Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Land of Pleasant Living
    My Bikes
    Trek 630 • Jamis Quest • Bilenky Tourlite and various others
    Posts
    768
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Yet another neophyte's report

    A tandem was my gals idea. I’m gone for 12 to 13 hours a day working and our time is scarce except on weekends. I like to ride bikes, tour, etc. She is a former rider, but it was about fifteen years ago that she took her last bike ride. She was thinking that this would be a good way to spend recreational time together without me riding off and leaving her in the dust (her words—I ain't nothing special). She didn’t want me waiting around or her trying to catch up all the time. So I thought about it and read everything I could find on subject and decided to start looking around for a used one, using all the advice to be found in this forum—which is considerable—thanks. We finally found a used tandem within striking distance. We drove about half a day to pick it up (I knew I was gonna buy it) three or four weeks ago and have gotten a few rides in since then. It’s two years old with less a hundred miles on it (looks like new) and while it was a little more than we had budgeted, I thought it was a good deal as the components are modern and there’s nothing that needs upgrading (at the moment, aside from the pedals and stem). The previous owner had the wheels built for loaded touring (48 Dyads) and that’s definitely on our agenda, so it fit our criteria very well. Wasn’t overly keen on the color but it’s grown on us—I like it now. It’s the one of the greenest things I’ve ever seen. Really.

    The rides have gone well. Mostly. After getting myself all “learned up,” we set out out on a warm-up cruise around the neighborhood and to a local parking lot where we practiced starting and stopping, turning and such like. We then set off for a low-key back street ride through town and that went good I thought—and so did she. She said she thought she might enjoy this tandem thing, so I took her to the LBS and got her some togs and a helmet. The next ride we took on local country roads—about 12 miles. Our riding technique improved, communication improved and she was exposed to a few bits of unpleasantness that, unfortunately, road cyclists are subjected to. First, a truck load of rednecks rode by jeering and shouting something unpleasant which neither of us could make out. At least they didn’t throw anything or slow down and “gas” us. A few miles down the road, a car slows and then stops to make a left and the driver behind them (and us) wasn’t paying attention and only realized what was going on just in time to swerve and brake (at about 55 mph) right in front of us. Fortunately, there was a bike lane or it may not have gone so well. Were we a couple of bike-lengths further on—it would have been ugly. Oddly enough, these things didn’t alarm her as I would have thought—I made the mistake that got her upset. We were approaching a 90˚ left hand curve at a right good clip. The turn is banked fairly high and I was thinking “hey, our first banked turn where we can lean into it.” Our communication had been great until then—I don’t know why I didn’t say anything to her, I just dove into the turn thinking she was into the spirit of things—she knew the road as well as I did. Wrong. We got into it and the bike’s front wheel started to scrub and then the bike started to wobble and finally skipped the front tire three or four times before I got it sorted out. She wasn’t appreciative of that manuver. I’m still hearing about that one. I’m finding out that riding a tandem is like driving a big-block, super charged limo. This bike doesn’t “dive” into corners. Not yet anyway. We got home and talked about the ride (as usual, which I think is good) and the next day she got right back on and we did another 15 miles. But no fast, banking turns. Though, I have to say—for a gal that hasn’t ridden in fifteen years—she can stoke. When I ask for power, she delivers. At one point I thought we had a heck of a tail-wind, but no, it was girlie-girl cranking it up. I think she’s liking it. I’ve caught her a couple of times now, perusing the cycling mail order catalogs and bike magazines. We plan on upping the milage as we get better and she’s talking a lot about our technique, or lack of it and I’m thinking this bodes well for the future—if I can manage to not frighten her again. I’m still figuring out this tandem thing myself. The only point of real contention (and I’m not fighting it) is our individual cadences. She likes a more torque-y/slower cadence so I let her call the gears to suit. When I get to pedaling too fast, she lets me know and I drop it back down to where she’s comfy. She doesn’t insist I drop it down to her real comfort level, but throws me a bone as a bit of compromise (while not mentioning it—but I know). I’m pretty lucky, I’m think ‘in.

    Thanks to all you tandem riders/forumites for all the advice and information—from pricing and buying to technique, gear and everything else.
    Last edited by foamy; 04-02-10 at 07:52 AM.
    None.

  2. #2
    Rod & Judy gracehowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    My Bikes
    Specialized S-works e-5, Davinci joint venture, Specialized Vienna Commuter
    Posts
    395
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great to see another TEAM on the rise!
    R&J

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It sounds like you're on your way! The occasional scary turn is normal. My wife often closes her eyes. Try asking her not to lean into the turns as she would on a single. Instead ask her to remain parallel to the bike frame in turns. That will allow you to do the leaning and keeping the bike balanced-similar to two up on a motorcycle.
    Last edited by professorbob; 04-07-10 at 08:45 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,842
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congrats to the stoker for getting on a tandem after 15 years of not riding!
    Congrats to the pilot for communicating and being understanding of stoker's needs.
    She is not a mind reader, so give her a heads up if you're going to do something different.
    Looks like you-2 are well on the way to becoming a successful tandem duo!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  5. #5
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Land of Pleasant Living
    My Bikes
    Trek 630 • Jamis Quest • Bilenky Tourlite and various others
    Posts
    768
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for the comments and encouragement. We were out this weekend and since the Flight Deck isn't working, I map our ride out in Google maps so as to figure out how far we rode. Stoker starts figuring out mileage versus time and she has come to the realization that we're not burning up the asphalt. I can think of several reason for this and she is aware of a couple herself. It's not a biggie in my book right now. We're still neo's and will be for a while. But that has me wondering: What is a respectable average speed for an efficient and/or average tandem team? What would be a good average to aspire to? It's very flat terrain around these parts.
    Last edited by foamy; 04-05-10 at 07:09 AM.
    None.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hollister, CA
    My Bikes
    Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
    Posts
    3,864
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Foamy,
    Average speed questions are much maligned, but I can give you a single point of reference; my wife and I are senior citizens (129 y/o) and have been riding for a bit more than a year. We've had our tandem since last May. We averaged just under 18 mph for a flat 100K. YMMV and hills really slow us down. 8-10% grade and we're not good for more than 4 mph on a sustained climb. Our lowest gearing is 24-34.

    We enjoy the tandem tremendously, but I'm in a bit of a slump. Sustained climbing takes a lot of mental fortitude and I can't be thinking about how much faster I would be climbing on my single. It's a team thing and the focus needs to be on the sense of accomplishment in getting to the top and the fun we'll have going downhill. My one regret is that I can't turn back the clock about 25 years when we would have been really fit!

    Sounds like you're off to a good start!
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    375
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rick T,
    We (103years) do a lot of rides in terrain similar to what you ride. I wish we could average 18 mph for a flat 100K. We did a 37 mile ride yesterday with 800 feet of climbing. Although it was windy yesterday the ride was basicly out and back, we worked hard to avearge 16 mph. We had done 5000 feet of climbing on Saturday, but even fresh I don't think we could have averaged 18 mph on yesterdays ride. As point of reference we did a Santana trip last year with about 40 other tandems, we could hang within the fastest 5-15 teams.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hollister, CA
    My Bikes
    Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
    Posts
    3,864
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    George,
    With apologies to all the Tandem BF'ers the fastest ride I could find was 17 mph for 50 miles with probably no more than 1200' of climbing (2500' on the Garmin). I have no idea where the 18 mph came from. If we climbed 5000' on Saturday we wouldn't be able to average 12 mph on Sunday. Management loves these longer rides especially where food is involved and I love the challenge, but they are big efforts and I'm (bicycling-wise) worthless for 2-3 days thereafter.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  9. #9
    Used to be Conspiratemus
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hamilton ON Canada
    Posts
    775
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    ...(her words—I ain't nothing special)....
    After reading that wonderful post, all I can say is "How wrong you are!"

  10. #10
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    My Bikes
    BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.
    Posts
    3,159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    What is a respectable average speed for an efficient and/or average tandem team? What would be a good average to aspire to? It's very flat terrain around these parts.
    It is easy to get an answer to this question by searching tandem at Motion Based. Essentially all hundreds of rides that come up appear to be tandems, and for each the distance, elevation and moving speed is recorded. You can click on the screen name of the person posting (probably usually the captain), to look at his other rides on his half-bike to see how fast he is on his own. From this you can get the sense of what a respectable average speed is. The slowest is around 11 mph, and the fastest around 20, the average appears to be about 15-16 mph.

    For example, on our 35 mile/3000 ft climb ride with the chichi's on Saturday, we averaged 15.6 mph.
    Last edited by Ritterview; 04-05-10 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Fixed link

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Weefay and I are in pretty good shape, have a combined age in the 40s and ride/workout constantly. That still only buys us a 21 mph average speed through a hilly 52 mile course. For the ages (and likely commitments) involved here I'd have to say 17-20 is a pretty awesome average speed. Hopefully we can still hold that in 30 years...

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    375
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ritterview,

    I think you did not start recording until the top of the first climb?

    For example, on our 35 mile/3000 ft climb ride with the chichi's on Saturday, we averaged 15.6 mph.[/QUOTE]

  13. #13
    Used to be Conspiratemus
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hamilton ON Canada
    Posts
    775
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As far as what average speeds to aspire to, here's a suggestion I'd make. While you're in your development phase, blind yourself to your average speed and let your stoker be the only one to know. Serendipity happened here: last summer I bought a wireless computer -- not one of those fancy GPS things, just a basic 20th-century cheapie -- for my handlebars and my rear-admiral stayed with her traditional wired device. We soon found that whenever we stopped at an intersection with a loop detector buried in the pavement to trip the stoplights, my wireless would immediately register 99.9 km/hr as the instantaneous speed. In addition, we were often riding in poor light conditions this past winter (instead of riding the tandem not at all like in a normal Canadian winter): using a headlight in flash mode also foxed the sensor into thinking we were making ~70 km/hr all the time. Initially I found this irritating, since it made my distance and average speed readouts meaningless, but I soon got used to not knowing. And then the epiphany: rear-adm. starts saying, upon consulting her accurate computer, "Hmmm, average speed only x...guess I need to work more on my spring training." Way more effective than for me to even hint that she seems a little sluggish on the hills, especially when I can tell she's working her heart out anyway and it would only be hurtful to say anything.

    Information is a funny thing. More is not always better, and the balance between disclosure and privacy is really important in a partnership.
    "I did not know that!" -- J. Carson

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    375
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=Oosbahnd&Weefay;10627240]ride/workout constantly. That still only buys us a 21 mph average speed through a hilly 52 mile course. QUOTE]

    I would sell my soul for those numbers tandem or single!I will not however seriuosly train or pay attention to nutrition

  15. #15
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    My Bikes
    BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.
    Posts
    3,159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    Weefay and I are in pretty good shape, have a combined age in the 40s and ride/workout constantly. That still only buys us a 21 mph average speed through a hilly 52 mile course. For the ages (and likely commitments) involved here I'd have to say 17-20 is a pretty awesome average speed. Hopefully we can still hold that in 30 years...
    I didn't think this >20 mph business too likely, as I looked through 500 tandem rides on Motion Based, and only about 2 rides averaged over 20 mph. That is until I came across the tandem rides of tomalperin, (aka Possum Roadkill), which are routinely >20 mph. So, it can be done, and a combined age of <50 isn't a requirement.


    Quote Originally Posted by chichi View Post
    ritterview,

    i think you did not start recording until the top of the first climb?
    Actually, I had the ride I had cribbed from Motion Based loaded on the Garmin, and it first showed up in Maps, but then disappeared. So on the top of Old Santa Cruz Highway I switched to Do Ride in Courses, and it reset. Grrrrr. The same thing happened to me on the Death Ride. The ride would have been slower if it had included our ascent on OSC, but would have had more total ascent to reflect it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,842
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Our fastest ever tandem ride was covering 43 miles in 2 hours even, with hills.
    We were in our mid/late-50s then.
    We soundly beat a 2-man tandem team who had stated at the start of the event that they were fast and going to take first place. Beat them across the finishline by a half hour. Kay was the first woman to finish but did not got that award as ". . . she was on a tandem" (she did not pedal???) . . . instead she got the trophy for 'the oldest woman' rider! We still have a good laugh about that one!
    Now in our late/mid 70s we toddle along at 11-12 mph . . . now it's 'Smiles' instead of Miles per hour!
    Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    168
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Fastest 10 mile time trial on the tandem was just over 25mph. Fastest double century was 18.4mph. Did the first 100 at right about 1 hour, however was the STP and that is a pretty flat course. We've lately not been in our best shape, however just struggled through the Solvang double and a tour to the coast pulling a 40 pound trailer.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kent, WA
    My Bikes
    2005 S-Works SR Equipped,1978 Tom Ritchie Road bike, Kuwahara Tandem
    Posts
    494
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Possum Roadkill View Post
    Fastest double century was 18.4mph. Did the first 100 at right about 1 hour, however was the STP and that is a pretty flat course.
    OK, now I may not be the fastest tandem rider or even the most know it all, but I have done the STP [one time and one day] and I could not imagine that anyone can do the first 100 in a hour. It took me 5 hours and 20 mins for the first 100.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    lol. Yea, a typo to be certain. Our friend here would've broken many world records, forever, had he averaged 100 mph for an hour. Not to mention the poor tires.

  20. #20
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Land of Pleasant Living
    My Bikes
    Trek 630 • Jamis Quest • Bilenky Tourlite and various others
    Posts
    768
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
    ...upon consulting her accurate computer, "Hmmm, average speed only x...guess I need to work more on my spring training." Way more effective than for me to even hint that she seems a little sluggish on the hills, especially when I can tell she's working her heart out anyway and it would only be hurtful to say anything.

    Information is a funny thing. More is not always better, and the balance between disclosure and privacy is really important in a partnership.
    I'm of this way of thinking, for sure. I had been thinking about a new computer, but they can be slave masters—particularly the cadence counter and I know I don't want to spring that one on her. She is trying very hard and it shows (to me at any rate). She is concerned about disappointing me and I have emphatically stated that that is not possible. I've told her that if she finds that this is not her cup of tea (and don't be doing it just to please me), we can sell the machine for what we paid for it and no worries, disappointment or hurt feelings. She's not buying into it though. She wants to ride and every night I get some kind of new feedback—some good, some bad, but all valuable, necessary information if we're going to be a viable, happy team.

    We're pretty much the same age as a lot of folks here, 101 years collectively. The speeds you folks are giving me are making me optimistic that we can ride respectably on an organized ride—which we intend to do on the first of May. A good friend started the Six Pillars/Character Counts Blackwater Century http://www.6pillarscentury.org/ and no, we're not doing the century. They have a 37 mile course, which is what we're working up to. Not too much for me but, it will be an accomplishment for us as a team (again, her idea). Mostly, I'd like for her to meet other cyclists, other tandems and teams (me too) and get a feel for this sort of thing. It was my first organized ride last year and I enjoyed it a bunch.

    Again, thanks everyone for your comments, links and input.
    Last edited by foamy; 04-06-10 at 08:57 AM.
    None.

  21. #21
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Just outside Kitchener, Ontario
    My Bikes
    Nishiki Continental, Bilenky custom travel tinker, home built winter bike based on Nashbar cross frrame
    Posts
    622
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Last year we had a goal of someday making it up to 16 mph for our average one-hour-ish ride. We were pretty close to 14 when the season started, and beat the goal by the time November rolled around. As with conspiratemus1, we too had no real winter break this year, just a few weeks of so-so skiiing, so the need for spring training is smaller this time around. But if we manage anything better than 24 km/hr that's a good ride. Our team is rapidly approaching the century in age, not so much in distance.

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    one of our less-than-sane goals is to do a century in 5 hours total. The other is less of an option to bail: we're riding from Portland to San Fransisco in a little under 2 weeks this fall.

  23. #23
    Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    My Bikes
    Custom S & S Bushnell Tandem, Eddy Merckx Ti
    Posts
    256
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    What is a respectable average speed for an efficient and/or average tandem team? What would be a good average to aspire to? It's very flat terrain around these parts.
    I think respectable is getting out as often as weather & lifestyles allow and riding at whatever speed you and your stoker enjoy.

    As to what averages regular tandem riders are seeing, a lot of that would depend on what your average ride is like, or you need to take your average from a larger sampling.

    Last Saturday, we rode 7 miles to a club ride, rode with the B group & ended with 44 miles at 18.9 avg.
    Sunday we rode on our own for 57 with avg. of 17.5.

    Most of our rides are on flat terrain, but last year we traveled to the next county 10-12 times to work on our hills & did a couple of hilly metrics. Highest avg. speed for any one ride was 39 miles with 19.7 avg. Lots were much slower. Total tandem miles for the year was 3440 miles @ 17.2 avg.

    Team age total is 100.

  24. #24
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    My Bikes
    BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.
    Posts
    3,159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Went out to see if we could break 20 mph moving average for our loop. Nope, 19.7. Too many stops, and it takes a while to get back up to speed.

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's one of the really nice parts of our loop: there are about 5 stops in total over the 50 miles.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •