So, it’s fair to say that I’m a pretty lucky guy. I’ve got a wonderful wife who’s got a great personality and who’s also pretty easy on the eyes. I’ve also got a friend who’s got pretty much the same thing going on; great wife, great personality and yeah, easy on the eyes too. Come to think of it, I’ve got a few other friends in the same boat. And, to a person, everyone who see’s us lucky guys with our gals wonders, “How the heck??”
Well, it turns out that one good friend with a lovely wife also owns the only mountain tandem bike speciality shop in the US, MTBTandems.com. However, Alex Nutt and his wife Kim were friends ‘before the shop’ having met via the Internet shortly after we bought our first off-road tandem. We’d gotten the darn thing, but none of our tandem cycling friends were nutty enough to even consider riding a tandem off-road so I turned to the local discussion forums and posted a “personal ad”: Lonely couple with off-road tandem seeing other’s with similar social stigma.
Well, son of a gun if I didn’t score a response from a guy named Mike Maness and his wife Ginny, who knew this other guy Alex and his wife Kim…. noting all three of us had Cannondale mountain tandems. We all became fast friends and I’m pretty sure that was about March of 1999, some 15 years ago.
It’s been a long-time since then and along the way we helped Alex get his business up on the internet and became the first of many hundreds of happy tandems to buy their off-road tandem from Alex & Kim at MTBTandems.com. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were some perqs along the way, but the biggest perq is having Alex & Kim as our friends. No, like a lot of friends these days we don’t get to hang out all the time. Life somehow gets in the way. However, like all good friends there’s a warm spot in our heart for Alex, Kim and their family and whenever we do get together it’s definitely old home week!
We had one of those opportunities to visit with Alex & Kim this past weekend. In fact, it was Alex, Kim and both of their boys: Tracey and AJ. Good grief, I remember when AJ was just an infant! Now he towers over all of us!
We gathered in the little town of Rockmart, Georgia, which sits along the old rail line that was home to the Silver Comet, a streamlined passenger train owned by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad that began daily service between New York via Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama back on May 18, 1947. The Silver Comet last used the tracks running through Rockmart in 1969 and in 2008 it re-opened for business without tracks as The Silver Comet Trail, a multi-use path funded by Georgia’s PATH foundation. The plan for the day was to spend a lot of time riding at a leisurely pace while chatting and otherwise enjoying the day. As you can see from this video highlight, I’m thinking we accomplished that goal!
However, what you didn’t see much of in that video was what we were riding. Yes, it was a Calfee, but it wasn’t our Calfee! It was a one-off 29″-wheeled Calfee hard tail that debuted at the Sea Otter Classic back in 2012. More on that in my next blog entry.