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Organized Ride Selection Criteria (tandems)

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Organized Ride Selection Criteria (tandems)

Old 04-17-11, 09:48 AM
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rdtompki
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Organized Ride Selection Criteria (tandems)

Wife and I did the Tierra Bella yesterday, the Century minus a truly ugly out/back 3000' climb for a total of 80 miles. We saw only 2 other tandems on the ride. The 100K had perhaps 2500' of climbing, the Century over 6000'. The weather is usually (and was yesterday) very good, the rest stops excellent as well and the roads generally very good. I would definitely rate the 100K as tandem-friendly.

What criteria do the tandem teams out there use to select organized rides?

Our criteria: less than 5000' for a Century, scenic (Sonoma, Marin, Chico (yes, Chico, CA), San Luis Obispo); if not too scenic, then something flatter for a change of pace.

I do think many tandems teams have been riding for years and tend to do more of their own thing having done all the organized rides in the past. For us this is all relatively new and we like riding "with" 1999+ of our friends.
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Old 04-17-11, 03:09 PM
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gracehowler
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WE have only ridden 2 seasons, but a large group for us to ride with is 50 bikes, so organized events are out! We do like variety, but nearly impossible to go very far around here witout lots of elevation gain. Prpoud of you for all your long rides already.
R&J
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Old 04-17-11, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gracehowler View Post
... but a large group for us to ride with is 50 bikes, so organized events are out! ...
R&J
Unless the organized ride is a mass start we're seldom riding with much of a group. A fast tandem can collect wheel suckers like flies on jam, but rolling terrain and steeper climbs/descents aren't conducive to drafting. We just enjoy the ebb and flow of being passed/passing. Occasionally, one of the clubs will have a tandem ride that might get a decent turnout, but usually our club rides are with singles who can invariably climb faster. The flatter rides are generally too slow for a tandem; so we find on the larger, organized rides we enjoy the company however brief, ebb and flow wise.
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Old 04-18-11, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
What criteria do the tandem teams out there use to select organized rides?
I don't think we are the average tandem team, if there is such a thing, so YMMV. We tend to select rides that are NOT hilly and 50 miles or less. We generally don't do the "name brand" charity rides because of the required high minimum pledges. Typically we look for bike club rides and "town tours". Often the town tours have some type of escort and have lots of novice cyclists so the tandem acts as a cycling ambassador. While these rides tend to be short and slow they are fun which is why we are riding twogather in the first place, we usually rack up speed/miles when we are on our own.

As for crowds we've done Bike New York, aka the 5 boro bike tour, on the tandem so everything is cake after you've experienced that mass of humanity.
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Old 04-18-11, 10:09 AM
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We ride the tandem on any ride that we would ride our single bikes on. On multi-day rides we take a few tandem specific repair items such as the tandem cables, disc brake pads, spare tire, and 2 shims for a smaller single bike seat post (one shim for the seat post and one for the stoker's stem). We also leave a spare rear wheel in our van at the start in case of rear wheel problems thinking that someone is usually going back to the start every day and could get our spare wheel.
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Old 04-18-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DCwom View Post
I don't think we are the average tandem team, if there is such a thing, so YMMV. We tend to select rides that are NOT hilly and 50 miles or less. We generally don't do the "name brand" charity rides because of the required high minimum pledges. Typically we look for bike club rides and "town tours". Often the town tours have some type of escort and have lots of novice cyclists so the tandem acts as a cycling ambassador. While these rides tend to be short and slow they are fun which is why we are riding twogather in the first place, we usually rack up speed/miles when we are on our own.

As for crowds we've done Bike New York, aka the 5 boro bike tour, on the tandem so everything is cake after you've experienced that mass of humanity.
We're the same as DCwom described, except we don't mind hills. We shy away from rides that require pledging, over 50 miles, or more than about 200 miles from Pittsburgh. (That last stipulation narrows it down quite a bit!)
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Old 04-18-11, 10:35 AM
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Rick...we are a lot like you in that we do a lot of organized rides. We do one or two a month and generally look for full centuries with less than 7000 ft of climbing. We just did the Ride for Literacy out of Ventura on Saturday and it was a typical one for us...mostly flat along the coast up past Santa Barbara, then fairly hilly inland half ways back and then flat for the last 20 miles or so. All in all maybe 4000 ft of climbing..200- 300 riders well spread out... much to our surprise, we were the only Tandem. Overall a great ride, great support, great weather, good energy from other riders ..... typical of why we do organized rides.

Wheelspeed....will you do "Pedal Pittsburgh" on the tandem....how much climbing is that?

Bill J
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Old 04-18-11, 11:31 AM
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I'll do pretty much anything on the tandem that I'll do on the single. Everything from Tour de Tucson with like 2000ft of climbing and 10,000people to the Auburn Century at 140miles with 16,000ft of climbing. Climbing isn't really a criteria for me (can be for my stoker though). I like fun rides with fun people. That's my main criteria. I can ride a century by myself anytime I want. If that's all I wanted to do I would never pay to do an organized ride.
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Old 04-18-11, 09:48 PM
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We're Florida folks and don't really venture out of the southeast. The most climbing we've done (and plan to do) has been the Cheaha Challenge. Otherwise, we do the local rides with 20-40 people and collect tandem flies on the flats and downhills. We typically do one of two organized charity rides that have meaning to us. Often for the charity rides my daughter becomes the stoker and my wife rides her single. It's great family time and my wife has a guaranteed draft. We've seen few tandems at organized rides but have never ridden with them. We'll chat at the start but usually get dropped on the climbs and start looking for other people to visit with.
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Old 04-19-11, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by specbill View Post
...

Wheelspeed....will you do "Pedal Pittsburgh" on the tandem....how much climbing is that?

Bill J
Yep! Definitely plan to do the Pedal Pittsburgh on the tandem this time. We did the 25-30 mile loops on our singles the past two years, but we're going to try for the 50 mile loop on the tandem this year by starting earlier and allowing all day with lots of breaks. I don't know how much climbing but we have a granny gear.
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