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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 04-25-10, 08:56 PM   #1
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Chico Velo Mildflower Tandem-Centric Ride Report

Disclaimer: old folks on tandem

Wife and I rode the Mildflower 100K this morning. Definitely a tandem-suitable event, but the Honey Run climb (only climb on the Mildflower) was a long grind for us. We were passed by too many singles to count. I'm very pleased we didn't have to stop; 6 months ago we couldn't have made this climb non-stop. The downhill from Paradise had us pulling 3 singles at speeds up to 48 mph, but from now on we're going to save our energy on downhills since I was toast the last 15 miles (into somewhat of a headwind)

Swag: tote bag, water bottle and cool map. Who could as for more.

Staff: uniformly friendly.

Parking: no problem at the start - we got there about 6:45.

Registration: We registered Saturday afternoon so can't comment on Sunday am crowd. With a last name beginning with "T" I was able to walk right up to the registration desk.

Vistas: didn't know the area around Chico. Some very pretty terrain. The last bunch of miles through the orchards would be fine without a headwind. Word has it that the Table Mtn. climb, while shorter, is exposed and can get hot for the Century riders. We hope to find out next year.

Rest Stops: Organization was fine. Food was ok, but not comparable to the Tierra Bella. Still, we're just looking for some palatable calories. There was a "lunch stop" right after the downhill. I don't know why they diverted the 100K folks to this stop; it's placed there to support the century riders who will have ridden the Table Mtn. loop prior to this stop.

Route Marking: No problem with the arrows, but even though the route is simple a route sheet would be nice for checking mileage. Still, the cloth map is pretty cool. They did have flag people at some critical junctures.

SAG: didn't really see any SAG and didn't find a cell phone number, but we didn't have any problems.

Post Ride meal: Big diversity of tasty food: tri-tip or veg. tamales, salad, black beans, pasta (x2), fruit, etc.

Ride Statistics: We averaged 14.4 mph. We're desperately in search of slow tandems to draft. Haven't looked at the ride data yet, but we were doing ok until the flats.

Anyone else ride this?
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Old 04-26-10, 05:04 PM   #2
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We really enjoy going up and doing any of Chico Vello's rides in their series when we can. Great area for riding and great people. Have missed their Wildflower ride for the last 4 years because of an annual conflict with another (non cycling) committment that has priority. Hopefully we'll make it one of these years.

Speaking of Metric's and Century's.... the number of options for cycling events this weekend, May 1st -2nd, in the Calif and Nevada area is huge! One of them that is particularly very tandem friendly is the Delta Century out of Lodi...Fun, flat, good food, etc....
We are signed up to go over to Nevada for Saturday's Tour de Fire...first time for that one for us...hope the weather holds.

Bill J.
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Old 04-28-10, 04:13 PM   #3
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Rode the 100 mile route. 18th consecutive yr. Very windy all day, ride time was 5hr.15min. Were in pretty desent shape and it's been more difficult in the past. Was hoping to break 5hrs. but we kinda cruised the last 15 miles. Had a great time, but didn't see many tandems. We were on a green/blue Co-Motion. No cling-on's at all.
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Old 04-28-10, 04:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
Very windy all day, ride time was 5hr.15min. Had a great time, but didn't see many tandems.
Wow! 19 mph for 100 miles, suprised you saw anything!
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Old 04-29-10, 08:50 AM   #5
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Wife does all the site seeing.
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Old 04-29-10, 10:59 AM   #6
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We did the 100 mile (little less this year as route was changed from last) in 6h15m on our old Burley. It was our second consecutive Chico Wildflower. This will be a regular event for us, as well as friends who did their first tandem century there this year (way to go Team Bison!). We left at 7:15 this year which was a mistake as we were always behind the Cytomax curve at each stop, and the line was long in Paradise for the uber apricot bars. Also it put us in the middle of the peloton on the Paradise climb which was a challenge in navigation at 5-9 mph among a dense pack of inexperienced riders. Last year we left at 6:00 and so lines were shorter at stops and the ride up to Paradise was less busy. Again the ride was well organized, the fairgrounds offered clean, grassy camping with decent restrooms. We skip the Saturday night meal as it's not worth the $20. Had a blast, enjoyed pulling a few cling-ons at 21-25 mph on the last hot, windy section. Only saw a few tandems but as usual got plenty of positive vibrations, accolades, etc., from solo riders.
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Old 04-30-10, 08:17 AM   #7
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Next years a long way off, but it would be fun if all the tandems could meet up at a set time and ride TWOgether.
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