #3
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This was our first season of doing doubles, and our second year of riding tandem.

We wanted the triple crown, and wanted to do some hard ones (well they are all hard), but also ones that were close by (with the exception of Eastern Sierra, just cause it was a change in scenery and our wedding was too close to Terrible Two).

This year we did the following doubles:
Devil Mountain
Eastern Sierra
Mt Tam

Next Year it will probably be DMD, and Terrible Two for sure. Maybe Eastern Sierra again if there won't be a route change like there was this yr.

We want to eventually take a crack at FC508 in the near future.

First, we will see if the remainder of this year goes well.
Then next year, we will try out the Davis 24-hour Time Trial to see how that goes.

Not sure exactly, but will take it one step at a time.
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Old 09-10-09, 01:00 AM   #4
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This was our first year of tandeming, and my wife did her first 200 km ride this year also. We ended up doing four 200+ km rides in two months, with the pinnacle being a 300 km ride around the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia in one day. My wife's parents live on that road, so we did it on the tandem with one of her brothers on his single while we were visiting this summer. That would be about 14 miles short of an imperial double-century, but I think that the 10% climbs that it includes make up for this.

The tandem was a great way to do these rides, and for extra motivation / stimulation, I installed some small iPod speakers on the bike, and made an iPod mount for the stoker's handlebars, so she got to be DJ all day, which kept her happy.
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Old 09-10-09, 01:22 AM   #5
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Uspspro, you need to come to Paso Robles and do the CCD. I think you'll really enjoy it. The second half is pretty tandem friendly. It's not in the same difficulty league as DMD or the TT but it is very challenging plus it has some of the best scenery of any of the doubles.
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Old 09-10-09, 04:04 AM   #6
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Thanks. I've done CCD, Devil Mountain and TT as well. I love CCD (not TT as much) and look forward to doingit again. So far, I'm at 26 lifetime doubles. I do the staff rides (Knoxville and DMD) to beat the costs. It's a great way to contribute by volunteering and still get credit for Triple Crown if you finish the staff ride.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:59 AM   #7
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To date we've done 51, all on the tandem with no DNF's. We completed the stage race in 2006 on the tandem, which consisted of Terrible Two, Central Coast and Devil Mtn.

We'll be at Knoxville and then FC 508 in October.
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Old 09-10-09, 07:19 AM   #8
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We have done only one double: the Bass Lake/Power House double out of Fresno CA. At the moment we have no desire/ability to do any more.

Just curious, of those of you that responded, how many have done those doubles with your spouse? I know USPSPRO rides with his wife.
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Old 09-10-09, 07:25 AM   #9
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My wife doesn't ride the tandem. I've had several stokers throughout the years...
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Old 09-10-09, 09:01 AM   #10
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We have done only one double: the Bass Lake/Power House double out of Fresno CA. At the moment we have no desire/ability to do any more.

Just curious, of those of you that responded, how many have done those doubles with your spouse? I know USPSPRO rides with his wife.
All of them.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:19 AM   #11
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Sprinter: Are you the guys we met on the Mt Tam double this year?

Dan: We will be volunteering at Knoxville this year. The Quack Cyclists (Scott) let us work Knoxville to do the DMD staff ride. I guess you are doing SAG. We are working RS #2.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:27 AM   #12
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Sprinter: Are you the guys we met on the Mt Tam double this year?

Dan: We will be volunteering at Knoxville this year. The Quack Cyclists (Scott) let us work Knoxville to do the DMD staff ride. I guess you are doing SAG. We are working RS #2.
Yes, we also rode Eastern Sierra with you.
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Old 09-10-09, 11:28 AM   #13
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I think we have somewhere between 15 - 20 CTC Doubles, but most of the CTC Doubles have been on single bikes. We have cut down on the number of CTC Doubles and have switched to brevets. (We have been doing the Grand Tour workers ride...) Riding a lot of doubles gets to be pretty expensive by the time you cover the entry fee, the hotel, transportation, etc. I really appreciate the fact that brevets are significantly less expensive (the difference for us more or less pays for the hotel). We also very much like the "adventure ride" feel that you get on the brevets and nothing beats Paris Brest Paris as far as an experience. (By the way, qualifying for PBP 2011 starts in 2010 - that would be in four months!)

We started riding the tandem in 2006 and have ridden it exclusively since. We are very slow up hill, but we seem to hold our own on the flats and can descend fairly well.

We are generally back of the packers, but with five kids to deal with and little training time we think we are doing well.

With the exception of a few rides I completed when she was injured, all of the rides I have completed since we got the tandem in 2006 have been on the tandem with my wife.
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Old 09-10-09, 02:02 PM   #14
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Have never done a double century with stoker; however have done several double metrics, back-to-back centuries and over 100 centuries with her.
Our toughest ride TWOgether was the Answer to the Arizona Challenge (back in the mid-80s). 325miles in 3 days with 22,000+ feet of elevation gain and it was only 103 degrees when we finished on day #3. We were the only tandem there; it was sunny enough that she got sunburned right through her jersey! She did not volunteer to do that one again.
Have ridden half dozen double centuries in Michigan and Arizona on my single bike. My goal was to do one in 12 hours even; finally accomplished that.
Now in our mid-70s we don't do that any longer; however we're still out there . . . not near as far nor near as fast . . .
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-10-09, 02:09 PM   #15
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A good number of one-day riders on tandems noticed this year at the Seattle-to-Portland ride. The course was shortened a couple miles this year, but is reported as 202 miles.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:44 PM   #16
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Dan: We will be volunteering at Knoxville this year. The Quack Cyclists (Scott) let us work Knoxville to do the DMD staff ride. I guess you are doing SAG. We are working RS #2.
Cool, I'll be driving the Honda Odyssey (my love machine!) during the morning hours. I'll drop by at Berryessa and say hey! You guys riding the staff ride Saturday?
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Old 09-10-09, 09:21 PM   #17
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My son and I did our first double century this summer. The Seattle to Portland [STP] ride was well organized and we completed it in 12.5 hours. Our first 100 miles was 5.3 hours. We were very exhausted but be completed it in our planned one day. It took two months before my son told me he had a good time on that ride. When he got off and met Mom he was crying because he was so happy that he completed something that took us months to train for.
This tandem has been the best thing for me and my autisic son. We may not be the fastest but we keep going, and going, and going....
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Old 09-11-09, 02:59 PM   #18
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Zona, you and Kay are my heroes. You have me by about 10 years, but we want to "pedal on TWOgether too.
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Old 09-11-09, 06:24 PM   #19
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My captain (Mikedrevguy) has done the STP 7 or 8 times - 2 of those in a single day - on his single. This year, now that we've got the tandem, the goal is for the two of us to ride it in two days. This is the first time I've ever really thought I'd be successful at riding the STP, though it's been a goal for about 15 years. Can't wait!
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Old 09-12-09, 04:25 AM   #20
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My captain and I do the National 24 Hour Endurance Ride in Michigan every year ... guess that qualifies as a double century since we complete 200 miles in the first 12 hours. Then there's still 12 hours to go! We also do some of the 200k, 300k, 400k etc brevet series. Next year we'll do RAIN (Ride across Indiana) and some similar rides.
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Old 09-13-09, 02:50 PM   #21
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My son and I did our first double century this summer. The Seattle to Portland [STP] ride was well organized and we completed it in 12.5 hours. Our first 100 miles was 5.3 hours. We were very exhausted but be completed it in our planned one day. It took two months before my son told me he had a good time on that ride. When he got off and met Mom he was crying because he was so happy that he completed something that took us months to train for.
This tandem has been the best thing for me and my autisic son. We may not be the fastest but we keep going, and going, and going....
That is awesome ! Happy trails.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:36 PM   #22
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Well, I finished my 4th double for the year (one more to go Death Valley Fall), Knoxville DC in Vacaville, CA. 14K of climbing. This was the staff ride which meant there were only 25 of us out but it was fully supported. The Quack Cyclists is one GREAT group of guys who put on HARD Doubles (Devil Mountain Double and Knoxville). We had full support the whole ride, even with a SAG vehicle who trailed us for the last 60 miles.

Finished late, but we made an effort to stay together (which is hard because of the different level of riders). I felt great on the ride! Unfortunately, no tandems on this ride but I'm working on Kath to do this one for next year. Of course, if USPRO and his lovely wife show up next year, they will put us to shame!

And Kath and I woke this morning for our breakfast ride on the tandem. Boy was beat when I got home!

Here's a shot of the five of us at the end. Me on the right.
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Old 09-13-09, 10:43 PM   #23
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I've done six doubles this year on my single and am considering the tandem option, hopefully starting with the Death Ride next year. My wife, who is my normal stoker, thinks such events are crazy, so I need to find a willing stoker, and one who is a strong rider in his/her own right. My wife and I split our effort about 60/40, and a 75 mile ride like today (just finished the MS Waves to Wine ride on the tandem - back to back 75 mile days) feels like a century on my single. I also get significantly more upper body stress on the tandem when climbing which adds to difficulty.
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