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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 06-15-13, 06:41 PM   #1
VastCrew
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Northampton Trail

Anyone happen to be out this afternoon riding tandem on the Northampton trail?

Possibly riding a Calfee??

I was going the opposite direction and couldn't get turned around quick enough to say Hi!
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Old 06-16-13, 11:39 AM   #2
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Oh Well, I knew it was a long shot ! Has anyone ridden tandem on the Norwottuck trail. This is located in Western Massachusetts. We have gone several times but we have never ridden tandem out there. It is a pretty great trail for anyone interested in going. About 11 paved miles however my ticker at the end recorded 25. There is always quite a collection on this trail of biking, walking and even rollerblading. We have always been a little intimidated to take the tandem with all the obstacles! Of course there are the intersections that require stopping to yield to the traffic as well. Just curious to how this has worked for others in the past!
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Old 06-16-13, 01:30 PM   #3
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We're from Connecticut but we have a place in Vermont and we stop and do rides in the Northampton and Amherst area at least several times per year. We've riden this trail as part of longer rides several times. It's nice but it can be crowded on weekends. We prefer it on fall weekdays when we have it basically to ourselves. The roots buckling up the pavement is troublesome in someplaces, just have to keep the stoker informed!.
A local friend was telling me about how when they first paved this trail they used ground up glass as a filler in the pavement and this causes many flats as the small chips come to the surface. I guess we've been lucky, as we've had no flats on that trail yet.
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Old 06-16-13, 04:34 PM   #4
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Yes, the roots can be a hassle. Our concern is usually a seat or trailer on the back and those blasted roots are just unavoidable. I think they improved the bridge side, not too many harsh bumps towards that end.

Chipped up glass would be an awful filler! I hope we don't have problems with that!

We are still on the new side of tandeming. Not quite a year yet and we hang the bike up during the long New England winters so we have plenty of technique to work on. We racked up the miles last year but usually we prefer hitting the roads with as few obstacles as possible. I think riding on as trail would be helpful when we are trying out a new seat or dialing in the height or things along these lines that would require frequent stopping. Just don't want the trail to be be more difficult then fun!
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Old 06-16-13, 06:15 PM   #5
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The Columbia greenway in Westfield is nice. There is traffic, but not quite as much as on the Norwottuck trail. You catch it on Shaker Country Club located on Shaker Rd. in Westfield. Take it south, it goes quite a ways into CT, I estimate it's around 40 miles each way.
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Old 06-16-13, 07:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip on the Columbia Greenway! We'll put it on the list!
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Old 06-16-13, 08:01 PM   #7
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I've ridden it with a single bike, but not a tandem. By the way, the reconstruction work is supposed to start soon to correct the issues with glass and tree roots. I think it will also be widened in some places, but not everywhere. I think it will be closed in phases for construction, so one segment will be closed at a given time while other segments are open.

My wife and I did a long tandem ride on the Cape Cod rail trail last fall. That was really nice. It was out of season, which made for less traffic.
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Old 06-17-13, 06:42 AM   #8
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I've heard great things about the Cape Cod Trail. A bit wider then most trails? Can you clarify for me, only a small portion is actually a trail, maybe 7 miles? Then the rest joins in with the road and you have a designated shoulder of the road marked for cycling?
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Old 06-17-13, 07:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by VastCrew View Post
I've heard great things about the Cape Cod Trail. A bit wider then most trails? Can you clarify for me, only a small portion is actually a trail, maybe 7 miles? Then the rest joins in with the road and you have a designated shoulder of the road marked for cycling?
The rail trail has 22 miles of paved off-road trail. It doesn't go all the way to Provincetown at the tip. There may be a marked on-road section like you heard about, but we didn't get that far. Here's some info on the rail trail: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/ccrt.htm
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Old 06-22-13, 07:38 PM   #10
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We rode the Manhan Rail Trail today and it was excellent! Still in the Western Mass area. Maybe a bit wider compared to the Norwottuck Trail and much less traffic on the trail. A few more hills maybe but nothing aggressive, try it if you have the chance!
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Old 06-25-13, 09:45 PM   #11
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The Norwottuck sort of connects with the Manhan trail in Northampton. The plan is to connect it to the Columbia trail in Westfield, which becomes the Farmington Trail in CT. When completed, the Farmington trail will go all the way to New Haven. So you'll have trail from New Haven to Northampton, then over to Belchertown. I have heard a rumor that the town of Southampton has decided not to participate in the connection. Does anyone have good info on this? BTW, I have ridden the tandem on the Norwottuck. Yes, it is bumpy!
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Old 06-27-13, 06:23 PM   #12
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I think the Southampton link may still happen, it's just not happening very fast. (Edit: it does seem to be moving forward, see here: http://fofsg.org/2012/11/)

The Norwottuck reconstruction work just started, so parts of it will be closed in phases for the next 14 months or so. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.s..._reconstr.html

Both trails should be awesome when they're done!

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Old 07-19-13, 08:32 PM   #13
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The Norwottuck reconstruction project schedule is now posted. The following link tells which sections will be closed and when, and also suggests on-road alternative routes: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr...n-project.html
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