Well folks, I am here to report back after my first organized tour on the KHS tandem. The Bay Country Century tour to support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation was held Saturday. What a nice day! The tour is held on the eastern shore of Maryland and traverses several counties with four ride distances, up to 100 miles. My stoker and I opted for the 63 mile metric. Her knees are not the best, and she had not ridden over 40 miles this summer so we played it safe. The rout was surprisingly hilly for being so close to the water. No sustained climbs, mostly flat but with plenty of little rollers. We practiced standing on these climbs and had it pretty much down by the end of the ride. My stoker on this ride stands about 5’4” tall and weighs I would guess under 120 and was a former competitive rider, having completed the Race Across America on a team back in the day, so I am sure all those factors helped us stand and climb well together. Our only real difficulty was a dissimilar cadence preference. Because of her knees, she likes to really spin especially when climbing as I prefer to slog a bit more. I altered my normal pedaling style to try to match hers by running up the rpms coming into the climbs and shifting gears quickly. If I found myself out of gears on the middle chain ring near the crest and she did not like the cadence, she would sometimes stand and I would stay seated! Or, we would both stand to crest the hill. This worked quite well.
Once underway, we quickly started passing riders who had started before us. At one point, we had 12 singles drafting us. We stopped at the first 2 rest breaks to get a snack and chat with friends, so once we got re-started we would catch some of the same riders again and they would draft us some more. It seems everybody loves a tandem on these rides… even the riders who are not riding the tandem!!!