First post in tandems second post on bike forums. Used to follow the wreck.bikes* hierarchies on Usenet but have been away from enthusiast cycling for about 10 years.
The bike is a 98 Trek T-50 and is new to us as a gift from friends of the in-laws. They were the first owners and tandeming didn't stick for them so the bike is low miles. Under the stokers left leg, is the what I believe is called the "cross-over" chain ring. On our vehicle, that chainring is a double. There are two chainrings in parallel and without counting, it looks like the outside one is just a couple of teeth "shorter" than the one that actually has the timing chain on it at present. What purpose might that outside chainring have? Could it be to lower/raise the overall ratios for hilly/flat courses? If so, I imagine changing to the other chainring involves messing with the eccentric? Okay, that's one question.
What dealers within an hour or so of the greater Los Angeles area have expertise with tandems? I know Bicycle John's in North Hollywood used to but I haven't been there in about 10 years. I know Helen's can put me on a Cannondale but anyone else? The Trek was given to us and it'll serve to get us started but I know I'll soon be jones'n for something that's less of a tank.