A few weeks back I’d shared some notes with Larry Black of Mt. Airy / College Park Cyclery regarding Paketa tandems and learned that he’d be coming through our neck of the woods. Sadly, the timing fell on top of the Georgia Tandem Rally weekend so our paths wouldn’t quite cross at the right time and place for a rendezvous given his travel plans.
What was, in part, bringing Larry our way was a two-stop trip through the South, where the first waypoint was Greensboro, North Carolina for the 2011 Classic Rendezvous Weekend on May 20 – 22.
You can learn more about the Classic Rendezvous Weekend’s history, see who attended and find some photo galleries from the event at their Website: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Weekend2011.htm. Very cool stuff, along the lines of the NAHBS but from decades gone-by in terms of the classic design standards that are still adhered to today.
Anyway, a week or so after the show Larry forwarded to me a link to a little information and photos on a rather unusual-looking tandem built by Schauff for a land-speed record attempt back in 1979.
In doing some brief research regarding motor-paced cycling, I came to learn that the gentleman who piloted this Schauff tandem to 90 mph had attempted to set the single bike land speed record as well, and is somewhat famous in the Porsche discussion forums because of the customized Porsche 935 that he used as his motor-pacing vehicle, which you can see at right. You can read more about Rude, his attempt, and the current 167 mph record HERE.
Getting back to the tandem, I believe what may have prompted someone to send Larry the link to Schauff’s website was the 1979 Schauff tandem’s appearance at a classic road racers exhibit & swap meet at Rommerskirchen near Düsseldorf, Germany on May 22nd, in parallel with the Classic Rendezvous show here in the states.
Of course, this is one of those photos… or rather, a series of photos that creates more questions than it answers. For example, and looking at the photo below:
Question #1: Why is there absolutely no information available on the somewhat famous tandem pilot Jean-Claude Rude’s stoker? All we seem to know about him is that he was purportedly blind.
Question #2: Why does Jean-Claude wear a full face motor racing helmet, whereas his stoker is wearing only a leather “hairnet” ?
Question #3: What ever happened to the Tandem World Absolute Speed Records? I’ll be darned if I can find any information on the 1979 record effort or the subsequent record-setting effort that unseated Rude and his blind stoker. Lots of information on the aforementioned 167 mph World Speed Record for Bicycles and tandem cycling records for 24-hour events, the Hour record, and even roller-records, but none for motor-paced tandems.
In closing, it’s always interesting to see what unravels when something like this pops in your mailbox and you pull on the thread.