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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 05-16-08, 10:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer, '73 Schwinn Super Sport, '79 Schwinn Twinn Sport 10sp tandem
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Rode the Twinn Sport to work today

Managed to get my new (old) Schwinn Twinn Sport 10-speed that I got last week, together enough to ride it to work today (Friday), barely. If you don't count getting the old rear 14-28 derailleur that I haven't replaced yet, hung up on the largest sprocket of the 14-34 freewheel that I did put on yesterday. My bad, should have put on the Shimano Altus I got a few days ago, or at least adjusted the old one so that it wouldn't try to get up on that 34-tooth cog. But no time, no time... I just got the alloy wheels and rear caliper brake on it and trued up. B*tch b*tch, whine whine etc. I managed to get it un-hung, and made it in running on the three middle cogs of the freewheel. Had two crescent wrenches and a hex wrench set in my pocket, none of which helped me adjust the derailleur to pick up the smallest or avoid the largest cog, great planning. The Altus goes on tomorrow.

That said, I saw quite a few other bikers on the way. Most were riding noticeably faster than me, one group blew by me like I was standing still. That happens a lot. Might have something to do with me being 70 pounds overweight and 54 years old? Naah.....

The good news is, nobody stopped to tell me my stoker had fallen off. But there's still the ride home.

That tandem is rapidly becoming quite a bike. I was used to the older 26"-wheel Schwinn Twinns, that weigh 65# and have 40psi tires, one or five speeds, dual mixte steel frame, and "up" handlebars. The Twinn Sport tandem came out later, with a lighter frame with front top bar, weighed 52#, and had 27" wheels and drop handlebars. I've replaced the steel wheels and rear drum brake, with alloy tandem wheels and a caliper brake. 116psi Continental Ultrasport blackwall tires, changed a few other things, a work in progress. It rides like it's on rails now, feels as slick as my Sports Tourer, very little rolling resistance, love those tires.

When I first got it, my bathroom scale said it weighed 52#. Now it says 47#, and that's probably as light as it's going to get. What can I say, it's an old Schwinn, a tandem, and not a Paramount. But when you get it up to speed, it really moves. And that indestructable Schwinn frame is good to have when the captain resembles a hippo more than a bicyclist.

Gas saved? Damned if I know, my Sienna gets around 21 mpg since I've been taking it easy on the gas and staying in the slow lane. As for CO2, I probably put out MORE with my puffing and wheezing (plus cursing that derailleur), than the car would have, so that's a wash.

I did notice, that every other biker I saw, had the deluxe uniform-of-the-day on: Tight black biking shorts, tight t-shirt emblazoned with logos I've never heard of, helmet with holes and grooves in it. Literally everyone had that, except me. I even forgot to put the normal rubber band around my pants cuff to keep it out of the chain, it only snagged once though. God bless black jeans, the grease doesn't show. I have to wonder: Does all that tourdefrance stuff save you as much energy as you spent putting it on? It wouldn't for me: Clothing is the least of my problems!

-Old Fat Guy Who Likes Bikes
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Old 05-16-08, 03:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
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As we have stated before, some of the cycling specific clothing does make sense.
Padded cycling short and gloves . . . try 'em. Jersey has 3 pockets in back to store stuff; zipper up front to regulate some airflow and usually materials are wicking (sweat). The bright colors do make you a bit more noticeable, and for a cyclist, that's a good thing. A good motto for us cyclists is: Cyclists should be SEEN and not HURT!
Cycling shoes? Stiffer soles let you ride further and clips keep feet in proper position.
Helmet? Cheap insurance for the head and yes the vents do allow air circulation.
You do not need to buy all this stuff at once . . . wait 'til some of this stuff is on sale.
Have had a few crashes (they happen when you least expect them) and a few altercations with car/pickups (survived 'em).
The main thing is you've the Schwinn running and you are using it!
As for being overweight, learn a new exercise: push away from the table! Skip desserts and lay off the beer and ride MORE!
Age 54? Yipes, at ages 75/73 we can't remember back that far!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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