DW and I were on a 100K organized ride this past Saturday after two nearly cycle-free weeks following a tough 95 mile ride in the Marin hills. I wasn't feeling particularly strong, darn business travel has been cutting into my cycling, so up comes this short pitch at mile 30 or so that was definitely over 15%.
I stopped a said innocently, "we should walk this", but in the emancipated kingdom of tandemville stokers have 2 votes for every captains vote, so up we went. The next 35 miles featured a persistent battle with cramps my muscles having been shredded on that short pitch. We eventually found a grocery store and I bought Tums, potatoe chips and gatorade and thus fortified I was able to continue the ride. Lunch, of course was at the top of a 1/2 mile 10% climb which we walked.
Following this mishap I explained in my best simplified engineering lingo the challenge of getting the tandem up these really steep pitches once the stoker is max'ed out. That didn't go well, but we recovered both literally and figuratively and we will continue challenging ourselves on the tandem
In reality, this was a character-building ride and fair payback for my having made a 34 mile mistake two weeks prior turning the Marin 100K into the Marin 150K
Also on this ride managed to snap my LH Campy shift lever with 15 miles to go - oh well.
Anyone else have tales out of school to tell?