Looking back at 2013, we had another year filled with a variety of challenges that limited our time and intensity on the tandem. Between rain-filled weekends, minor health issues and other commitments we simply were not able to ride as often as we would have liked nor were we able to attend as many events as we’d hoped.
Now, it’s also fair to say that our new-found interest in riding two-up on the big bikes has also been a limiting factor, as we definitely consumed at least 5 or 6 weekends where tandem cycling would have been on the menu were it not for motorcycle rallies or weekend trips. As we look ahead to 2014 there will certainly be other weekends where we’ll have to decide between the tandem and the motorcycle, but we also hope to combine our two passions by trailering our tandem to cycling events behind the motorcycle.
Our tandem rally “wish list” is still being worked against our vacation schedules so we don’t have any firm plans of yet. As always, the events we’d like to attend always seem to fall in clusters, making it a challenge to balance home life, work and riding. For example, our 2014 Bike Week in Dayton weekend is followed by the Sebring Tandem Rally weekend, then the Alabama Tandem Weekend. In May we have the very attractive-sounding Southwest Tandem Rally falling on the same weekend as Thunder Beach in Panama City Beach, Florida. The Georgia Tandem Rally is being held in late May vs. mid-May and we just learned that Alex Nutt of MTBTandems.com plans to resume Appalachian Off-Road Tandem Adventure (AORTA) with an event in Asheville, NC, the weekend after GTR. I suspect fall may have some similar conflicts. We’d also like to make it up to either MATES in June or the Eastern Tandem Rally in July as either one of those would give us a chance to visit with family. Anyway, time will tell where the chips fall. There are just so many places we’d like to visit but we just don’t have the time to make it all happen.
Tandem bike-wise, I think we’re still pretty happy with our Calfee. Happy enough that we finally parted with our first Erickson tandem this past fall. It has found a wonderful new home with friends down in Florida and is finally seeing regular use, which makes it all worth it. It’s a shame to have a tandem that nice just sitting around gathering dust. We have several other bicycles that we probably need to part with for the very same reason: they’re just not being ridden. Of course, with AORTA back on the calendar I may finally have the catalyst to gain my sweetie’s interest back in off-road tandeming. We’ll see. Sadly, having been kept off the tandem this past summer and fall by my health issues, she has recently found she has an issue with her knee that may throw a wrench in our tandem cycling plans. I hope to get her out on the Ventana in January when our local trails re-open after hunting season comes to a close; that will be a watershed moment, to be sure. The triplet remains another question mark for me; as much as we love riding it the number of opportunities that we have to do so are few and far between. Therefore, unless we find a way to put more miles on that bike it too may be put on the market before the end of next year.
Again, time will tell on all fronts. We hope that you and yours are able to get out and enjoy your tandems as often as you can and that all of your miles are filled with smiles! Perhaps our paths will cross!