Riding at home instead of at STR 2017

A little bit bummed that we weren’t able to fit the 2017 edition of the Southern Tandem Rally into our calendar this year, but will hopefully be able to make it work in 2018.

Haven’t seen but a handful of photos from a few friends on Facebook, but from what we have seen it looks like the weather was fantastic and that everyone had a great time visiting with long-time friends and enjoy the great routes around Salisbury, North Carolina.

From left to right: Lisa, Linda, Eric, Betsy, Mark, Ryan, Christen Audrey.

Speaking of ride updates, the post-ride report from last week’s September Tandem Club of Georgia (aka, PEACHES) ride has made it to WordPress. The ride was held in Newnan, Georgia, with six teams participating.  You can see a small collection of photos at the PEACHES Blog: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/18192750/posts/1603941692

As for us, we were able to get out on Friday morning for a very nice ride from the house. It was our mid-distance loop and even though we decided to take it at a comfortable pace we ended up with one of our faster average speeds for the year.  I’m guessing last Saturday’s workout at the Beautiful Backroads Century may have played into that.

We returned home from an overnight trip on Sunday morning and after getting ourselves sorted-out, eating a little lunch and doing a little work on a noisy front hub on the tandem we headed out once again for a loop ride from the house.  Given that it was a little later in the day it ended up being a pretty darn warm ride for late September.  But, we needed to sweat-out some toxins so that was fine too.  It was just good to get out and spin our legs and like Friday’s ride, we actually had a pretty good pace.

It’s always a good weekend when we can get in a couple rides on the tandem.  Again, somewhat disappointed that we weren’t able to get up to Salisbury, North Carolina for the three days of riding with a lot of our friends at the Southern Tandem Rally, but then again it was nice not having to make the 5 hour drive home after the event as I had a lot of yard work to do back at home before returning to work on Monday.

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Beautiful Backroads Century

A Little Background

Aside from “The Rally in the Valley” one-day ride back in May where we teamed up with our friend from the Clemson, South Carolina, area on our triplet it’s been a very long time since Debbie and I signed up for a non-tandem cycling event.  In fact, I hard to think long and hard about when we last did any kind of charity ride event.

It turns out that the last time we “planned” to do a charity cycling event where less than one out of 200 bikes might be a tandem was the Beautiful Backroads Century (BBC) up in Cartersville, Georgia in Sept 2013.  I say planned, as after doing a weather check at 5:00am  on the morning of the ride I concluded it would be a wet ride and made the command decision that we’d blow-off the ride and sleep-in.  We knew we’d made the right call when the rain started falling around 8:00am… about the same time as the BBC ride start. Looking at the weather radar, it looked like it was rather wet up in Cartersville so it was nice being all toasty, warm and dry doing some things around the house.

Well, four years later we decided it was time to give it another try and a couple of weeks back I went ahead and registered us for the event.  It was actually a co-worker who mentioned the ride to me and that got the entire process started.  We’d actually talked about inviting her to join us on the triplet for the ride, but Debbie’s enthusiasm for that arrangement waned a bit so we never extended the invite.

The Weekend Before Our Ride

However, we definitely knew that we’d be riding it on the tandem and before heading out in a large group like that I knew the tandem’s shifting woes would need to be resolved.  So, about two Saturday’s back, after I’d finished doing some work on a new-to-us motorcycle’s suspension we carved out a couple of hours so we could get out on the Calfee tandem for the first of at least two rides over the 3 day weekend. This would also give me a chance to see how well the new front derailleur would work.

The weather was a bit cooler than when we’d last ridden on Friday the 8th, but the sun was shining and it made for perfect cycling weather. Sadly, the shifting on the tandem quickly became problematic and I’ll be darned if I know why, other than thinking that I’d simply not tightened-down the pinch bolts on the cable ends enough. However, the bigger problem was that I’d left the tool I’d need to make any adjustments at home so we had to nurse the mis-shifting bike home. Things really got screwed up when the chain jumped off the big chainring and got wrapped around the rear derailleur. I got that sorted out but could tell that the shifting had been made even worse by that little incident. That said, while the shifting was an annoyance it was an otherwise delightful ride.

Our second ride came on Saturday morning, September 9th.  Before getting out on the tandem we first had to run over to Harley-Davidson of Atlanta so we could pick up our 2013 Road King, which was having some issues and needed the brake and clutch fluids changed. Kelly had called around 3:00pm on Friday to tell us it was ready for pick-up, but not wanting to get stuck in traffic trying to get back home we deferred the pick-up to Saturday morning.

Back at the house we swapped the Harley for our tandem bicycle and headed out for a somewhat shorter than normal but more spirited ride on what was another lovely day. We were riding about 1-2 miles per hour faster than usual and that was a good thing given we were only working a little harder than normal and not killing ourselves to go fast. And, the adjustments I’d made to the shifting were all spot-on and nothing “changed” during the ride.

The Day of our Ride

This past Saturday morning we were vividly reminded of at least one reason we began to shy away from these types of organized rides: you gotta get up early on a weekend !  Really, I’m up at 5:00am and in the office by 6:10am five days a week, do I really need to be getting up at 5:30 on the weekends??    Well, yeah… if you want to go out and ride with a few hundred other people and the start time is 8:00am at a location that will take you a little time to drive to.

Thankfully, the ride starting point was a mere 30 minute drive from the house in light traffic so we didn’t have to leave the house until 6:45am as Debbie had picked up our registration packets on Friday.  I think I was up around 4:00am and Debbie finally stirred around 6:15am.  It didn’t take us long to get ready, noting I’d packed the tandem in the truck on Friday night.

After arriving at the Budweiser Brewery in Cartersville which served as ride central for the event, we made our way over the starting area so we could locate and visit with some of the other folks from Lockheed Martin’s cycling team.  No, Debbie and I didn’t have matching Lockheed jerseys so we went with our compliment-garnering Hawaiian print jerseys from Voler & Blacktop Cyclery in Bakersfield, California.

We’d forgotten how much fun it was to be at a large, non-tandem cycling event with all of the various different levels and types of riders on hand.  We actually missed getting out with single bike riders for an event like this.  Just hanging out a shooting the breeze at the gathering area around the start / finish point was really enjoyable.

One of the other Lockheed Martin riders had some type of camera on his bicycle and I was later advised by our cycling club captain that Debbie and I had been caught on his bike cam just before the start….… and then just before we decided to go off the front of a large group of cyclists to get into some cleaner air.  Yes, yes… i know.  Center line rule violation.  Hey, they don’t call it the Beautiful Backroads Century for nothing as the roads are nearly void of any vehicles on Saturday mornings at 8:00am.

We also snapped a selfie our ourselves around the 40-mile mark so we could see if we were still having fun or looking a bit fatigued as we’d ridden the first 36 miles pretty hard and really didn’t have too many 50 mile rides under our belts.

Thankfully, we were still feeling fresh and the temps never really made it out of the low 80’s by the time we finished our ride at 10:30.  We found one of our team mates enjoying some of Budweiser’s product in the big lunch tent after the ride and joined him for a short while as we ate our very nice event-provided lunch. It think it was around 11:15 when we finally packed up and headed for home, arriving in the driveway just before noon: about perfect timing!

We’ve both decided that we enjoyed the event so much that we’re going to search out the ride calendar and begin to do more of these.  After all, it was on these very types of rides in and around the Atlanta area that Debbie and I first started to log miles on the tandem some 20 years ago this past August 2nd.  Hard to believe that 20 of our 24 years as a married couple have been spent out riding our tandem bicycles.  It’s a beautiful thing!!

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Co-Motion Cycles – Dan Retires & Dwan Goes It Alone!

In case you missed this news out of Eugene, Oregon over the Labor Day weekend:

You can read the full story at The Register Guard by clicking on the following link:

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35893854-75/co-motion-co-founder-going-solo-at-tandem-bicycle-company-in-eugene.html.csp

 

 

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Tandem Time… It can be hard to find!

Life is Good!

I think I may be neglecting my TandemGeek blog a bit of late as keeping my journal up to date for my mother’s consumption seems to be sapping a lot of my writing juices.  So, forgive me for “poaching” a few lines from last weeks’ other blog to bring readers up to speed on where we are with our tandem cycling interests.  It’s not that we’ve lost interest in tandem cycling, it’s just that we’ve successfully gotten ourselves involved in so many other varied things that it now makes finding time for tandeming a bit more of a challenge.  On the bright side, we’re certainly not getting burned-out on tandeming!!!

However, to properly set-up last week I do need to mention that on Tuesday the 15th I began to have some dental related issues, e.g., a very sensitive lower left jaw and molars.  It was just an annoyance at first but by Thursday the 17th I was popping Motrin and applying Benzocaine and asked Debbie to see if our dentist could see me on Friday.   She succeeded in getting me an 11:30am appointment so I left the office around 11:10am on Friday the 18th and decided that if I was in any shape to work on Friday afternoon I’d just do it remotely from home.  The initial prognosis was, my teeth were OK and I was having a periodontal flare up. I thought I’d cracked a tooth or something more serious just based on the pain but I was OK with the other diagnosis if it meant no further dental work and a happy mouth in a day or so.  Yeah, well… it was another sleepless night on Friday, about the fourth in a row.

As Saturday the 19th came around I was able to keep the level of dental discomfort in check by eating Ibuprofen like candy to the point where I was good enough to allow Debbie and me to head out on the tandem for a 25 mile ride from the house on our local loop.  It was pretty darn warm out in the sun, but the low humidity made for very pleasant cycling weather so long as we were moving.  Sitting at stoplights, not so much fun.

We were back at the house around 11:00am where we relaxed on the breezeway for a few moments before I turned my attention to several hours of yard work.  I was feeling a bit gassed from the lack of sleep, but what are you going to do, eh?

We had a fairly busy Saturday after our ride what with the yard work and our typical Saturday night out at the local watering hole. Again, it was another sleepless night back at home.

The plan for Sunday the 20th was to get in another tandem ride, but one that was a bit longer than our usual loop.  Given my lack of sleep, I was up early enough to get Debbie’s car washed before it would be time to head out for the ride.  It had probably been a couple of weeks since the rain had let up enough to make washing her car worthwhile, so it was sorely in need of a good bath, inside and out.

With the car washed and back in the garage I think it was about 9:15am when we finally headed off on our tandem ride.  Things were going well up and until we ventured onto the Seven Hills loop — something we hadn’t ridden in well over a year or two.  It was at one time a really nice, low-traffic ride through some beautiful back roads in Pauling County.

Yeah, well… add in a few thousand new homes, shopping centers and clogged up major arterial roads that put folks on those same narrow back roads as a shortcut and it’s the last place you want to be cycling.  Seriously, it was quite awful. And, to add insult to injury, the shifting on our Calfee tandem decided to act up once we hit the steeper hills and needed to use our “alpine” gearing.  Sadly, the tandem wanted no part of shifting down into the smallest chain ring so I had to make a couple of on-road adjustments in and amongst all of the traffic.

Sadly, the combination of my dental discomfort, lack of sleep and angst from the traffic and mechanical issues with the tandem had me being a bit-short tempered at Miss Debbie’s expense.  Oh, and did I mention that it was hot?  And by hot I mean really hot, like upper 90’s to 100’s on the black asphalt hot.

So, the mixed grimace and smiles in the above photo taken just 1/2 way through the ride were probably a lot more stressed looking by the time we finally made it home around noon.  Honestly, I was never so glad to be off the tandem and I swear we’ll never head out to the Seven Hills area to ride again; ugg!

After putting the tandem in the work stand and fiddling around with a few adjustments I finally came to the realization that I should have changed out the Campy Record front derailleur for a Shimano Ultegra model when I switched out the shifters.  The Campy had “worked OK” for the big to middle transitions, but was always balky when it came time to shifting into the granny / alpine gear. And, today had been the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

A quick check on ebay brought up the exact dark grey Shimano Ultegra FD-6703-G Grey Triple 34.9mm Clamp On Front Derailleur that I’d need for the Calfee.  It was a brand new take-off from a seller up in Ohio.  His opening bid hadn’t been snagged and the auction was just a day away from closing so I made a good bid and assumed I’d have the piece of kit in my hands in a few days. Well son-of-a-gun if someone else didn’t throw in; dagnabit. Oh well, it only cost me an extra $5.00 and for the $52.00 it was money well-spent.

The derailleur arrived on Thursday the 24th along with some new KMC ti-nitrite coated “gold” chains and the Calfee was looking good again and “seemed” to be shifting better than it every had with the correct front derailleur now in place.  Funny how Campy and Shimano are always just different enough not to work well together.

In the meantime, by Tuesday the 22nd my toothache had not improved one-iota so I had a follow-up appointment in the dentist’s chair on Wednesday the 23rd.  The visit began with an x-ray which now revealed the crack in the tooth that I’d originally through had been the source of my dental pains.  Our dentist opted to try using just a crown to stabilize the tooth to eliminate any pain from the tooth moving around and that ended up being an abject failure.

So, Thursday we were back on the phone and it was decided that what I really needed was a root canal which we scheduled on my off-Friday the 25th at noon.  Once the dentist got into my tooth he discovered that one of the segments of pulp and nerves was seriously infected which fully explained my condition: good thing I’d gone on antibiotics Wednesday afternoon!  The root canal procedure took about 1.5 hours all told and there were some tense moments when it was thought the tooth would be a goner. However, everything was finally sorted out and by late Friday night I was finally pain-free.  That lasted until around 3:00 on Saturday the 26th when the temporary crown popped off; really!?  I was able to flush out the crown and tooth cavity and pressed the crown back on which has only popped-off once since then.

Sadly, between the Friday dental appointments, some friends having a 25th anniversary wedding vow renewal event Saturday afternoon which had us out-of-pocket until 5:00pm, and then a birthday party for two of the granddaughters on Sunday at noon we never were able to make it out on the tandem for a post-repair shake down ride.

Suffices to say, I’m anxiously awaiting that opportunity.  However, at this point I’m not sure when we’ll get to do that!   Our dance card is pretty full and then there’s the weather to contend with as I’ve got to go back to the dentist on Wednesday the 30th to have my root canal finished, short of the final / permanent crown which will come a bit later (I think).  The rain from Hurricane / Tropical Storm Harvey will also begin to arrive here on Wednesday and looks to be ever-present through Monday, making the Labor Day weekend a bit sloppy.  But, then again, we already had plans to be out-of-town on Saturday and Sunday and then Debbie has to go to yet another granddaughter birthday event at noon on Monday.  So, it’s not looking good for a tandem ride in the near future.

I think our next best opportunities will be the Beautiful Backroads Century out in Cartersville, Georgia on Saturday, September 16th… which would be the first time Debbie and I ventured back out to a large, non-tandem specific organized ride in several years. Not sure why that seems tempting, but it does. And, there’s a Tandem Club of Georgia ride down in Newnan, Georgia, on Sunday, September 17th too. We’ve not made it to many or any of those this year for some reason.

This also reminds me that I still haven’t firmly committed to our attendance at this year’s Southern Tandem Rally over in North Carolina on the September 20th – 22nd.  Guess we need to do or not do that pretty darn soon!  If only we could know what the weather would be.  Historically, STRs in North Carolina during the fall seem to get more than their fair share of rain: not a fan of driving 5 hours up I85 in the first place, never mind if the weather’s not going to be exceptional!  Do we roll the dice or….???

And, well… here’s the real challenge. We still have friends who want us to head out on motorcycle day trips, visit with them out on the lake where they all have boats and/or we have kind of gotten spoiled by our monthly trips to the North Georgia Mountains for a get-away weekend now and again.   It’s not that I’m complaining, but it does make for a busy life.  I guess that’s a good thing.

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Precision Tandems – August Blow-Out Sale Through the 31st.

Our friend Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems in Kansas wrote to let us know he found himself in a giving-back mood and has decided to blow-out several tandems, wheelsets and offer up an across the board 10% discount on all non-sale items (and let me tell you, he’s got a LOT of inventory, including hard-to-find, new-old-stock parts) with free shipping on orders over $150.

So, if you were already thinking it was time to move up to one of the newer open-frame performance tandems, or to upgrade your older open frame tandem for one with newer technology, now would be a great time.

Quite frankly, I’ve taken a peek and if I was ready to upgrade I’d jump on one of those tandem deals!  We’re talking about 20% – 30% off MSRP on Co-Motion and Calfee tandem models.  In fact, I’m actually thinking about picking up a spare set of Velocity wheels and would be all-over the composite Rolf’s if we were doing time trials now and again.

More details at their website but act fast, these specials end on August 31st.

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20 Years on the Tandem

Hard to believe, but we’ve now been riding tandems for 20 years.  There are a lot of fond memories, amazing friendships, adventures associated with the past two decades and I’m happy to report, some of the most enjoyable times we have continue to be when we’re on the tandem or tandeming with friends.

Yes, we’ve branched out a bit and other pursuits and live events have reduced the amount of time we can spend doing “the tandem thing” but through it all tandem cycling remains the single greatest thing we can do for “quality time” together, be it just the two of us riding with others.

It suffices to say, our lives were changed forever and for the better by that visit and our introduction to tandem cycling.  This is a video I created back in 2013 for a presentation at the Tandems East Open House that kinda captures our life on the tandem.

However, since we’re celebrating that key milestone when we acquired our very first tandem (we’ve since owned seven others including 3 off-road tandems and a triplet), I should probably use this occasion to recall the story about that fateful day. Rather than trying to stretch my memory to recount the entire experience, I was able to find something I posted to the tandem sub-forum at BikeForums.net back on August 3rd, 2008 that provided a pretty detail report.


Our Visit to Tandems Limited & Our First Tandem Bicycle

We scheduled an appointment with Jack & Susan Goertz at Tandems Limited in Birmingham and made the 2.5 hour drive on Saturday morning, 2 August 1997, arriving one hour early because I neglected to account for Alabama being on Central Time vs. Atlanta on Eastern. We were somewhat surprised to find ourselves in a subdivision instead in a commercial district and quickly learned that several of the tandem speciality dealers run their businesses out of their homes as a hobby in addition to their full-time jobs.

Anyway, the morning started with the Santana-prescribed “First Ride” program whereby Jack took me out on the back of their brand-new Co-Motion Co-Pilot tandem so I would have an appreciation for what Debbie would experience as the stoker. The Goertz’ neighborhood was anything but flat, featuring all kinds of curves, cul-de-sacs, hills, and stop-signs a plenty and riding behind Jack — who was a much bigger person than me — did what it needed to do: it blocked my forward vision and presented me with a very different view of the world compared to what I experience as the “pilot” on my single bike.

You quickly grasp the concept that the road edge which looks just fine to you being a foot or two away doesn’t even exist in your stoker’s peripheral vision. Or, just how disconcerting it is when the captain begins to countersteer and lean the bike for a turn… a turn the stoker can’t really see, never mind how unsettling it is when the captain makes any quick little turns of the wheel to dodge a pot hole. Then, of course, there was the jarring of my legs and knees that came from uncoordinated / unannounced cadence changes such as going from coasting to pedaling, pedaling to coasting, and gear shifts. If all that weren’t enough, all of this was accompanied by the loss of any control on a bike that seemed to always being going twice as fast as it really was: welcome to the back row of the roller coaster!

After doing all of these things the wrong way — that is, without giving due consideration to the stoker as well as ample verbal cues — Jack then took me around the block doing things the right way. That is, positioning the tandem several feet away from the edge of the road, calling out “coasting, shifting, turning” and the like. In fact, although he didn’t use this analogy it dawned on me that all new stokers should be treated like sight-impaired stokers in terms of over-communicating everything you’re doing and seeing on the front of the tandem because, in fact, they really are sight impaired.

Anyway, after my orientation ride it was Debbie’s turn behind Jack and she was also treated to this is how it should be, and this is what you’ll experience if he’s not taking into consideration the needs of the stoker. Debbie came back all jazzed-up by her first experience but before Jack would turn us loose I had to demonstrate my new found knowledge and skills as a tandem captain by taking Susan Goertz out as a stoker. This is also the point where I was taught how to mount a tandem ala the track bike method of swinging my leg over the front of the bike as well as what Bill McCready coined ” The Proper Method” for starting. Being a guy, my memory seems to suggest my performance was stellar but that’s probably because I’m subconsciously blocking out any negative feedback I received. Actually, I probably did pretty well because handling the tandem with the ultra-petit Susan Goertz was very easy and that wasn’t a bad thing since Debbie was also ultra-petit and of similar short stature.

Having competed the first ride program we finally took our first ride together on a small-sized ’95/96 Royal Plum colored Santana Arriva… the tandem we ultimately took home with us that day. It was a great ride and we went all over the subdevelopment and tackled all kinds of first rider-challenges, such as making the U-turn in the culdesac and taking on the steepest climbs and descents. We had a blast.

Not wanting to assume too much, we then test rode a Co-Motion Cappuccino and the Goertz’ Co-Pilot (both of which were really too big for us), a Bilenky (also too big), and even went so far as to have Jack pull a new Sovereign out of the box and assemble it so that we could sample the aluminum frame… noting I had decided I wanted a Raspberry swirl-finished small-sized Sovereign before even making the trip to Birmingham. However, for a variety of reasons, the Sovereign test ride just didn’t trip our trigger (noisy V-brakes and some other quirks most likely related to the quick build-up and how sound travelled through the aluminum frame) and we quickly found ourselves back on the Santana Arriva that Jack secretly new he’d be selling before we left. I also lusted after an Ibis EasyStreet frame hanging on the wall however, no matter how hard I tried I was unable to transform it from a Medium to a Small nor was I able to grow myself tall enough to make it fit.

Mind you, we purposely left my Toyota truck with it’s 6′ bed at home so we couldn’t bring home a tandem, not wanting to become impulse buyers: after all, we were just shopping at this point. Instead, we took Debbie’s 4Runner which seemed way too small to accommodate a tandem. Oh well, when there’s a will and a check book there’s a way.

Before writing the check I had already upgraded the Arriva with Sachs Ergo shifters vs. the bar-ends and Diacompe brake levers that it came fitted with and was already eyeing my next upgrades to the brakes and rims (Shimano LX to XT w/XTR pads & Arraya to Mavic T217s. We also bought two Tandem Club of America polo shirts and signed up for a 2-year TCA membership. Yeah, I’d say we were pretty excited about the whole thing.

As for getting it home, I found by removing the wheels and flipping it upside down it would slide right in with the rear derailleur sitting next to my ear in the driver’s seat…. and away we went.

The next day we had our first 7 mile ride, noting Debbie was new to road cycling and had zero base mileage. We went out every evening that week and slowly increased our mileage so that, by the end of the next week we were did a 25 mile ride with the Georgia PEACHES (aka, Atlanta tandem club) and within three weeks she did her first metric century (Photo at Right).

We were hooked and have been so ever since.

 

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Florida Tandem Rally 2017, 20-23 Oct – Registration Now Open

Central Florida is a great location for tandem riding and is the location for the 8th Annual Florida Tandem Rally held in “Florida’s Friendliest Home Town” — The Villages, Florida.

The Waterfront Inn will be your host for the weekend and a rate of $111 will be available for those attending the rally. Check out their website at www.waterfrontinnvillages.com to make your reservations or call 352-753-7535 and mention the Florida Tandem Rally for this special group rate. Please make your reservations early to get your choice of rooms and to make the cut-off date of 1 October.

Two Ways to Register for FTR2017
This year you have a choice of registering for the Florida Tandem Rally by printing out our application and mailing it in or you can choose to register online using IM Athlete.

The Application for the Florida Tandem Rally 2017 is available now. Print it, fill it out and mail in with your check.

OR To register online, go to the IMathlete website at www.imATHLETE.com and search for “2017 Florida Tandem Rally.” Then check ‘Tandem Team’– read and accept the Waiver — and type the Captain’s initials in the supplied box. IMathlete does charge a fee to use their services.

PANTHERS Jersey Orders
If you would like to order PANTHERS jerseys, to be picked up at FTR 2017, use this order form: PANTHERS Jersey Order Form 2017 and send it in with your rally application. Deadline for ordering jerseys for pick-up at the rally is September 1, 2017!

Please note that you must be a PANTHERS member to purchase the jerseys at our special 2-for-1 price. If you are not yet a member, just fill out the Membership Application and mail it in with your jersey order. Dues are only $20 per team per year.

Introducing a NEW CLASS of TANDEM RIDES at FTR2017
The PANTHERS Florida Tandem Rally 2017 will offer rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that are a little different from our usual rally rides. We know that some teams have just started riding a tandem, or are unfamiliar with what to expect when attending a tandem rally. Or you may have had a recent accident that has limited your fitness level or you may just not be sure if you can ride a full 35 mile route.

If any of these reasons have made you hesitate to come to a tandem rally, this year we will offer “NO-DROP” rides. On these rides, no rider will be left behind and you can count on having a tandem team to stay with you even if you are unable to maintain the group’s pace or you need some help to repair a flat.

To help you get started, we have a dedicated and experienced tandem team that will answer any questions you may have about tandem riding and offer tips on group riding etiquette. This team will be Jack and Pat Deacon of The Villages. They have many miles under their wheels as a team and have ridden most of the popular tandem rallies and toured through many states across the nation. For the new “NO DROP” rides they have chosen routes of 20-25 miles over roads that have very low traffic and require minimal climbing. A comfortable riding pace will be chosen so that everyone iss able to maintain voice contact for any situations that may arise. If you have been hesitant about attending a tandem rally, this year’s FTR 2017 will be a great time to learn from an experienced tandem team.

FTR2017 RIDES AND EVENTS
All routes will start and end at the Waterfront Inn and will pass by convenience stores for rest stops.

Friday’s Rides
Last year we had 25 teams who arrived early and ready to ride. Teams that arrive early on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning will be invited to ride a 20-25 mile route with local PANTHERS tandem teams Hank & Kathy Williams and Bruce & Susan Hansen. The start location will be in the parking lot adjacent to the Waterfront Inn and the ride will start about 9:30AM. The route direction will take the riders south of The Villages and return to the starting point. This ride will go at a pace of approximately 14-16 mph and the leaders will adjust the speed of the ride to be sure that no one is left behind.

A longer ride will begin at the same time and location and the ride leaders will also be local PANTHERS tandem teams Dick & Patty Young and Bill & Kathy Foster. This route will be through The Villages and will include a westerly jaunt through some of the countryside adjacent to The Villages. The speed will be approximately 16-19 mph and the pace will be adjusted in order to maintain a tight line.

Friday’s Social
Friday evening at the Waterfront Inn, all tandem teams are invited to enjoy ice cream with their favorite toppings. This anticipated social event allows riders a chance to meet new friends and renew old acquaintances.

Saturday’s Rides and Lunch
Saturday’s rides of 33, 43, and 58 miles will have a mass start from the Waterfront Inn at 9:00am. After finishing these rides, all tandem teams will enjoy a lunch at RJ Gators restaurant, a short walk from the Waterfront Inn.

Saturday Evening Banquet
Saturday evening riders are invited to the Canal Recreation Center for a buffet dinner catered by La Hacienda. After dinner door prizes will be awarded and the dates of the Sebring Tandem Rally will be announced. One lucky team will be awarded free registration to the early March 2018 Sebring Rally which will be held at the Chateau Elan Hotel in Sebring, Florida.

Sunday’s Rides
Sunday’s rides of 32 and 42 miles will leave the Waterfront Inn at 8:30am.

Before or After FTR 2017
We now have 24 teams who are PANTHERS living and riding in The Villages, and you are invited to spend the week before or after FTR2017 to ride with us. After completing this year’s Florida Tandem Rally you are invited to extend your stay in The Villages and ride your choice of two overnight tours. One tour will leave from the Waterfront Inn and travel 51 miles through Inverness with an overnight stay in Brooksville lodging at a local motel. Most of this ride will be on the Withlacoochee Trail. A next day return route of 49 miles will bring the riders back to the Waterfront Inn.

A longer route of 75 miles will leave the Waterfront and travel to Palatka using roads through the Ocala National Forest. The overnight stay will be alongside the St. Johns River in Palatka with walking access to local restaurants. The next day the riders will return to the Waterfront Inn using the reverse of the 75 mile route. Tandem teams who elect to ride these tours will have access to cycle support vehicles in case of mechanical problems during their tour. You are assured to have good roads, routes sheets and PANTHERS to ride with daily.

REGISTER TODAY!
If you enjoy riding with tandem friends from the Southeast and Central Florida, make your plans now to attend.

For more information go to http://www.floridatandemclub.org/

Posted in Club & Org Notices, Tandem Rallies | 2 Comments