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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 12-09-09, 09:25 PM   #1
pablopsd
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Can't believe we did this!

Well after 11 seasons of riding the tandem, which going back to the beginning was a huge accomplishment for my lovely stoker, we have started to do some night riding. The local club here does night rides on the East Bay Bike Path in RI. Went out and bought some lights, and we had a really nice ride last week in balmy mid 50's temps in December in New England. Well that changed last night. We actually went out in mid 20's last night. Hands froze up pretty quick, and the coffee stop was pretty quick. Gotta go get some new gloves. This is a weird mid life crisis! I think we are losing our minds!

Paul & Karen
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Old 12-09-09, 10:02 PM   #2
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We live in central California and anything lower than 40's is a NO GO for night rides. Can't even imagine what 20's fell like at 20-25 MPH!!!
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Old 12-10-09, 06:04 AM   #3
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Who said anything about 20-25 mph? Not here on a path at night in sub freezing weather after snow rain mix 2 days earlier. Of course we seldom ride that fast in the summer either!
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Old 12-10-09, 06:46 AM   #4
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Sounds like a lot of fun and congrats on 11 seasons. My wife and I are picking up our first tandem on Saturday and I can only hope that a decade from now I'll be able to share stories of our 11th season together. It's inspiring to see couples who are brought closer through tandem cycling.

One problem though....

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Old 12-10-09, 09:08 AM   #5
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Well after 11 seasons of riding the tandem, which going back to the beginning was a huge accomplishment for my lovely stoker, we have started to do some night riding. The local club here does night rides on the East Bay Bike Path in RI. Went out and bought some lights, and we had a really nice ride last week in balmy mid 50's temps in December in New England. Well that changed last night. We actually went out in mid 20's last night. Hands froze up pretty quick, and the coffee stop was pretty quick. Gotta go get some new gloves. This is a weird mid life crisis! I think we are losing our minds!

Paul & Karen
One of the hard parts of low-temperature night riding is you want to pedal fast to burn more calories and warm up but it's hard to find good enough lights to ride at daytime speeds. Lowest we've had this year on the tandem was -5 C - that would be 23F. Need decent overgloves (stoker wears mittens), thinking about shoe covers. And transparent 'sunglasses' to keep the cold air away from eyes. My night riding has been limited to commuting home from work after dark on my single.
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Old 12-10-09, 12:02 PM   #6
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I have to wear glasses, so that covers that. Winter time = growing the beard for work and riding. The Mrs. had on a balacava. I had my lighter winter gloves, as my others have long since died. Need to get some new ones. I just bought an awesome pare of Pearl Izumi winter MTB shoes. I use the old style SPD cleats on the tandem with a walking type shoe for more stability when holding the bike etc. These new shoes are Gore Tex outers with a qulited insulated inner liner. They were great. My feet always get cold, and that night the feet were fine. Just had on heavier socks too. The shop had to order some for the stoker, as she has tiny fee.

Ryan, night riding is difficult to photograph while watching for ice on the trail. If we get out again, I will take a picture of Providence for you. Not much to look at here of us. :-) If you really want to see the team, look for us on the picture thread on our triplet.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:01 PM   #7
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My feet always get cold, and that night the feet were fine. Just had on heavier socks too. The shop had to order some for the stoker, as she has tiny fee.
Now, keeping in mind that I have lived and/or ridden in Florida (home) or SoCal (2.5 years) my entire life, so therefore have NO firsthand experience ..... I DO have a friend in the Pacific northwest who swears by his cycling sandals for the cold!

Warmest, dryest shoe going, he says! His reasoning is that with a velcro-strap sandal, he can wear as many layers as he needs of base, cotton, Subway sandwich bag, wool, nylon, another Subway bag, and then something "cool" to attract the ladies! Obviously, you can't fit all that into the toe box of any shoe. He says his only problem with his feet in wet, 20 degree weather ... is sweating!

Do keep in mind, though, that he is also the kind of guy that could care less what people think, and will deliberately show up in sandals and mis-matched socks with a stuffed bear in his jersey pocket and ride a quad century in under 30 hours. Other cyclists in his area don't comment much on his choice of garb!
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Old 12-11-09, 05:43 AM   #8
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What lights do you have? Given extra length I use 2 or 3 rear lights on the tandem plus a headlamp and a blinking 'be seen' light at the front.

I just bought a new headlamp for 50 from Dealextreme - a 900 lumen copy of a Lupine model using I think a P7 Seoul emitter. I'm extremely pleased. I can now see all lumps and bumps in the road, and in flashing mode signposts light up around 4-500 metres away! It's a little excessive for commuting, more like a searchlight on full beam and a lighthouse on flashing, but finally cars don't pull out in front of me!
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Old 12-11-09, 07:36 AM   #9
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If you really want to see the team, look for us on the picture thread on our triplet.
I looked at every picture in that thread [twice] yesterday then when my wife got home from work I made her look at about the first 9 pages. I learned a few things-
A) Tandem couples come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and ability levels which was reassuring to me since I'm a fred/utility cyclist not a hardcore roadie or mountain rat.
B) Fact: Tandems just look cooler than single bikes.
C) Fact 2- Electric Boogaloo: Triplets, Quads, Quints, etc. look even cooler than tandems.
D) Eventually I'd like an "upright captain/recumbent front stoker" style tandem.
E) I can't wait to pick up my first tandem (tomorrow!) so I can add my wife and I to the picture thread.

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Old 12-11-09, 09:27 AM   #10
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