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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 12-31-09, 09:47 PM   #1
pablopsd
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Suggestions from you climbing freaks!

Hey Everyone,
My lovely stoker has expressed interest in doing the Waterville Valley TT in NH in 2010. I have done it the past 2 seasons on the single, and I guess she is getting sick of watching me. Basically a 20 mile TT with 9 mile climb up into the valley then loop around and descend for 9 miles. Not crazy 10-12% or anything like that just steady for 9 miles, with one little kick at 7 mile mark. Anyway, just wondering if you climbing gurus approach hill climbing training any different on the tandem than you would on the single. Some things to keep in mind. She only rides the tandem. She has no interest in getting or riding her own road bike. Been there and tossed that money away long before we bought our first tandem. So we are talking about a rather large difference between our abilities. Our goal for this year is to spend more tandem time like we used to before kids, and I will sacrifice my single training time, which is fine. We have never been huge mileage team, even pre child, just with work and life etc. Hoping to pick that up this year too. We do not have major hills here in the immediate vicinity, but we do have a place in NH that we can go and ride from and get some hills. SOme decent stuff locally for short repeats. Have been married and tandeming long enough that I will not even go near team weight! SO other than increasing mileage and doing some hill repeats, any other suggestions? BTW it snowed again here today, and was in single digits earlier this week, so right now riding is a little limited. Of course there is that debate of new heating system VS new Calfee.........
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Old 12-31-09, 11:18 PM   #2
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There was recent thread on standing. I find that standing periodically during a climb is helpful because it alternates different muscle groups and I can actually go faster standing than sitting. I stand more than my stoker so I do it less on the tandem it does take practice. I wouldn't do anything drastic that is likely to cause injury, overtraining or make it a chore. Like you said maybe some hill repeats at a slightly harder pace than normal. I am always for gradual improvement not big increases in a short time.
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Old 12-31-09, 11:24 PM   #3
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I can sympathise with you about the Calfee. See my post on that.
Heating system? Buy a space heater at Costco for $50
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Old 01-01-10, 05:14 PM   #4
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Ride, ride and ride some more . . .
Done a few time trials on tandems . . . keep stoker tucked in and hammer!
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Old 01-04-10, 09:38 PM   #5
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Look/buy Arnie Baker's on-line book "Bicycle Altitude Training Ride" at www.arniebakercycling.com, we have learned a lot while training for the Markleeville Death Ride this 2010... especially training on long climbs while keeping ourselves in the aerobic range of heart rate (wherein neither of us are breathing hard). We go slower, but enjoy the long steepies more and have a lot more left over for the rest of the ride.
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Old 01-05-10, 08:30 AM   #6
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Have you tried spinning classes? My wife loves them! That would allow you two to be in good shape when the weather turns.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:05 AM   #7
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My take on training for climbing in an area without long climbs:

http://everestchallengex2.blogspot.c...t-landers.html
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Old 01-05-10, 10:28 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys. Will look into those links when I have time. We actually we bringing the tandem indoors last year and doing video with the tandem on the trainer last season with my nephew a few times a week. Hoping to get going on that again, as these roads are pretty well covered with snow, sand and slush. Keep the suggestions coming!
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Old 01-05-10, 10:38 AM   #9
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If you're going to be riding on the trainer, and you want to train for climbing, prop the front wheel up. That will help mimic the climbing position on the bike.

Then do lots of steady state intervals in that position.
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Old 01-05-10, 11:59 AM   #10
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When climbing on our tandem I tended to spin more than when on a solo (I think this is common). I don't know why, I guess it just feels more comfortable than pushing the bigger gears that I would solo.
However recently I have been dropping our climbing cadence to what I normally use on a solo bike, and it is definitely an improvement in speed. It is a little harder to keep the bike smooth with the extra torque and lower rpm but that is improving also. The hills seem shorter too, because when you use the granny gear and start spinning it is like they go on forever.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
Have you tried spinning classes? My wife loves them! That would allow you two to be in good shape when the weather turns.
We are enjoying the tandem climbing benefits of that now at our local YMCA. It's also making my commute stronger.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:31 PM   #12
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I'm going to be a dissenting voice on the Spin classes. In my experience, unless you find one that is really designed for cyclists, the program is not specific enough for race training.

Also, they tend to gravitate toward shorter more intense efforts, wheras what you're going to want for time trial preperation is longer intervals, such as 2x20 at threshold.

Spin class once a week isn't going to hurt you, and its better than the couch. But, assuming you're self motivated, a specifically designed program using a trainer is going to give you more benefit than spin class.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:57 PM   #13
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It is difficult at times to judge our efforts as I am a stronger cyclist than the Mrs. When doing our videos, I try not to blow her up! Of course that goes back to last year. We had an OK season this past year, and hoped to try and ride over the winter outdoors. I am riding inside tonight, with my nephew and his girlfriend, but my stoker is recovering from a really bad cold, so she is taking it easy. Hopefully she will ride Thursday. we are going to do separate bikes indoors this winter I think. I picked up a nice spin bike for her, and I will be on my rollers.
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Old 01-06-10, 12:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I'm going to be a dissenting voice on the Spin classes. In my experience, unless you find one that is really designed for cyclists, the program is not specific enough for race training.

Also, they tend to gravitate toward shorter more intense efforts, wheras what you're going to want for time trial preperation is longer intervals, such as 2x20 at threshold.

Spin class once a week isn't going to hurt you, and its better than the couch. But, assuming you're self motivated, a specifically designed program using a trainer is going to give you more benefit than spin class.
Spin classes have serious limitations and are not for every one. My wife is a very social person and we enjoy taking the classes togheter. When you have to get up at 4:20 for a 5:00 am class with a group of people that you know and care about... it helps you develop discipline and brings you out into another social network. As far as the workout you get what you want/can out of it.
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