Over at Riding Two Up…

Version 2Still doing the weekly diary entries so my mother can keep up to date on what we’ve been up to.  She enjoys the parts about family, friends and activities, but isn’t much on the technical entries that sometimes get mixed in with the fluffy stories.  Regardless, if nothing else, it sure helps  me keep track of what’s gone on and when something happened or was accomplished.  It truly is amazing how time does fly when you’re having fun!

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2017 Tandem Road & Off-Road Rallies / Events… First Look

DSC_5382I still need to update the “Events” page at www.thetandemlink.com, but I figured I’d go ahead and share out the 2017 Tandem Rally & Events information here since I have no idea when I’ll crack open my antiquated PageMill 3.0, Illustrator & Photoshop applications to update the HTML site.

As in previous years, while there are a few organizers that have not yet updated their websites or firmed-up details for their rallies, the majority of annual road rallies we have listed include dates, locations and cost data.  As always, the event names are linked to either a club website or a dedicated rally website at www.thetandemlink.com.

The Tandem Club of America has also updated it’s 2017 calendar which lists most of these same events and a few others that we don’t include; you can find it here.

For those events where I listed TBAs, if any of our regular readers are “in the know” as to when and where these events are being held, please let us know and we’ll get those updated.  I hope to update the off-road calendar next week.

For our readers who have an interest in attending a rally in 2016, it’s probably time to start marking up your calendars, getting in those vacation requests and keeping an eye on those registration dates. Several of these events have either limits on how many teams they can accommodate or registration cut-off dates, so be mindful if the rally you’re thinking about attending is one of those.

Winter 2017

Rice Valley Tandem Rally, Feb 12, Gridley, CA, No Reg Fee

Sebring Tandem Rally, hosted by the PANTHERS, 10-12 Mar, Sebring, FL, $150 per team / $112 night + tax lodging


Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally31 Mar – 2 Apr, Ridgeland, MS, $200 per team / $144 night lodging + taxes, $300 per team to include optional Wine Festival

OPEN HOUSE: TandemsEast – Tandem Expo, 1-2 Apr, Pittsgrove, NJ, No Reg Fee

UK Tandem Rally – Easter13-17 Apr, Bishops Green Far, Newbury, England, 5 GBP per Person; Campsites now full

Alabama Tandem Weekend (FBPage), 21-23 April, Huntsville, Alabama, No Reg Fee / $90-100 night lodging + taxes, Details on Facebook page

Southwest Tandem Rally 28-30 Apr, Paris, Texas, $TBA per team, Opens 1 Feb, $TBA night lodging + taxes

ETR / PPTC Spring Thaw Rally, 4-7 May, Cambridge, MD, ala carte fee schedule / see PPTC reg. website

Georgia Tandem Rally18-21 May, VALDOSTA, GA (Reg open in Feb), ~$300 per team / plus lodging + taxes

Horsey 100 (Non-Tandem But Welcoming Tandems), 27-28 May, Lexington, KY, $65/pp Through May 24, $90/pp Sat & $35/pp Sun On Site

UK National Tandem Rally27 May – 3 Jun, Yorkshire Dales, England, Details at Tandem Club UK website soon

Canadian Tandem Rally, tba

HOOTs Tandem Weekend2-4 Jun, Madison, IN, No Reg Fee / Contact Hosts for Lodging

Southwest Missouri Tandem Weekend, 2-4 Jun, Springfield, MO, $70-$120 per team options/ lodging NIC

Vero Beach Ride, hosted by the PANTHERS, TBA Jun, Ft Pierce, FL, No Reg fees / $99 night lodging + taxes

MATES ’15 (ETR’s Homepage), 9-11 Jun, Culpeper, Virginia, ~$100/pp, $99-$139 night lodging w/breakfast + taxes

Saranac Lake Tandem Rally, 16-18 Jun, Saranac Lake, NY, $90 per team / lodging rates vary


Northwest Tandem Rally1-4 Jul, Seattle, WA, $210 per team through 1 June, $105 night dorm lodging + taxes

TandemsEast – Tandem Weekend, 14-16 July, Manheim, PA, $665 per team, all inclusive

Eastern Tandem Rally (ETR’s Homepage), 4-6 Aug, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, $TBA per team / $TBA night lodging + taxes

International Tandem Rally5-12 Aug, Rhineland-Palatinate area of Germany, ala carte fee schedule; see booking form

Paired Iowans Going Somewhere Rally, TBA, ~$100 team, lodging on your own at suggested hotels

Midwest Tandem Rally1-4 Sep, Dublin, Ohio, Ala carte fee schedule, ~$70 per adult, $TBA + tax night at host hotel (fills fast)

Georgia Tandem TourTBA


Southern Tandem Rally21-24 Sep, Salisbury, NC, $TBA per team, Lodging TBA

Florida Tandem Rally, hosted by PANTHERS, TBA Oct, The Villages, FL, Addt’l details forthcoming’


2017 Off-Road Tandem Events

S.O.O.R.T.A Gathering / Tucson Winter Camp, 13-17 Jan, Tucson, Arizona

Ididaride Challenge / S.O.O.R.T.A Gathering, 26-28 Jan, White Springs, FL, $60 per person, 100+ spots remaining

Chihuahuan Desert Dirt Fest, 16-18 Feb, Terlingua, TX

Appalacian Off-Road Tandem Adventure (AORTA), TBA

Elephant Rock Cycling Festival, 3-4 Jun, Castle Rock, CO

Fall Allegany Rally for (Off-Road) Tandems, 18-20 Aug, Allegany State Park, Salamanca NY

Eastern Tandem Off-Road Rally (ETOR), TBA Oct ,Allegrippis Trails, Raystown, PA

2017 Off-Road Tandem Challenges

2011 Sea Otter Classic, 20-23 Apr, Montery, CA

Annual TransAlp Challenge, 16-22 Jul (Tandem Class Eliminated), Start: Ruhpolding, Bavaria, Finish: Riva del Garda, Italy

TransRocky Challenge, 29 Jul – 3 Aug, West Kootenays, Canadian Rockies/ Kootenays/ Okanagan (Canada)

The Leadville Trail 100, (Entry by lottery, Closed), 12 Aug, Leadville, CO

Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival(1st come, 1st served), 15-17 Sep, Cable, WI

Roc d’ Azur (France), 4-8 Oct, Frejus, France

Iceman Commeth, 4 Nov, Kalkaska to Traverse City, Michigan

Posted in Club & Org Notices, Events, Tandem Rallies | 1 Comment

6th Annual Sebring Tandem Rally, 10-12 March 17

From our friends at the PANTHERS 
Hello Tandem Teams,
Hope everyone is looking forward to a great year, and that as a New Year’s resolution you have included . . . to become a better tandem team by participating in more rides and rallies in 2017. The PANTHERS’ Sebring Rally is the first rally of the New Year and it offers you a great weekend to start getting back into shape.

Join us at the Sebring International Raceway, home of the 12 Hours of Sebring, which will again be our headquarters. We will be staying at the Chateau Elan, adjacent to the Sebring Raceway. If you have attended a Sebring rally in the last five years you are aware that there will be a lot of action on the racetrack this weekend. Sebring Raceway is now owned by NASCAR and local sport car clubs use this track to conduct their driving schools, so this weekend should not be an exception. If your favorite car is a Miata, Corvette, Porsche, Audi, Ferrari or a highly modified track only car, you might see and hear one circling the 3.74 circuit. Thanks to all teams who have already registered for Sebring 2017. At this date, the registrations are about the same when compared with last year, so make plans now to get your starting spot before it is too late.

The room rate at the Chateau Elan will start at $112 per night. As of 23 December there were only a few of the least expensive rooms still available, so make your reservations now to be certain that you get the room of your choice at the rate you prefer. Our morning breakfast will be the same as last year. Your room charge includes the Chateau Elan’s hot buffet breakfast to include eggs, potatoes, oatmeal, waffles, cereal, bagels, assorted fruits, juice and beverages. Please mention the PANTHERS Tandem Club or Sebring Tandem Rally for this room rate. You must contact them by phone for our discounted rate at (863) 655-7200. For other questions visit their website at www.cesebring.com.

Jan and I will arrive on Wednesday evening and route sheets will be available for those who wish to start the weekend early. Last year we had nine teams who arrived early and made this a four-day ride rally. The following is more information as to the daily rides and scheduled events for each day.

If you arrive on Friday, packets will be available early morning and afternoon. Due to different arrival times there will not be a mass start on Friday. Route sheet will be available for 25 to 40 mile routes.

Friday evening, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm, there will be an ice cream party for located in the in the LeMans Ball Room. This will be hand dipped vanilla or chocolate ice cream with all of your favorite topping and sprinkles. Meet new tandem friends and visit with those teams whom you have not seen since last year.

Routes of 33, 45 and 60 miles have been scheduled for Saturday. Rest stops will be convenience stores along the indicated routes. If you are planning to arrive Saturday morning, you are encouraged to get there early so that you may sign in and be ready for the Riders Meeting at 8:20am and the Mass Start at 8:30am. This year the starting point will be at the exit from the parking lot.

After you have completed your route, a Deli Lunch will be served from 11:00am to 2:00pm in the Ball Room. Create your own sandwiches with a choice of breads, with turkey, ham, lettuce, tomatoes, fruit salad, pasta salad, and potato soup.

Beginning at 6:00pm the cash bar will be open in the hotel’s Hairpin Lounge for your favorite beverage, and promptly at 7:00 pm you will be invited to take your seats in the Ball room for Dinner Duet Buffet. After a short welcome the buffet will be open serving a Garden Salad with your choice of Ranch or Italian Dressing, Tilapia, Herb Roasted Chicken, Roasted Baby Red Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, rolls, and Chocolate Cake with Coffee. Cash prizes, recognitions and a drawing for a free registration to the Florida Tandem Rally 2017 will be awarded after the meal.

NOTE: Daylight Savings time starts this weekend. Set your clock forward one hour.

Riders meeting will begin at 7:50am with a mass start at 8:00am. You will have the choice of rides of 33 and 45 miles. Rest stops will be convenience stores along the indicated routes.

Please visit our PANTHERS Sebring Rally webpage and print your Sebring Rally 2017 application. The cost to register will be the same as last year.

See Who’s Registered Already

If you are not yet a member, please print our Membership Application and join the PANTHERS . . . a tandem club for those who support and enjoy riding with good friends.

PANTHERS Tandem Club, Inc.

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

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

From our home to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A flashback from 2006 when Specialized produced this video Christmas card.

The music is Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, played entirely on bicycle parts as sampled by Flip Baber, a San Francisco-based composer.

Glockenspiel & Clarinet melody = spokes.
Cello & Violin pizzicatos = plucked derailleur cables.
Triangle = disc brake hit.
Percussion = shifting, coasting, finger over turning spokes, chain pulls, braking, clipping into pedals, back-spinning, air out of tires.


Yes, it really was this lovely today here in Georgia. What better way to celebrate the arrival of Christmas and for the first time since 1978, the beginning of Hanukkah on the same day. Best wishes to all for your holiday celebrations and many miles of smiles in the coming new year.

Posted in Bloggishnish | 2 Comments

Over at Riding Two-Up

Version 2Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve cross posted a compendium of what I’ve been writing about over on my other blog.   It looks like a long list, but I think I’m actually slacking a bit.  Then again, I use the entries on the other sites as weekly updates that I mail to my non-Internet / non-Computer using mother to keep her up to date on what we’ve been doing. So, that’s pretty much why there’s about one entry per week and why they read like a diary.  But, they also come in handy when I need to see when we did something or how something was done, e.g., changing out the instrument lights on a car, etc.

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Interested in Visiting Puglia Region of Italy and Renting Out a Loft?

Alison and Phil Spare wrote to me a while back to introduce themsevles and to let us know they are making their studio loft in Puglia, Italy, available during both high and off-season for tandem cyclists and others.

Hello – We are an American couple that lives in Denver, Colorado and ride with the Colorado Tandem Club.  We recently bought a little second home in Puglia, Italy in the charming town of Nardò (Salento region near the Ionian Sea).  We have always loved riding in this area (fun contrast to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado).  Our schedule for the next few years will only allow us to visit Italy twice a year, so we will be renting it weekly during the high season.  However, we will also rent for extended stays during the off season.  We believe the property would be ideal for a tandem couple or for a writer or anyone who has a flexible schedule and wants a super bargain as we will rent at a greatly reduced rate during the off season.  We will post this opportunity on Sabbatical Homes, but thought you might want to share this with your readers.

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-9-53-52-amHere are pictures of this lovely studio loft in the centro storico of Nardò.  http://www.urlaubsarchitektur.de/en/il-cubo/.  As riders, what we loved was the ability to pull our bike right into the house without any steps to the main level.  We are happy to discuss the details with you or any friends.  In general, it sleeps two (although the couch pull out), has a private Roos terrace, and fully equipped kitchen and washing machine.  We were looking for 600 euros a month (plus utilities) and at least a one month commitment.  We have spent a lot of time in Puglia and decided that Nardò offered so much from easy access to the Sea to a lovely community that is active year round and not solely dependent on the tourism season.  The property will be available starting in February 2017 through April 2017 and then again in November 2017 to April 2018.  The November to April schedule will continue for the next several years until our schedules allow us to split our time between Italy and Colorado.

Thanks for creating a wonderful forum for riders.  Of course, we already know what a great community there is with tandem folks!  All questions can be directed to alisonspare1@outlook.com.   I am also available via Skype or Whatsapp.    Feel free to share this with any friends or family that might want a delightful retreat!  Oh and do let us know if you ever want some high altitude training in Colorado!

Best regards,
Alison and Phil Spare

Posted in Tandem Folks | 2 Comments

Adventures in Tandem, A New Tandem Touring Company

Mike and Caren Bianco, whose names readers may recognize from their involvement in the Eastern Tandem Rallies or the Tandem Club of America, formed a tandem touring company called Adventures In Tandem and launched their Website in November. They’ve also released their 2017 Tour Schedule which includes

  • June in Colonial Virginia (Williamsburg and Jamestown)
  • July in the Loire Valley, France
  • July/August in Vermont/New Hampshire
  • September in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Here’s a little more about Mike & Caren and their new enterprise.

Who We Are

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-8-45-40-amWe are avid tandem cyclists! We used to just ride bikes. We didn’t talk much while riding – partly because we weren’t next to each other and partly because Caren was too out of breath to hold much conversation. In 2005, we began to tandem cycle and it changed our lives. We’ve made friends through cycling and have traveled the world – IN TANDEM.

Over the past few years we have planned a number of tandem bicycle rallies through the Eastern Tandem Rally organization and have also planned vacations with friends. In October, 2016, after working in the corporate world for the past 30 years, we embarked on a new adventure – together – ummm, we mean… IN TANDEM.

Adventures in Tandem is a new company that specializes in tours for couples – on tandem bicycles. Our tours are small – no more than ten couples – and flexible, offering customized routes based on the travelers in our group.

Our Principles

The Journey is the Destination – We believe that there is more to the journey than the number of miles ridden. Our tours have stops along the way at points of interest in the area. We offer suggestions for lunch, or, provide a picnic lunch at a stop along the route. We Give You Time to Explore – You won’t find every meal included in an Adventures in Tandem tour. We believe in giving you time to explore a particular town yourself. Our tours generally provide breakfasts, some lunches and about half of the dinners.

We Provide Support – Whether it is help assembling your bike or help along the route, we are there for you. We carry your luggage from hotel to hotel. Our smaller group size enables us to be flexible and available.

Our Trips are Affordable – We like luxury as much as the next couple, but when you are out riding all day, we don’t see the point of staying at a five star hotel. You won’t be there long enough to enjoy it. Our tours tend to stay at small, country inns or bed and breakfasts – run by people who live in the areas that we are visiting.

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