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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 09-25-09, 08:41 AM   #1
CGinOhio
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First bike tour on our Tandem

We completed our first multiday tour last week on our tandem. We rode 336 miles over seven days from Pittsburgh to D.C on the GAP and C&O trails. It was a blast! We are looking forward to future bicycle touring.

I posted this on the Touring Forum, but decided to cross post here since we did the tour on the tandem.

If you're interested in the details, the journal with pictures can be found here:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/CGtour2009

Just pictures here (just the highlights, 80 photos):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/3947517...48194222/show/

The whole enchilada (300+ photos)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/3947517...41908864/show/
CG

Last edited by CGinOhio; 09-25-09 at 01:39 PM. Reason: corrected flickr link
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Old 09-25-09, 11:33 AM   #2
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CGin, check your link to Flickr, it's throwing a 404. I'd love to see your pics, sounds like a great trip.
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Old 09-25-09, 01:31 PM   #3
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CGin, check your link to Flickr, it's throwing a 404. I'd love to see your pics, sounds like a great trip.
Thanks for the heads up. Link fixed.
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Old 09-25-09, 02:15 PM   #4
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Good show!
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Old 09-26-09, 11:34 AM   #5
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Wow! Thanks so much for all your hard work on your excellent fast website. And good on you both! Great trip. Gives me hope. Now on week two of training for next September's tour. Stoker has not rebelled yet, in fact she may be having fun.
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Old 09-28-09, 06:58 PM   #6
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Very nice writeup on the link
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Old 09-29-09, 07:50 AM   #7
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Looks like a great trip (and a lot of work).
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Old 09-29-09, 12:59 PM   #8
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Looks like a great trip (and a lot of work).
Thanks. There was a lot of preparation, but I wouldn't call it work. Hope it didn't sound like it in the journal. The shakedown trips were fun for both of us. Playing with equipment options kept me out of trouble this summer. We like that anticipation of a big trip. Something to look forward to.

We clearly overplanned the trip given its short length (and over documented it in the journal) because we enjoyed doing it that way
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Old 09-29-09, 01:26 PM   #9
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I think the planning is great. When I said "work" I meant that your beast looked pretty heavily burdened. How much did the whole rig weigh? We've done a number or tours but we're too soft to camp. We both like a nice shower and soft bed at the end of the day.
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Old 09-29-09, 01:26 PM   #10
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P.S. Another great thing about the planning is that others can benefit from your organization.
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Old 09-29-09, 02:01 PM   #11
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When I said "work" I meant that your beast looked pretty heavily burdened. How much did the whole rig weigh?
Ha!!! Yes you are correct, going up any sort of grade was the true definition of work (and a few other choice four letter words). The total weight on the road (bike, gear, captain, stoker...) was in the neighborhood of 400 - 410 lbs. Pedaling on the flats really isn't that bad once you get used to how long it takes to accelerate. You can burn yourself out real quick trying to instantly get up to cruising speed like you do unloaded. Up hills all you can do is gear down and spin. Even using the 26-34 combo I thought I'd die before we got to the top of the hill in Harpers Ferry. In theory a smaller chainring could help, but we are already going so slow it makes it hard to balance the bike. I've got tremendous respect for those touring by tandem through mountains.
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Old 09-29-09, 07:35 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for sharing the photos...they brought back some wonderful memories...for me, riding the AP and C&O is a vey special experience particularly if you know the history and/or have ties to the areas covered on those trails. very cool and thanks again.

Bill J.
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Old 09-30-09, 07:30 AM   #13
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400 - 410 lbs? I would have guessed more. I'm assuming that the bike & riders alone would be about 300#.
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Old 09-30-09, 08:47 AM   #14
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These are the weights when we left on the trip as best I could measure with a bathroom scale:
Stoker + Captain = 274 lbs.
Bike with racks & fenders = 52 lbs.
Handlebar bag = 9 lb
Front panniers = 19 lb
Rear panniers = 26 lb
Stuff on rack (tent & poles + sleeping bags & pads in rack bag) = 22 lbs
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Old 09-30-09, 09:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGinOhio View Post
These are the weights when we left on the trip as best I could measure with a bathroom scale:
Stoker + Captain = 274 lbs.
Bike with racks & fenders = 52 lbs.
Handlebar bag = 9 lb
Front panniers = 19 lb
Rear panniers = 26 lb
Stuff on rack (tent & poles + sleeping bags & pads in rack bag) = 22 lbs
This aligns well with our experience. Our recent Finger Lakes self-contained tour had us under 70 lb per bike in gear, with two bikes. I don't recall the exact figures, might have been closer to 60 before adding food bought en route. You gain some efficiency with two tandems (shared tent, cooking equipment, tools,...).
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Old 10-25-09, 05:59 PM   #16
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Hey Guys,
Had a question for you. I was showing the Mrs. your log and the route, mainly the Great Allegany Passage. We were thinking of maybe trying a stretch of that next season. Do you think it is rideable on a triplet? If we did something extended, we would need to take the little stoker too. The triplet turns even worse than the tandem. Was that trail really tight and twisty, where the triplet would have handling issues? If so, do you want to babysit? :-)
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Old 10-25-09, 09:00 PM   #17
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... Do you think it is rideable on a triplet? If we did something extended, we would need to take the little stoker too. The triplet turns even worse than the tandem. Was that trail really tight and twisty, where the triplet would have handling issues? ...
The GAP should be fine for a triplet. The trail itself is straight as an arrow. The surface is nicely graded. Shouldn't be a problem. The only aggravation will be the poles at the road crossings (to prevent vehicles from entering the trail) which are spaced very closely together. I doubt you will want to ride through them with a triple if you have panniers on. Even without panniers, you may opt to dismount, which can be frequent around Pittsburgh where there are many road crossings.

If you plan to site see or use lodging off trail, be aware it will usually involve a steep climbs/descents. Ohiopyle is reasonable, as is Cumberland. However, Frostburg, and Myersdale both involve a climb. Frostburg had a bike trail that switchbacked up to town with a modest grade, but the turns were too tight for us to navigate. No way to do it on a triplet. You would have to go by road up the steep incline.
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Old 10-26-09, 02:11 PM   #18
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What tandem model is that?
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Old 10-26-09, 02:15 PM   #19
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Kick ass job. accomplishing the first tour is awesome because it really raises the possibility and vision you have for the future of touring. Also, the C&O and the Gap trails, really all of those rails to trails are great. They make the enjoyment of touring incredible.
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