The View from the Rear–Reflections

8 06 2012

We’ve been home from our tandem ride for a few days now; it’s time to reflect on this trip, before important details are forgotten.

Are we finished with long distance cycling?  Nope!  There’s something to be said about the independance, the challenge, the joy of pedalling, even the physical discomfort, that speaks to us.  In fact, we continue to dream about a cross country trip.

What would we do differently?  Rest days!  Not only to give our bodies a rest, but to give us a chance to explore some of the interesting places we just rolled through.  With our longer days of cycling we weren’t much interested in anything more than a bed, whether it was a rather boring campsite or a chain hotel and food, most often at a familiar chain.  The trip would have had more “flavour” if we had the time to find the out-of the-way inn or B & B, if we could have tried foods made by independent chefs, if we could have just been tourists for a day or two.

And what about the tandem?  I won’t be giving up my single bike any time soon. Sometimes space is good!  But for long distance touring the tandem worked well.  Communication was so much easier, packing was easier, the physical challenge was shared, neither of us got left behind or found ourselves way ahead.

Our tandem will be put up for sale and we’ll be looking to upgrade.  Important things to look for include a shock absorbing seat for the stoker (it can be very painful when you don’t see the bumps ahead of time and the captain doesn’t warn you!) and an extra brake for the rear (one set of brakes on a steep hill is not enough to stop the bike!),  higher quality components, especially to make shifting easier, possibly a lighter bike.  We’ll have fun in the next few months looking!

Ready to Ride

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