We've done a couple of CC tours on the Erie canal trail and are currently planning a tour on the GAP trail this summer. You can find my journals on crazyguyonbike. We chose to do cc touring because its more comfortable and requires less gear, we do go camping, but with a vehicle.
We chase around Colorado with this :
Started with a bob because it was a great deal and cheaper than two racks and 4 panniers, since then, we added a rear rack with usually a trunk. Yes, it's 12 feet long but follows like a dream, even down CO mountain passes. It does add some weight , which we are constantly trying to eliminate.
In a word, pay attention, the weight does push us down the hills, I try to catch he wind when I can and use brakes only when needed, trying to keep them cool enough so if we NEED them, we have them, that does mean some fast descents but no problems so far!
Not to change topic but we are wanting to take our first tandem touring vacation. Not sure if we want to be self contained OR try a touring company so we are supported.
Has/can anyone suggest :
A. a good touring company
B. if you have done both which did you enjoy more, self contained OR using a company?
C. How about your favorite route/destination. We live near Houston, Texas so we would like to drive somewhere out of state where it may be a little cooler than here in late June. At least less humidity. (late June is our vacation time) I know it sucks but wife is a teacher and I own a small business. That is our slowest time of year and seems to be the best to get away, plus our anniversary each year.
Because we are driving if we do a self contained it would need to be a out/back or a circular??? (not sure if that would be correct term?) route so we end back where we started. I really hate out/back rides.
Moonwalker, another idea, I spend, literally hours on the web researching an area we are interested in, find a loop we like, plan stops, make a list of lodging, dining, repair shops, points of interest, etc, and just go for it, adventure is part of the fun! And besides that you get to do the trip many times in your mind, double pleasure.
I've never been on a Santana sponsored rally, but from everything I've read, they tend to be on the upper end of the experience (I want to do the New Zealand ride, but it's a little out of our budget at the moment). And as it happens, they have a tour through the Oregon / Washington Columbia Valley this July. http://santanatandem.com/Events/WA12.html As a Oregon resident, I've driven most of what I believe to be their basic route and think it will be a hoot! (The only reason we're not doing the tour this year is that we'll be touring in the San Jaun's for my wife's birthday)
In the summer of 2010 we did Portland Or to Washington Dc on our Periscope. 57 days of sure bliss, biking every day. We stayed indoors every night and loved every minute of the trip. This year we are off to Europe for a months tour ,starting in Amsterdam and following the Mosel and Rhine rivers once we get to Luxembourg from Amsterdam. Tandems are the way to go.
Wife and I had toured the entire west coast of the U.S. from Canadian to Mexican borders on single bikes, including the Olympic Peninsula with a memorable stay in a cabin in Sequim. In 2005 we decided to try touring on a tandem. We outfitted our '86 Gary Fisher MTB tandem (the only way I can get her to ride off road with me) with panniers front and rear, rented a pickup, and drove to San Francisco for the last edition of the San Francisco Grand Prix. The day before the race we returned the rental truck and spent the next day riding around the race course. On Monday morning we loaded up the tandem and set off southbound.
I had the expectation that riding a loaded tandem would be easier than riding a loaded single touring bike. I was surprised that it took a great deal more effort. On the descents through Big Sur we used both rim brakes and a drag brake on the rear wheel, operated by the stoker.
Broke a spoke in Lompoc (there's a song in there somewhere) on the 40 spoke rear wheel and made it to Buellton where we discovered a second one broken. Luckily the mechanic at the shop there had the tool to remove the drag brake. He replaced the spokes and refused to accept payment, even the $20 I tried to palm him.
Arrived back in San Diego two weeks later at 9 pm, just as the boys at our LBS who got us ready were locking up. Next morning we discovered two more broken spokes in back. We ordered a 48 hole Phil Wood tandem hub and spent $800 on a new rear wheel.
It was a memorable experience, but I think we'll be back on singles next time we tour.
For the OP, we just did our first self-supported tandem tour (CC/hotel). We carried about 35-40 lbs of luggage (rear panniers, trunk bag, handlebar bag) from San Fran to the Mexican border (685 miles). It was lots of fun. We did a van-supported tour in Tuscany last fall (475 miles) and not only was it nice of have the luggage in the van, we enjoyed the socialization with the others in the group in the evenings. Either way is loads of fun.
Yes, da Vinci, we love the color. Thanks
My wife and I have done some short credit card touring from San Luis Obispo to Ventura.
I have to say it is one of my favorite ways to spend a vacation. Hoping to do more and longer this year.
Unearthing this thread, because I am still looking for an example of a rear rack known to fit and work on a Calfee tandem. I know that this or that brand or model should work, but I'd be a lot more confident ordering the make and model that actually has worked. I've done some image searching, and tandems with racks are easy to find, and Calfee tandems are easy to find, but I can't find a Calfee tandem with a rack.
Mrs. R is down for a one-night credit card tour foray, so to dip the toe in touring, and I've got to find a rack to carry her panniers.
Except for a trip this year, we toured exclusively on our tandem. It's heavy, so bags don't seem to change the riding experience much. The nicest thing: never getting separated on hills, etc. Stoker gets to take photos and make sandwiches. Half the tubes to flat.
I started using a handlebar bag for the first time this year: I won't tour without it ever again. Apart from holding the map, having access to snacks, phones, camera is great. Not every bike responds well weight on the bars, though. I expect most tandems to be just fine.
my bikes: http://fastwagon.blogspot.com/p/bike-gallery.html
Do you have a handlebar bag brand or model to suggest?
www.TheTouringStore.com. I chose the LP-10 Set as the Lone Peaks are a fully USA product (recently returned to production after some factory problems) while the Orties are fully a German product. Pricewise they were almost the same. The LPs are now available in a new bright yellow color with black accents which really is highly visible at night. I found I liked the LP handlebar bag mount better than the Ortie one. I ended up routing all of my brifter cables down through the gap in the back of the bag mount which really cleans up the area nicely, keeping the cables out of the way of my other bar mounted accessories. I recommend the LP although the Orties are very nice also. PM me if you want some pix of the LP's installed
We love our handle bar bag. Stoker often adjusts layers and we can just keep pedaling while she takes off a vest or jacket hand to me and store in the bag. Good handlebar bags open from the rider side so you can leave them unlatched and the forward motion keeps it shut. She uses too many layers to fit in pockets. No more shoving stuff under the jersey.