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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 03-06-10, 07:29 PM   #1
Indykid
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First Ride

We finally caught mother nature looking the other way and managed to get our first ride on the Cannondale we bought back in January. We took it to one of the local parks and spent an hour or two riding and resting . My stoker and I are both in our 50s and have not ridden to speak of in decades. At some point we would like to try one of the organized rides. Obviously we should be comfortable riding the stated course distance, but what speed should we be able to average before we attempt a ride?

Bruce & Kelly
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Old 03-06-10, 07:43 PM   #2
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At regional tandem rallies there are usually choices of several length rides for 3 days. Groups tend to form that ride a certain pace.
The longer rides usually have the folks who keep their nose to the front wheel and hammer at 20+ mph.
The shorter the ride, the slower the pace.
Short rides will quite often have families hauling kids on trail-a-bikes and in trailers and some folks who are just not into the 'go-fast' scene.
Although we've seen a few younger riders hauling a trailer with a child and keeping up with the faster bunch.
At non tandems events there are again folks riding anything from 10 to 20+ mph averages. So you will find someone riding your speed.
For instance in the El Tour de Tucson (a huge annual ride around Tucson with 8,000+ riders) there are folks who will finish the 100 miles in 4 1/2 hours and the last ones come in after 10+ hours. But all are having a good time.
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
R & K/zonatandem
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Old 03-06-10, 07:55 PM   #3
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I don't know what specific organized rides you're thinking of, but most rides of any size will have a wide range of speeds. From a barely keeping the bike upright pace to screaming along faster than most singles can go, there's usually someone to ride with. My experience with CIBA in Indy is the majority of people are cruising in the 15-18 range. Personally I wouldn't worry about speed so much as comfort on the bike, working together well, and having a good time. Like I said, there's usually someone to ride with at just about any speed.
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Old 03-08-10, 01:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indykid View Post
We finally caught mother nature looking the other way and managed to get our first ride on the Cannondale we bought back in January. We took it to one of the local parks and spent an hour or two riding and resting . My stoker and I are both in our 50s and have not ridden to speak of in decades. At some point we would like to try one of the organized rides. Obviously we should be comfortable riding the stated course distance, but what speed should we be able to average before we attempt a ride?

Bruce & Kelly
Don't worry about the speed, just think about what distance you want to do. There will always be teams that are faster & slower. Find a group that's moving at a speed you find suitable and enjoy the ride!
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Old 03-08-10, 09:13 AM   #5
wobblyoldgeezer
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Originally Posted by Indykid View Post
Obviously we should be comfortable riding the stated course distance, but what speed should we be able to average before we attempt a ride?

Bruce & Kelly
I strongly suspect that by the time you've ridden together enough and far enough to be sure you're comfortable with the distance, sure of it because you've done the distance a couple of times, speed won't be a concern.

Enjoy the preparation, enjoy the event that you choose
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Old 03-08-10, 10:51 AM   #6
SambaMixte
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Just did the same, caught MN looking away and had first ride of the season here in Omaha. Stoker Jessie and I did 20 in "not quite cold" weather and had a great time. Like many other posters say, be comfortable first and you'll find your pace and pack. Enjoy the ride and beware wheel suckers on the flats!
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Old 03-08-10, 10:56 AM   #7
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Bruce & Kelly,

The weather was nice in NJ this weekend also and we had our first ride of the season, we even saw another tandem on our ride, I'm hoping that is a good omen. We ride a lot of organized rides and if you look hard you will find various "town rides" that are poorly advertised. Try googling "bicycle ride" or bicycle tour" with a nearby town's name to see what you find. The typical town tour is ran by the recreation department and may or may not have police closing the streets for you, these are usually slow events with families and folks dragging the old rusty cruiser out of the shed. We also ride in two big rides, the New York 5 boro bike tour (30,000 riders) and Bike Philly (3000 riders) in Philadelphia, both of these rides post a min and max ride speed, around 15 MPH max & 8 MPH min if I recall. I think if you can sustain 8 MPH then you can ride most any tour/ride that is less than 50 miles.

The one caveat about organized rides would be weekly bike club rides, these tend to be small and faster, although a good/large club will usually have a "D" level ride option for slower folks, a lot depends on the make up of the membership.
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Old 03-08-10, 10:02 PM   #8
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Have fun and comunication is everything.
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