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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 07-08-10, 10:27 AM   #1
coloroadie
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Mt Evans

My parents who are in their 80's sent us a 31st anniversary card that said "can't wait to hear how you celebrate this one" ... so we sent them this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzWTiGxHfmY

Enjoy - Jim & Suzy
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Old 07-08-10, 01:50 PM   #2
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Wonderful video! I drove up there in my '76 Dodge Dart back in '81. The air was so thin that if I pulled over to take a picture, the only way I could start the car was to let it roll backwards and pop the clutch in reverse!
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Old 07-08-10, 02:30 PM   #3
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Was up Evans way back in the eqarly 50s. Looks great!
Pass any cars???
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Old 07-08-10, 05:25 PM   #4
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Glad you enjoyed the video.

On the way up, we met a couple from Kansas who were driving and had to turn around at Summit Lake (1400' below actual summit) due to altitude issues (headaches, nausea). We also kept an eye on that and drank lots of fluids.

As far as cars - we planned a weekday ride to avoid typical weekend traffic. When following, I always try to give plenty of space (especially if they have out of state or rental plates) and act like another vehicle so drivers won't get nervous. Road conditions aren't great since it's covered in snow/ice 9 months of the year, and extra space is needed in case the cars kick up debris. Besides, i have precious cargo on board!
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Old 07-09-10, 01:56 AM   #5
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I rode solo up to the summit from Estes Park back in 1979 on "why not?" and a spur-of-the-moment when I was 24 years old and 70lbs lighter. I took 12 days off to explore the roads of the Rockies from estes Park to Mt. Evans via bicycle. I didn't have a "proper touring bike' back then for the trip...only a "sportster" SR/Shogun with a cassestte not really suited for the climb with my 180lb body and ~40lbs in the panniers. Soooo... I slapped on the biggest rear sprocket I could find on short notice and basically left it there and on the inner chainring. I remember hiking the bike a few times past Summit Lake to give my thighs a break on the way to the Mt. Evans summit parking lot. I spent a couple of hours at the summit, which included resting, taking in the scenery, and hiking up to the geological survey bench mark pin (I still have a photo of my foot next to that pin). The ride back down to Georgetown was wobbly and fun. I've always wanted to take another ride up that mountain on a properly geared bike. Thanks for the memories!
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Old 07-09-10, 07:23 AM   #6
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We did this on our tandem on July 4th about 4 years ago. We zip-tied an American flag to the rear rack. We rode from Idaho Springs. It was a real grunt. Not sure if we'll ever do it again.

Congratulations!
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Old 07-09-10, 09:27 AM   #7
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Very cool, Great photos and video...just curious, what gears and brake set-up did you have for the climb/descent?

Bill J.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:38 AM   #8
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When we did it, I think we used our Arai drum on the rear (along with V rim brakes). We normally don't have the Arai mounted. The switchbacks near the top are quite steep, sharp and frequent. However, the pavement is usually quite cool at 14,000 feet.

I don't remember how long it took us but it seemed like a really long time. I think single bike racer types can do the 28 miles and 6700 vertical feet in about 2 hours.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
We did this on our tandem on July 4th about 4 years ago. We zip-tied an American flag to the rear rack. We rode from Idaho Springs. It was a real grunt. Not sure if we'll ever do it again.

Congratulations!
Congrats to both of you on making the trip from Idaho Springs! I've done that route on my single several times, and it IS a challenging ride. On tandem, we had ridden Evergreen (Bergen Park) -> Idaho Springs -> Echo Lake -> Squaw Pass -> Evergreen before, but my wife had never ridden Mt Evans. So we decided to start at Echo Lake. She enjoyed Evans so much that she's already talking about doing it again ... and has even mentioned starting at Idaho Springs. If you found the trip from Idaho Springs to be a grunt, i'd suggest starting from Echo Lake and (if possible) doing it on a weekday when traffic is significantly lower.
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Old 07-09-10, 12:40 PM   #10
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Very cool, Great photos and video...just curious, what gears and brake set-up did you have for the climb/descent?

Bill J.
We used a 9-speed 34-11 and 53-42-30 crankset. Didn't need the lowest (30-34) very often, but when we did, it was a relief. The gradients aren't too extreme (a few 8-10% spikes) but the climb is relentless and of course there's the elevation ... there's a reason the FAA requires pilots to have supplemental oxygen at that altitude!

In terms of braking, we have a V-brake up front and BB7 road with 220mm Formula rotor in back and EBC Gold pads. To keep things cool, I use the rear disc for 80% of braking and couldn't be happier.


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Old 07-09-10, 02:01 PM   #11
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I don't remember how long it took us but it seemed like a really long time. I think single bike racer types can do the 28 miles and 6700 vertical feet in about 2 hours.
Well, the pros do it in about two hours. Here are the results from last year's race. This year's is merely a couple weeks away (eek!)

http://www.bicyclerace.com/results/2...al_Results.pdf
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Old 07-18-10, 08:49 PM   #12
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Nice work Jim & Suzy!!!

I have not been on the forum in a while (we've been on the off road bike mostly this year). In fact, I think our road tandem has a thick layer of dust on it right now - kinda sad... No Courage Classic or Triple Bypass for us this year either.

We have yet to ride above Echo Lake on that road. Its our list of "to-dos" though.

Off topic, what do you think about titanium on a tandem (feel free to PM me offline).

Hi to Suzy too -
Dan (and Bevin)
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Old 07-18-10, 09:12 PM   #13
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I've done it twice this year, (from Idaho Springs).
It seems like every time I ride it, I encounter dumber idiots than the time before.
Examples:
- Stopping and parking on the road, forcing everyone to go into the oncoming lane to go around them.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Stomping on the brakes to a complete stop before each hairpin turn. (nearly rear-ended the fool the first time he did it).
- Going around *blind* hairpin turns in the wrong lane.
- And the icing on the cake last time: Pedestrian stands there and watches me approaching at 35-40mph.
At the last possible minute she bolts across in front of me and I missed her by 3'.

I used to hang around and talk to people at the summit for an hour, but after feeling *really* crummy afterward, I now get off the summit ASAP to minimize the altitude effects.
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Old 07-18-10, 11:20 PM   #14
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Nice work Jim & Suzy!!!

I have not been on the forum in a while (we've been on the off road bike mostly this year). In fact, I think our road tandem has a thick layer of dust on it right now - kinda sad... No Courage Classic or Triple Bypass for us this year either.

We have yet to ride above Echo Lake on that road. Its our list of "to-dos" though.

Off topic, what do you think about titanium on a tandem (feel free to PM me offline).

Hi to Suzy too -
Dan (and Bevin)
We'll miss you on the Courage Classic this year ... are you guys in training again for Leadville 100? If you are, it looks like you'll have good company - see TG's blog post

Will reply about ti tandem frame in PM ... take care!
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Old 07-18-10, 11:33 PM   #15
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I've done it twice this year, (from Idaho Springs).
It seems like every time I ride it, I encounter dumber idiots than the time before.
Examples:
- Stopping and parking on the road, forcing everyone to go into the oncoming lane to go around them.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Stomping on the brakes to a complete stop before each hairpin turn. (nearly rear-ended the fool the first time he did it).
- Going around *blind* hairpin turns in the wrong lane.
- And the icing on the cake last time: Pedestrian stands there and watches me approaching at 35-40mph.
At the last possible minute she bolts across in front of me and I missed her by 3'.

I used to hang around and talk to people at the summit for an hour, but after feeling *really* crummy afterward, I now get off the summit ASAP to minimize the altitude effects.
Did you ride on a tandem or single? We generally find that a tandem attracts more attention, but your story about the pedestrian bolter is scary! Perhaps a lack of oxygen?

Also recommend riding on a weekday and starting early ... traffic is considerably lighter than weekends.

Watch out for that "wildlife"
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Old 07-19-10, 07:24 AM   #16
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Did you ride on a tandem or single? We generally find that a tandem attracts more attention, but your story about the pedestrian bolter is scary! Perhaps a lack of oxygen?

Also recommend riding on a weekday and starting early ... traffic is considerably lighter than weekends.

Watch out for that "wildlife"
Single.
I'd rather do it during the week, but my vacation time was all cashed out when another company bought us a few months ago.
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Old 07-19-10, 11:42 AM   #17
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We rode from Bergen Park to Echo Lake on Sunday on the tandem. 36 miles and about 3500 vertical feet round trip. Though we have in the past ridden all the way to the top, it was a bit daunting on Sunday when we got to Echo Lake and realized that it was still another 4000 vertical feet to the summit. I wonder if we will ever attempt to do this again.
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Old 07-19-10, 08:42 PM   #18
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We'll miss you on the Courage Classic this year ... are you guys in training again for Leadville 100? If you are, it looks like you'll have good company - see TG's blog post

Will reply about ti tandem frame in PM ... take care!
Yes, Leadville again. I swear we said we were done after completing it last year... I don't know what we were thinking to sign up again.

Yeah, there will be a lot of good company this year. Curious to see how many big bikes will be there, someone said 12, but I have not seen the cofirmed list.

I did reach out to Lieven (from Belgium) as the will be in Denver the week prior to Leadville. Hopefully we can meet up with them prior to the race.
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Old 07-22-10, 01:01 PM   #19
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We rode from Bergen Park to Echo Lake on Sunday on the tandem. 36 miles and about 3500 vertical feet round trip. Though we have in the past ridden all the way to the top, it was a bit daunting on Sunday when we got to Echo Lake and realized that it was still another 4000 vertical feet to the summit. I wonder if we will ever attempt to do this again.
Nothing cast in stone that says you must start in Bergen Park or Idaho Springs ... if it's the 14,000 ft vistas that you seek, just start Echo Lake and enjoy the ride together!
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Old 07-22-10, 01:13 PM   #20
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Nothing cast in stone that says you must start in Bergen Park or Idaho Springs ... if it's the 14,000 ft vistas that you seek, just start Echo Lake and enjoy the ride together!
Hey!
Don't break the tradition.
And besides, the 45mph descent from Echo Lake to Idaho Springs, makes up for the
THUNK...THUNK...THUNK...THUNK...THUNK...THUNK...THUNK...THUNK...
of the descent from the summit to Echo Lake.
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