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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 05-23-11, 01:58 PM   #1
Carbonfiberboy 
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Our first century!

It's warmed up a bit here in the PNW. Our longest ride so far was a 78 mile century attempt at 40° and pouring down rain. We took a shortcut. We don't think anyone else finished, either. Mostly we've done 60-65 mile weekly rides, with a little midweek training, too.

We are looking at doing some longer, more mountainous rides this summer, though, so I thought a century was in order, even though Stoker was massively nervous about it. We scheduled a group ride to do it, with an 8:20 start time.

It rained all night and was still raining in the morning. It's still March here in the PNW. The weather report was for improving conditions, though. The start was in Woodinville, a little to the south of us, and it wasn't raining there. Route here:
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...entury-Tandems
in case anyone is interested.

No one else showed up, though, so we started off solo, riding north to Arlington. It sprinkled a little here and there, with temperatures staying in the mid-50s. Perfect riding weather.

This route starts and finishes with the worst climbs of the day. We took it nice and easy to start, and then just kept taking it nice and easy. On the climbs, we geared down and spun up. With 26 X 34 gearing, that was never a problem. Then we blasted the descents and kept a reasonable pace on the flats. We don't climb very well, but we're short and pretty aero, so that works well for us.

We took 4 breaks, which was good for both of us. At our last break at 78 miles, I was pretty out of it so we decided to take a full 1/2 hour break and have coffee (hot chocolate for Stoker) and scones. By the time I finished my scone, I had recovered enough to be able to chew and by the time we got up to go, we felt pretty good. Our last 22 miles were some of the strongest riding we did all day. The terrifying last ridge we had to get over wasn't bad at all. I told Stoker that we had at least another 100k in us, though she disagreed. I can tell, though.

So, another Perfect Ride™. 100.6 miles, 4300' of climbing, 7:15 in the saddle, 8:55 ET. Not too bad for a couple of geezers, if I do say so myself. Went to a Swedish comedy film festival movie afterwards, a perfect ending to a great day.
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Old 05-23-11, 02:47 PM   #2
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Nice going! Sometimes on these types of courses you really do wish for a bit of flat to get in a rhythm, but those are some nice looking descents. We do mostly 100K with an occasional Century, but the century would need to be max 5000' of climbing although not all climbing is created equal. Looks like the ride was a bit of a workout, but your satisfaction in completing it is well-deserved.
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Old 05-23-11, 03:37 PM   #3
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Well done Carbonfiberboy. FYI there is an organized century starting in Sedro Wooley on June 4th called the Swan Century - it is very flat - my wife and I will be riding it on our tandem. A week later on June 11th we will be riding the Flying Wheels Century that starts at Marymoor Park I think and has elevation gain similar to what you just did. Then, if you are willing to drive a bit, on June 11th we are doing the Ann Weatherill Century in Walla Walla - great rolling terrain in the Paloose and we will be doing some wine tasting the next day. We ususally don't do too many organized rides or centuries but decided to do so this summer. We'll also do STP in July 204 miles over two days) and we are thinking about RSVP2 in August. Are you doing any of these rides?
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Old 05-23-11, 05:50 PM   #4
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Congrats! We had our tandem nine years before it saw its first century last summer. My daughter (main stoker) had finally "gotten the bug" to do one, so on the century option day on the annual North Dakota CANDISC ride, we pulled it off. We had a headwind most of the way, but it went well. She's insisting we take the century option again on this year's CANDISC route.
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Old 05-23-11, 09:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
Well done Carbonfiberboy. FYI there is an organized century starting in Sedro Wooley on June 4th called the Swan Century - it is very flat - my wife and I will be riding it on our tandem. A week later on June 11th we will be riding the Flying Wheels Century that starts at Marymoor Park I think and has elevation gain similar to what you just did. Then, if you are willing to drive a bit, on June 11th we are doing the Ann Weatherill Century in Walla Walla - great rolling terrain in the Paloose and we will be doing some wine tasting the next day. We ususally don't do too many organized rides or centuries but decided to do so this summer. We'll also do STP in July 204 miles over two days) and we are thinking about RSVP2 in August. Are you doing any of these rides?
I haven't done an organized ride in a long time and our tandem has never done one. We set up rides with a small group with whom I've been riding since the 90's. The weekend of the 4th we're planning a Southworth/Seabeck loop of about 80 miles, the weekend of Flying Wheels we'll be out of town, and the weekend of the Weatherill we'll do about 80 miles on the Kitsap Peninsula. I've done the one-day several times, but Stoker isn't interested. If we did it, though, we'd do it one-day. Great tandem ride. If you're interested in any of that, PM me.
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Old 05-25-11, 05:19 PM   #6
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Carbonfiberboy - Sounds like you have some nice rides planned with good friends = much fun. It will be a two day STP for us as we would not enjoy ourselves staying on the bike long enough to do it in one. Looking forward to the parties at the end of each day as well. We have ridden with the Evergreen Tandem Club in the past although we had yet to ride with them this year. We will probably do some rides with them after STP. They are a nice group so we are looking forward to it.
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Old 05-25-11, 10:15 PM   #7
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Carbonfiberboy - Sounds like you have some nice rides planned with good friends = much fun. It will be a two day STP for us as we would not enjoy ourselves staying on the bike long enough to do it in one. Looking forward to the parties at the end of each day as well. We have ridden with the Evergreen Tandem Club in the past although we had yet to ride with them this year. We will probably do some rides with them after STP. They are a nice group so we are looking forward to it.
We've talked with folks in the ETC but we are a little more ambitious and enjoy more regular rides. For instance, this Sunday the 29th we will do our first "mountain" ride, going back and forth over Swauk and Old Blewitt passes for about 65 miles and 5000'. The idea of the century was to kick up the endurance a bit in preparation for these more interesting rides. Next Sunday we hope to do 80 miles to Seabeck and through the Tahuya hills.
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