The Bulletin Board Archive

RETURN TO THE HOME PAGE

Archives: 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006- 2007 - 2008 - 2009- 2010


2009

Links Disabled or Removed


JULY 13th UPDATE

A much overdue update follows

 

Remembrances: When someone in the tandem community passes the unfortunately truth is we often lose not one but two friends. However, that pales in comparison to the spouse who has suffered a loss that touches every aspect of their lives, more so than most average couples in that they've also lost their cycling partner and may even see a chapter close on a very large and important part of their social life. It is especially difficult when one of our friends is taken suddenly and while still young, vibrant and so full of life.

Gregory L. Mongold Math Scholarship Fund


Santana Website Address ­ For those who may maintain their own links lists or Web sites with links to tandem builders, touring companies and the like please note that Santana Tandems can be found at http://www.santanatandem.com/


Tandems East Heading Back To New Zealand ­ Mel & Barbara Kornbluh wrote to let us know that they're headed back to New Zealand on December 30th, 2009 for 17 nights and 18 days of tandem cycling and sightseeing that allows you to fully amortize the time and expense you invested in getting yourself, your mate and your tandem across the Pacific Ocean. You can read more about the trip HERE.


Hokitika Tandems ­ I mentioned back in March that Tandems East introduced its own house-branded line of tandems, the Hokitika a value-priced entry level tandem made in the USA that fills the gap left by the departure of Burley. Well, I finally had the opportunity to see one: it was their first Hokitika Triplet upon its delivery to the new owners at last weekend's Eastern Tandem Rally. I must say, for the price point the frame and paint was very good and the build kit was excellent. A great way for a team to get their toes wet with a hand-made steel tandem before making the next jump to a premium-brand tandem.


R&E Cycles Newsletter Strikes a Chord With Me ­ Being a certified geek, I'm on distribution for a variety of catalogs and newsletters offered up by the folks who produce and sell my beloved tandems. R&E Cycle's newsletter produced and largely written by Dan Towle routinely contains Dan's very subjective views on whatever particular subject that has recently caught his interest. In the July ­ August edition Dan brought a smile to my face when he weighted in on "standards" or the lack thereof. Definitely worth a read to anyone who has an interest in (or perhaps an aversion to ) the ever-changing bottom bracket designs or other proprietary parts that eschew ISO, JIS or other standards. For those who would like to peruse back issues, here's a link to the archives.


Team Tatt! The Faces of Tandeming's Future ­ At this year's Tennessee Tandem Rally we had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful 'kids' who may be the future of tandem cycling: Team Tatt, short for Team Tattoo. Jon & Stacy are friends and fellow track-rat friends of Billy & Melissa who also represent the younger generation of tandem enthusiasts and and took time out to chronicle their first tandem rally at their BLOG. It's a great article with lots of photos which you can find HERE.


2010 Tennessee Tandem Rally: A New Location!! In an effort to mix-it-up a bit, the 8th edition of the Tennessee Tandem Rally (TTR) will be held in the mid-state region nearer to Nashville. For those who follow such things, TTR has been firmly ensconced in the Alcoa, TN area for the past 7 years and will go on the road in 2010 and 2011 before coming back to Alcoa in 2012 for the 10th Anniversary edition. Look for more details at the TTR Web site towards the end of the year when more details regarding the 2010 event.


The Best of Craigslist; A few things from the bike shop. [Warning: PG-18] ­ This was forwarded to me by good friend Tim P. of Louisville, TN over the weekend and, well, two comments: (1) the language and sentiment is for mature and open-minded adults only, and (2) it may not be as funny to some as it will be to others. It all depends on how often you actually use the sports racks on your Subaru. Without further ado, and once again warning you that the F-bomb and other colorful language is used, here is THE LINK.


Canberra Tandem Festival: 19 and 20 Sept 2009 - Judy James wrote to let us know about a weekend tandem festival that will be held on September 19 & 20 at Commonwealth Park in Floriade, Canberra. Additional details can be found at the Pedal Power website, http://www.pedalpower.org.au/events via email cbrtandems@gmail.com.au.


Minnewaska ­ Mohonk Offroad Tandem weekend, Nov 6-8, 2009. Good friend Malcolm Boyc wrote to let us know that the Doubles of the Garden State (aka, DOGS) will be meeting for three days of off-road tandeming at Minnewaska State Park and Mohonk Mountain Preserve just west of New Paltz, NY on Nov 6-8. You can find more information at the DOGS website by clicking HERE.


MARCH 28th UPDATE

Slow news week.... so, now for something completely different!


Bicycle Quarterly; Oh The Joy - As mentioned late last year, I gave myself a Christmas gift of a Vintage Bicycle Quarterly library, inclusive of all back issues, a current subscription and both Jan Heine's The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles and his latest book, The Competition Bicycle ­ A Photographic History. Today, the Spring 2009 issue arrived and as always it was chock-full of interesting articles and wonderful images, to include the ubiquitous presence of tandem bicycles.

The Spring '09 edition focuses on cycling in Europe during the 1930's and 40's and features a still photo of a tandem taxi racing team. The wealth of information in the back issues of VBQ regarding tandems and tandeming has been well worth the cost of the library alone, particularly for an enthusiast who has a deep affinity for the more simple times when bicycles were more common than the automobiles. Again, well worth a look for anyone looking for a restrospective on historic cycling, technology or current studies and book reviews.


Speaking of Retrospectives - One of the forums I frequent has been all a buzz about the risks associated with cycling ever since Lance Armstrong broke his collarbone. While tempted to weigh in I have, instead, elected to reminisce about the early days of cycling in my youth. This was a time when just about every kid rode a bike to school, families would go out for rides around their neighborhood and nearly all the local newspapers were delivered by kids like me who ride bikes. Funny how today the bikes have been long gone and now so too are most of the local newspapers: I believe this is called progress?

Anyway, lest I digress further...

As I pondered the past and cycling's rightful place in history I was reminded that helmets, risk and the other current trappings of 'cycling' just weren't a part of my memory. We rode our bikes in street clothes and knew how to ride with traffic, just as we all knew how to walk against traffic. Our bikes all had mud guards and kickstands and in the Northeast we nervously anticipated that annual safety check the local police would perform at the Tisdale Elementary School before they would trade our registration card for a brand new, shiny reflective registration decal.

As I leafed through and pre-scanned my Spring '09 Bicycle Quarterly I saw several photos of tandems from the 30's that reinforced my recollection of cycling in Europe and urban centers in the Northeast US... Yes, people rode bikes! Cyclists were, in fact, the exception and not the rule as it was rare to see someone training on a bicycle outside the confines of a velodrome. In fact, and with this in mind, I did a Google image search on the phrase, people riding bicycles and found images of, well, people riding bikes. These were all kinds of people riding all kinds of bike and for a variety of different reasons but most in street clothes and not wearing helmets with a few helmeted cyclists dotted about and, yes, even a photo of naked people riding bikes (be forewarned). However, when I searched on images using just the term cyclists I was both shocked and surprised to find the results were dominated by helmeted racers, club riders and naked people riding bikes with just a few 'civilian cyclists' represented. There were far more cartoons and, well, just a lot of naked people riding bikes.

In an effort to shake off both the images of body-painted and nude cyclists and as well as the packs of helmet-clad cyclists, I sought refuge at You Tube with a two-part video reproduction of a 1955 movie produced by the British Rail film board entitled "Cyclists Special." What would it be like to hold a tandem rally like this!?

Cyclists Special, Part I

Cyclists Special, Part II

Of course, as fate would have it I also stumbled across another interesting video that chronicled cycling in all of its various forms during pre and post-war Europe, where tandems, recumbents and even semi-recumbents were all in evidence as were a few other more bizarre cycling creations: not much has changed aside at least in the variety department.

Cycling in its many forms

Thinking back on the Bicycle Quarterly I decided to build a small collage of cycling images from the 30's 60's and 70's, the latter all pulled from Bob Hufford's exceptional collection of Schwinn Lightweight Bicycle information, including scanned images of every consumer catalog from the 60's through the late 70's. For your enjoyment that is, if you're old enough to remember. Click on the smaller images to see larger ones and be sure to check out the prices on those tandems!!


And, lets not forget what the prototypical mountain biker looked like in Marin County, circa 1976..

From Charlie Kelly's Website

circa 1977.. with the likes of Joe Breeze & Gary Fisher

 


MARCH 21st UPDATE

REMINDER!!! It's Open House Season

SUNDAY March 22 - Mt Airy Spring Demo Days (MD)


SATURDAY & SUNDAY March 28 & 29 - Tandems East / Tandem Expo (NJ)


Tandems East Introduces Hokitika - Tandems East is introducing its own house-branded line of tandems to fill the gap left when Burley Design began to implode a few years back now.From the TandemsEast.com website, "With the departure of Burley Design Coop Tandems in 2006 a void was left in the steel tandem marketplace for tandems in the $2000 - $3000 price range. We believe the Hokitika 2-BE-ONE fills this void. A good quality American made tandem for the first time tandem buyers." You can find additional details HERE.


MTBTandems Introduces US-Made Twenty-Niner - Good friend and mountain tandem bike empesario Alex Nutt of MTBTandems.com in Canton, Georgia, has been associated with Sherwood Gibson of Ventana USA for several years as one of Ventana's top tandem dealers. Along the way, Alex has become a big fan of 29" wheeled hardtail bikes and recently collaborated with Ventana to bring design & fabrication of MTBTandems' Fandango branded frames back to the US with their new 29" hardtail model. You can find additional details and pricing HERE. CLICK on the thumbnail photo to see a high-res photo of the first production model.


Dave Porter Turns His Attention Back To Tandems & Cycling - Before moving into classic automotive car restoration Dave Porter made some very exciting frames including a national record-setting track tandem. Dave recently decided to see if he couldn't replicate his success and has embarked on a new track tandem project that you can read about HERE. His Tandem Project web page is quite comprehensive in that it takes you back to the late 80's and gives you the back story on his first tandem, through the entire frame fabrication process of the new tandem and as of yesterday reports on the maiden test ride. Pretty exciting stuff for the geeks among you. Sponsorship Opportunities: As a self-funded project, Dave would welcome offers of sponsorship and/or donations from component manufactures or enthusiasts for the planned Tandem Hour Record attempt in Colorado Springs later this year. The riders are to be John Frey (50) a former amateur Hour record holder and Josh Reddoch.


Sebring Tandem Rally (Florida) Canceled - We learned through frequent T@H & BF contributor Bill Cotney that the 2009 edition of the annual Sebring Tandem Rally was canceled. Some of the regulars may still gather for unsupported group rides from the Kenilworth on April 4th and 5th.


Covered Bridges Tandem Weekend (Ohio) - Doug Crush recently wrote to let us know he will once again host the Covered Bridges Tandem Weekend on September 12 and 13 in Northeast Ohio.  No website but you can download the information sheet HERE.



Co-Motion Offering Topolino Wheel Option on Racing Tandems - Co-Motion recently announced that it would begin to offer the Topolino AX3.0T tandem-specific wheelset as an upgrade option on its race-level Robusta, Supremo & Macchiato tandems. Although pricing wasn't posted to their Web site just yet, I suspect the up charge would be a a couple hundred dollars as the Topolino wheelset MSRP is about $400 more than the Rolf Prima-Vigor tandem model that they would replace. The added cost nets buyers a set of wheels that are 300 grams lighter than the already fairly light Rolf's and what I would characterize as a much more plush ride based on our past year's experience riding both the Topolino AX3.0Ts and Rolf's on our personal tandems.

Editorial: We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the performance and ride qualities of our Topolino and Rolf wheels -- they look awesome too -- and would encourage anyone looking for these types of wheels to consider putting a set on their tandem. Just recognize that beyond the marketing there is reality. In this regard, the caveat I would apply to folks who are interested in high-end racing wheels but who will use them for daily use and training is, if you ride them every day they're no longer 'racing' wheels in that any performance benefit they might offer on race day will be lost since, well, that benefit will have been assimilated into your daily riding effort. Additionally, high-end racing wheels from folks at Rolf, Topolino, Bontrager and Shimano-Santana are expensive to buy, expensive to repair and must be returned to the manufacturer or an authorized dealer in most cases for any type of service. Therefore, hitting a pot hole on a recreational ride where a conventional set of wheels would have been more than adequate and appropriate can become a costly experience and put you off your tandem for a week or so UNLESS you happen to have that second set of conventional wheels as a back-up. Just some food for thought. We have a lovely set of White Ind / Velocity Deep-V wheels as well... Just in case.


A visit to Calfee Design - Ben Marks recently took a tour of the Calfee facility at LaSelva Beach, California. You can read the article HERE and see a slide show where you'll find Craig in his jumpsuit hard at work on a tandem, underscoring that you're as likely to find Craig in the shop working on YOUR tandem (e.g., he's had his hands on ours a couple times), teaching folks how to build tandems in Ghana, visiting bamboo suppliers in Taiwan or meeting with consumers at the NAHBS or other shows around the world: Yes, I think quite highly of Craig. Now, speaking of Calfee the business, one of the things you'll read in Ben's article speaks volumes about Calfee and the depth of their expertise with composites, "Much of the activity revolves around the arrival of as many as half a dozen broken carbon frames per day. In fact, Calfee has quite a good side business going repairing the frames of its competitors. The fact that so many cyclists look to Calfee Design to get the job done right should tell you something." Like I said, this speaks volumes about Calfee.


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness


Four more weeks in the walking cast = 10 weeks off the bike. Not good. In other news, I'm continually amazed at the lack of objective 'reporting' that seems to come across the Blogs. I swear, "I read it on the internet so it must be true" will be the downfall of civilization as we know it. Print reporters, love 'em or hate 'em, have always been the front line for the truth and were held to a standard for gathering facts and reporting the truth. While they may not always gather or present all of the facts, what they do print is usually fact-based and fact-checked by an editorial staff. With Blogs, it's hit or miss and I'm sorry, there are just too many folks -- young and old, liberal and conservative, agnostic or devout -- who prefer 'truthiness' of things to the truth, particularly when the truth may take some time and effort to ascertain. The latter just doesn't cut it in an instant-gratification / short attention span world where everyone is in such a hurry to get to the 'end' that they forget to enjoy the journey.


MARCH 14th UPDATE

Registration Opens for Tennessee Tandem Rally on Monday, March 16 - Albeit a bit later than usual, registration for the Tennessee Tandem Rally will officially open on March 16th (EST) with the posting of the downloadable registration form to the TTR Website which you can find HERE. As in past years, attendance will be limited to 50 teams. If you're interested I wouldn't dawdle too long: GTR sold out in about a week or so this year, once you factor in the pre-registration window with open registration for the balance of the remaining slots filled in about 2 days. A lot of the folks who missed out have already been tapping on the box office windows for TTR and last year's attendees have been given a heads-up to look for the form being posted on March 16. Fair warning, that's all.


Bamboosero Bikes Now A Reality - Craig Calfee recently launched a new enterprise called Bamboosera Bikes to advance the production of bamboo bicycles in places of Ghana and anywhere else where inexpensive, easy to assembly transportation can improve peoples lives through both industry and the movement of people and commerce.  Check it out HERE.


Tandem Folks in the Bloggosphere: Seth & Kathy Krieger, FLA - Seth and Kathy are tandem enthusiasts who are doing a cross country tour on the installment plan. You can learn more about them on their blog which you can find HERE.


Dancing Bear Bicycle Bash, April 3-5 Townsend, TN - Matt Alexander and Tennessee Tandem Rally gluttons for punishment Tim & Sharon Patterson have teamed up once again to put on a posh weekend of cycling in Townsend, Tennessee, Gateway to the Smokey Mountains National Park.  You can read a great article about the weekend HERE or check out their Website HERE.


Celeb Matt Damon = Ace Stoker?  Yup, fellow tandem-geek Henry Able forward a link to a SkyNews article where Matt Damon took out from filing in South Africa to participate in a 110k cycling event call the Cape Argus Cycle Tour to raise money for the Make a Difference Charity.  You can read more about it and see photos of Damon stoking for his brother HERE.


MTB Tandem World Championship @ Cool, California, Oct '09 - I think we may have already posted an item on this new event but it bears repeating because it's, well, pretty cool.  The event will be held in conjunction with the Mountain Unicycle and Single Speed Championships in NorCal the weekend of October 9-10, offer cash prizes for for the Co-Ed Class, and also provide awards and prizes for Male & Female teams as well. You can learn more about it HERE.


How Tandem Cycling Changes Lives - It's no secret that a tandem can allow people to cycle who might not otherwise be able to ride due to various handicaps.  Here's one story about just such a person, Peter Quaiattini of Calgary who has been sight impaired his entire life and a tandem enthusiast since age 8.  More importantly, it was though tandem cycling that he met his wife who was a volunteer tandem pilot with the Trailblazers Tandem Cycling Club in Toronto.  You can read his entire story HERE.


HEY! That's a photo of US?! -  The internet is a strange place in that every now and again a digital image of you hosted on someone's public photo album will show up in someone's Blog, personal website, discussion forum or even a commercial site... and often times in violation of copyright laws, i.e., without the permission of the photo's owner or a model release from the subjects of the photos.  Sometimes it's harmless, sometimes it's not but it's always a bit disconcerting when you first make the discovery.   Such a discovery occurred this week when a Bicycle Radar posting about a bike shop in the UK used a photo of some friends in just such a way. I first saw it in my daily search engine feed and shortly thereafter saw a posting on Facebook from a friend and one of the subjects in the photo who was equally surprised when they became cycling icons in the UK. Thankfully, it was a nice photo used in a positive vane; however, it's still a no-no given the commercial nature of the site and business being promoted. 


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness

WooHoo..  I've been able to get around pretty well without crutches in my walking cast this past week and have even taken to moving about the house without the cast in an effort to get some mobility back into my ankle. My calf muscle did not take kindly to the rude awaking after 6 weeks of Zero use and the ligaments are also complaining.  However, it feels like progress just the same.  Still haven't decided if I want to keep my knee-walker as insurance against a future injury because sure as the sun rises, if I sell it I'll probably need it.  Seriously though, if you ever have a lower leg injury or surgery where you cannot put weight on your foot and would like to avoid the loss of your hands due to crutches, the iWalkFree is worth investigating.  It draws strange looks and comments, but it really allows you to function without feeling like an invalid.   End of pitch and, no, I have no financial interest in the firm.  I'm just appreciative for having been able to keep walking on my 'peg leg' and not be a burden to my wife as I was able to take care of my chores and do most of the things I normally do about the house and at at work.

MARCH 7th UPDATE

It's Open House Season At Tandem Dealers - If you've been thinking about tandems and wanted to learn more, see some hardware and perhaps take some meaningful test rides, now's the time to do it.  Unfortunately, tandem speciality dealers are far and few between and only a couple put forth the effort to host these events and, in that regard, it's the folks who live within a few hours of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., who are best served:

March 22 - Mt Airy Spring Demo Days (MD):  - Larry Black at Mt. Airy Cyclery in Maryland will host his 18th annual Spring Demo Day featuring bicycle rides, food, displays, demos, and fun. There will be group rides, recumbent and tandem bikes on display and available to test ride, special needs equipment, local cycling club members on hand to offer tips, and plenty of food. Although a bit thin on details compared to their newsletter, you can find more details at their Website HERE.


March 28 & 29 - Tandems East / Tandem Expo (NJ): A must-do event with guest speakers from Co-Motion (Dwan Shepard), Rolf Wheels (Rolf Deitrich), daVinci (Brian Davis), Seven Cycles (Joe Wignall), Cane Creek (Eric Smith), Your Cycling Italia (Bill Speckman) and master personal trainer Jeff Baker from Vineland, NJ.  As always, your host and co-owner of Tandems East, Mel Kornbluh, will kick things off with his Tandeming 101.   Oh yeah, and there will also be more tandems on display than you'll ever see in one place short of a very large tandem rally, refreshments and test rides are encouraged. You can read my post-expo report from last year at this URL and find more details regarding the Expo at Tandem East's Website HERE.


Friends Don't Let Friends Ride Alone - Here's a great story out of Tucson, Arizona that speaks volumes about the value of true friendship and how, once again, a tandem can have a tremendous impact on someone's life.  You'll find the story entitled Quite a ride with compassionate friends HERE.


Canadian Triathletes Undeterred by Sight Impairment - The Blind Guys Tri Team is made up of 30 Canadians who range in age from 16 to 66 with varying degrees of sight impairment.   While training in competing in triathlons is hard enough -- with or without sight impairment -- finding 30 tandem bicycles was yet another challenge this team had to meet. You can read their story HERE.


NWTandemRacing.com Makes VeloNews - Regular readers may recall an early item here at thetandemlink.com regarding Henry Abel's new tandem bicycle racing website, NWTandemRacing.com. Well, word keeps getting around and Henry got a HUGE boost in exposure on March 3 when VeloNews ran a comprehensive article on the site.  You can find it HERE


North American Handmade Bicycle Show Winners! - CyclingNews ran a very comprehensive series of articles on the NAHBS held in Indianapolis, IN back on Feb 27 - Mar 1 and in Part 3 focused on the winners of the "Best ____" awards. Taking top honors for the tandems was Stephen Bilenky's lugged homage to the Jack Taylor tandems of years gone by; resplendent in its deep red and cream colors.  The CyclingNews Gallery can be found HERE and the tandem gallery from the NAHBS show is HERE. However, there was actually a second best tandem, but this one stole the Best Titanium Bike category.  Kent Eriksen's coupled somehow eluded a few cameras but some diligent searching by yours truly has uncovered a few photos HERE and HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: Michael Armstrong, Portland OR - Michael Armstrong manages the City of Portland, Oregon's climate protection agency but, more importantly, he's a tandem enthusiast of the first order.  He's also one of this year's Alice B. Toeclip Award nominees.  You can read about and see photos of Michael and his family HERE.


Big Ass Chard from Adler Fels Winery - I've got to give credit where credit is due to Gary Koenig whose column is carried by the Denver Examiner for this discovery... and it's a Big Ass find, literally. Adler Fels Winery apparently has a brand called Big Ass wines -- full-bodied, robust, soft, warm California wines -- that features some brilliant labels. Their Big Ass Chard (as in Chardonnay) label makes this the ideal gift for your next social, off-bike dinner party with your tandeming friends. We'll have to see if it's carried locally as the only thing we can buy direct from Adler Fels is the poster as direct alcohol sales are a no-no to Georgia residents.


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness

Well, it's weight-on-wheels, er leg this week and by golly it feels good to waddle; walking is next... albeit in my walking cast. Debbie rode off to enjoy a beautiful afternoon ride today whilst I didn't and, well, that's tough. With any luck I'll be able to soft pedal a stationary bike this week (unbeknownst to my ortho) and that will hopefully give me an indication of how long rehab / recovery is going to take.


FEBRUARY 28th UPDATE

What to know where the Stimulus $$ Might Be Going? Long-time, good friend Hank passed a long a pretty slick Website URL that allows you to search a data base of potential spending stimulus projects. It's pretty interesting to see how funds could be used in our area. Just searching on "bike" and "bicycle" I was able to find 240 projects totaling about $863,395,288 allocated to 33 different states. For perspective, that's about 0.11% of the $787B stimulus package. You can find the Stimuluswatch.org Website HERE.

Note: Be sure to read the disclaimers and FAQs regarding this any any other site related to stimulus spending, e.g., from StimulusWatch.org:

"StimulusWatch.org was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed "shovel-ready" projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes. Learn more by reading the FAQs."

FAQ Example: "The data on this site comes from the U.S. Conference of Mayors' MainStreet Economic Recovery Report. If a city did not include its "shovel-ready" projects on that list, you won't find it here. However, this does not mean that cities that are not included here do not have projects they'd like to see funded. Once the stimulus bill passes, cites will make requests for federal grants, and we will likely see grants to projects not listed on this site."


North American Handmade Bicycle Show @ Indianapolis, IN on Feb 27 - Mar 1: If you love bicycles and live any where near Indianapolis, IN, you owe it to yourself to attend this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show. This is a show for anyone who appreciates or wants to learn more about the art of hand-made bicycle frames and to see some of the most amazing bicycles you've ever seen as some 100 artisans gather to show and discuss their craft. You can find all kinds of great articles and find photos at the NAHBS Website HERE. Attendance at Friday's show was 1,700, far exceeding last year's 1,230 or so at Portland, OR. For those who can't make it to the show, be sure to search out some of the coverage and photos that will pop-up on the Web over the next several days, like the ones you'll find at Urban Velo's Web site HERE, HERE and HERE


Interested in Being A Tandem Pilot For Sight Impaired Stokers? The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is working in partnership with the Blind Center Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, California to match up local tandem owners from the South Bay area with sight impaired vets. You can read more about the program and find contact information in this article posted HERE.


What Comes To Mind When You Hear "Custom Paint Job?" - One of the joys of having a love-affair with bicycles is taking the time and investing a few bucks (or sweat equity for those with the skills) to differentiate your machine from all of the others in the world. As it is with all other wheeled vehicles, a custom paint scheme is certainly a great way to do that. Of course, custom paint is a fairly wide-open field, ranging from simply picking a special color, specifying a multi-color or fade paint scheme, or in the case of a Co-Motion Roadster recently delivered by Jim's Bicycle Shop in Cincinnati, Ohio.... it could be a tandem where the front half was painted to mimic a Holstein cow while the back is covered with a field of sunflowers. You can see a photo of this eye-catching machine HERE.


Iowa Considers New Law To Protect Cyclists - While some states have adopted 3-foot laws in an effort to protect cyclists from passing motorists, Iowa's Senate pass a new bill this week by a vote of 30-17 that mandates a 5-foot clear zone and other provisions. The bill is now in the House for consideration. You can read more about it HERE.


No Job To Big - OK, this is yet another entry that's not specific to tandems but that may be of interest to tandem enthusiasts since getting a proper fit for non-standard sized teams is often times a challenge. You can find a nice little article on Co-Motion's Blog about one of their customers, a 7' tall, 325 gentleman HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: David & Marcia Sykuta of Springfield, IL - David & Marcia are recumbent tandem enthusiasts who live and ride throughout the Midwest. They are now working with other cycling enthusiasts in their community to develop a permanent bicycle advisory group for their community. You can read about their efforts HERE.


Redlands Rotary Ride Offers Tandem-Friendly Pricing! WooHoo, yet another event where the organizers are reaching out to families by offering discounted registration rates for tandems as well as a family pack. This year's Redlands Rotary Ride in Redlands, California will be held on March 28th in conjunction with what will be the 25th running of the Redlands Bike Classic, California's oldest professional stage race. You can read the short article in the Redlands Daily Facts HERE, visit the Redlands Rotary Ride website HERE, and learn more about the Redlands Classic HERE.


Tandems and Weddings: A Classic - While there are all kinds of stories about couples who have incorporated tandem bicycles into their wedding plans, I believe this may be the first time I've ever seen a couple ride a tandem into their indoor wedding reception as the MC introduces the new couple to their guests! Just plain fun and you can find the video HERE.


Tandem Club of America Continues Its Slide Into Obscurity - I received my 2009 TCA Membership Roster and, as I have done for the last six years, I thought I'd share a quick look at the Tandem Club of America's (TCA) demographics. As always, my hand-tabulated counts from the membership listing were entered into my spreadsheets and looked at on a state-by-state basis as in comparison to data from last year's Membership Roster and, where noted, to the first analysis I conducted back in 2002. You can find my highly unscientific analysis HERE.

In summary, and based on what was published in this year's 2009 Membership List, TCA membership at approx 914 is down about 9% compared to last year, with a net reduction of 92 members. In fact, the drop-off in 2008 is nearly the same as last year where we saw a net reduction of 91 members.

Looking back and comparing membership to 2002 when I first started following the data, overall TCA membership has fallen by 543 or about 37%: States like Texas have dropped dramatically from 71 members in 2002 to just 37 in this year's Membership roster.California has gone from a very healthy 111 members in 2002 to 68 members this year.Florida and New York have also seen quite a drop-off in membership during the past year.

Editorial: Given there have been almost no changes in TCA staff, sans the folks who maintain the membership and hospitality homes lists up to date, and that there have been no changes in the way that TCA promotes itself or the services / value it offers membership, there is no reason to believe the net downward trend or the short-lived new membership trends will be reversed. TCA continues to cling to a model for enthusiast clubs that has not changed in over a decade and only survives because of long-term membership loyalty which, frankly, may also be tested in the next year. After all, even the nominal $15 membership fee may start to look excessive in terms of the value it delivers as members re-evaluate their household budgets and expenditures.


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness

Although I'm still grumpy, on the whole it's been a good week if only because I'm now allowed to put some weight on my broken leg. It will be hard to resist the temptation to over do it, but I'm mindful that I must as the last step I want to take is a step backwards. I am, however, tempted to spend some time soft pedaling on my stationary training bicycle just to get some range of motion back in my ankle and to remind my calf how it works.

Facebook... I don't really get it. I've signed up and continue to collect and connect with friends in a way that somewhat mirrors my address book. I made the mistake the other night of building some photo albums without realizing I was sharing out those photos 'real time' until I started to almost immediately receive feedback. Once I realized how it worked I quickly purged just about anything that wasn't just a photo of us. Anyway, like I said.. I don't get it but it's good to see some faces that I haven't seen in a while and I will continue to check in when I find myself with absolutely nothing else to do. Also, don't expect to get any beads from me unless you're a gal who flashes your tee-otts in the true spirit of Mardi Gras.


FEBRUARY 21st UPDATE

Tandem Folks in the News: Dick and Susan Rogers of Redlands, CA - Dick and Susan are set to begin their 3,400 mile, 67-day transcontinental tandem trip to raise donations for the non-profit Mustard Seed Tutorial Center in Redlands, California. This will be the couple's second transcontinental and you can read the whole story and find the URL to track their progress HERE. Trivia Time: Your faithful correspondent once lived in Redlands during the late 80's before moving to Georgia in '91.


Tandem Folks in the News: Sean McCann & Peter Banks of the UK - Young cancer survivor Sean McCann and his friend Peter Banks plan to travel some 2,000 miles from Cambridge, England to Rome, Italy on a tandem bicycle. Their goal is to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust's East Anglia Appeal and you can read more about the pair and find a links to the charity HERE.


A Co-Motion / Gates Carbon Drive Update - Good friend and fellow tandem geek Henry Able out in Oregon has posted two recent updates to the Webcyclery Tandem Belt Drive / Co-Motion Gates Carbon Drive Impressions page. They offer some first hand feedback on life with the belt after several hundred miles with an eye on tension adjustments and cleaning. You can read his Feb 4 and Feb 19 updates HERE.


Charles Manantan of Pez Cycling News on Topolino Wheels - Warning: If you're easily offended by off-color language you might want to pass on reading this article. Charles writes the way most bike-geeks talk and the occasional S-word or a contraction of the F bomb make appearances. OK, with that out of the way, Charles is a pretty big fan of the Topolino wheels and this is at least his 2nd article on the carbon/kevlar spoked, super-lightweight wheels. The tandem connection here is that Topolino makes a Carbon Core series wheelset for tandems -- the AX3.0T -- and since we own a set that have seen a few miles I would have to say most of what Charles observes is also true of the tandem version. Mind you, these are expensive, hand- made, lightweight wheels and as such are best acquired as a second set of wheels. Hey, s--t happens, but if it does the support from Topolino has been excellent. You can read the entire Pez article HERE.


Boost Mobile "Unwronged": I'm Really Getting Old - Boost Mobile telecommunications has launched a series of commercials where bizarre and unlikely 'human errors in judgment" are placed in front of viewers as a metaphor for the surprise many cell phone customers get when they're hit with hidden fees. Yeah, whatever... One of the commercials uses what appears to be an old creaky tandem with ape- hanger bars where the young girl piloting the bike with a sleeveless shirt has been given three feet of flowing red armpit hair that is, well, annoying to her male stoker to the make point that "this is just wrong" and so are annoying, hidden cell phone fees. Clearly, I'm not the target audience but perhaps someone you know is, so here's a LINK to a blog that has captured the commercial.


Free Speech & The Right To Be An Idiot - This one is not tandem-specific and really needs no explanation, but it underscores how short-sighted people can be. In short, there's a punk band in Florida called 'this bike is a pipe bomb' and at least twice now cyclists have put stickers with the band's name on their bikes and left them parked in public places unattended, like chained in front of an airport terminal. You can read more about it and see a photo of a bike with one of the stickers HERE.


Home Made Tandem: Future Darwin Award & Liability - If you thought some of the tandems sold on Ebay for $200 are unsafe due to substandard brakes and what not, this should pin your ears back a bit. I seem to recall having friends who did this when I was a kid and it was a death-trap / accident waiting to happen. However, in the internet age just about anything can be posted to the net so that others can admire, emulate or in my case criticize and such is the case with the kid's home-made tandem you'll find HERE. Hardly original, but certainly not something for which you'd want to provide how-to-instructions. Anyone who has a serious interest in homebuilding a tandem should, instead, learn how to weld OR employ the assistance of a certified welder and follow the instructions that can be found on the late Sheldon Brown's Website HERE.


Tandem Folks in the Bloggosphere: Becky - In her 'Cruisin' with Cricket Blog, Becky recounts the important role that tandem bicycles have played in her life as a degenerative eye disease moved her from car driver to tandem pilot, then to tandem stoker. It's an excellent retrospective that worth a read to just about anyone who is or knows someone who may be facing a similar challenge. You can read the entry HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: Bob and Cindy Neidinger of St. Joseph, MO - An article entitled "Ready to Ride" that pitches cycling as a great way to get a workout and see the world introduces us to St. Joseph Bicycle Club members Bob & Cindy Neidinger. You can find the article HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: Stu Thomas & Mayor Peter Chin of Dunedin, NZ - Dunedin, New Zealand held its Bike Wise Mayoral Challenge on the Ravensbourne cycle way last weekend and caught on camera leading the riders was Stu Thomas captaining Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin. You can see the photo of his honor and read the article about the event HERE.


ABC Brisbane Personalities Go On A Tandem Adventure - ABC Brisbane's morning show host, Rebecca Levinston and producer Chris Welsh hopped on a tandem bicycle to show how commuters might be able to get from point A to point B in the event of a rail strike. Thankfully, there was no strike but you can find their story, some photos and an audio link that recounts the journey HERE.


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness

Grumpy, very grumpy is perhaps the best way to describe my mood. I'll steer clear of politics and the economy here but I'm sure that's part of it, if not a big part of it: what a screwed-up mess. darn shame history is so under-rated.

Speaking of history, I just finished doing my annual tally of TCA membership data and, once again, the downward slide continues: -37% since 2002 with no real sign of a change in how the organization engages or interacts with the membership, potential members or the wider cycling community. In fact, given that I read hundreds of tandem-related articles on the net from which I cull my Bulletin Board entries, there is rarely if ever a mention of TCA.

I'm still several weeks away from riding anything with two wheels and I've been amazed at how fast my left calf muscle has atrophied. Again, thank goodness I've been able to use my entire right leg and upper left leg in a semi-normal way with my hands-free crutch. While I'd originally planned to recoup part of my expense by selling after I'm walking again, I'm now thinking I'll just keep it around for friends and family to borrow or, heaven forbid, a future lower-leg injury.


FEBRUARY 14th UPDATE

Where'd The Links To Industry News & Georgia Resources Go? - For anyone who may have found the collection of links that previously occupied the top spot of the Bulletin Board, fear not... It's not gone. It's simply been relocated to the bottom of the Bulletin Board. In fact, you can jump there by clicking on the following snapshot of the image map.


Did You Notice Our URL Icon?- Like so many other Web sites, www.thetandemlink.com now has it's own URL Icon. Although I'm not positive, aside from vanity I believe the main reason these little Icons were created was to make it easier to find or differentiate shortcuts in most browser's Favorites or Bookmark lists and browser History drop-downs. Anyway, there you go... Just look for TL = Tandem Link.


Tandem Folks in the News: Kris Van Metter & Joy Baynes of Takoma, MD - Kris and Joy became engaged back in November and  are looking forward to a June wedding and -- you gotta love this --after Kris popped the question the bride-to-be asked for a mountain tandem bike instead of an engagement right. You can read their entire story HERE.


The Ubiquitous Valentines Day Tandem Bicycle Article -  Yes, it's Valentines Day and as sure as the sun will rise each day, you'll find plenty of articles about tandems.  You can find a pretty nice one from south Florida with several anecdotes and recommendations from local tandem enthusiasts HERE.   You can find another one HERE from Virginia / Maryland.


1952 Schwinn Black Phantom Tandem Goes for $8,000 at Auction - Even in these hard economic times, there are still a lot of collectors with the resources to pursue their respective hobbies.  Case in point, a 1952 Schwinn Black Phantom Tandem that sold for just a little over $8,000 at a recent auction in Florida.  You can see how it stacked up against a large collection of Schwinn Stingrays and, well, a whole lot of cars HERE.  The same tandem was mentioned in an interesting article about the recently discovered 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante that sold for an amazing $4.4-million last weekend in Paris that you can read about HERE.


Thumbs-Up To The Santa Clarita Century Organizers: Tandem Discount! -  The Santa Clarita Century's host club, Santa Clarita Velo, earns a big thumbs-up from TheTandemLink.com for offering special pricing for tandem teams.  It's self-serving, but I've always been of the opinion that offering special discounts for tandems has been a win-win for event organizers and tandem enthusiasts.  The organizers are able to attract a few more cyclists and the associated revenue for their event who might not otherwise attend, and tandem cyclists are able to participate in events that might otherwise be cost prohibitive.  Learn more about the Feb 28th Santa Clarita Century HERE.


Tandem Club UK Stands Up NEW URLs For South East London & Kent - Good friend Neville Frost , Webmaster for Tandem Club UK, wrote to let us know the South East London and Kent Regions now have 'proper' URLs of their own.
 
Tandem Club - South East London is now: - http://www.tandemclub-southeastlondon.org.uk
Tandem Club - Kent is now http://www.tandemclub-kent.org.uk
 
The Tandem Club UK links page here at www.thetandemlink.com has been updated with these new links as well. You can visit it by clicking HERE, by clicking on the UK Union Flag in the masthead that appears at the top of every page on our site.


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness

I figure since blogs have become so darn popular I'd go ahead an add my own poppourri of mindless ramblings to my weekly news snippets... at least until I grow bored of it

Last week you may recall I reported a fractured fibula. The ONLY upside to the whole episode has been the hands-free crutch (aka. the iWalkFree) which it turns out has been a life-saver, or at least a mobility restorer that allows me to do just about everything I normally do other than riding a bicycle or motorcycle. The only downside is having to explain what it is and how it works about 100 times a day as it never fails to draw attention. Of course, what would you expect as even the inventor Lance Matthews noted in an recent Email exchange, it really is amazing no one had ever introduced something like his hands-free crutch for lower leg injuries decades ago. It will be interested to see what the folks at the Ortho clinic have to say when I come strolling in for my 3 week check-up near the end of the month.

In other matters, several astute observers / motorcycle enthusiasts took note that I neglected to mention back in my January 17th item entitled Yours Truly Bags A New Two-Seater . what type of motorcycle it was that replaced my beloved CBR1100XX (aka. SuperBlackbird) after the December 8th 'bird strike'. There was a teaser thumbnail that showed the new to us bike sitting in the www.MTBTandems.com trailer graciously loaned to us by Alex Nutt of MTBTandems , but that was it. So, for those folks who follow my Bulletin Board and who are also motorcycle enthusiasts, at left is a photo of CBR1100XX that had carried me back and forth to work for the past 8 years & 36,000 miles and at right is the 2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replika that has taken its place. Alas, the beemer now sits on a pair of pit stands until April when I'm once again able to use my lower left leg. You can find a photo gallery of the new bike HERE or by clicking on its photo.


 


FEBRUARY 6th UPDATE

We've Mooo'ved Our Web Hosting to FatCow.com - Hopefully this will be a seamless transition, but in the event you should notice something is missing or not working correctly here at the thetandemlink.com or your Emails start bouncing please be aware that as of February 6 our domain hosting moved over to www.fatcow.com's servers. The URLs and our werlivingood.com Email addresses are still the same; however, if you do find problems please send an Email to me at my ISP account: mplivingood@bellsouth.net. Finally, if you read this entry at Hobbes or Bikeforums.net and then don't see this entry or the February 6th Update at the top of the Bulletin Board when you visit our site, you'll need to clear your browser's cache and may even need to restart your application and/or reboot your computer.


25 Years of Santa Cruz Bicycle Design & Innovation Opens Today! - An exhibit that celebrates the contribution Santa Cruz-based bicycle designers have made over the past 25 years opened today at the Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center in Santa Cruz. Friend and builder Craig Calfee's work along with exhibits that look at Specialized, Giro and Santa Cruz will be on display. Be sure to give it a look-see if you're headed to Santa Cruz for next weekend's Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California and read more about the exhibit HERE.


Georgia Tandem Rally Sold-Out in 2 Days - In case you thought we were kidding with last week's entry, the Georgia Tandem Rally filled all 97 team slots in just two days this year. In other words, if a team didn't use an overnight / Express Mail service they ended up on the waiting list. However, that said, nearly 1/3 of the rally registrants are first-timers. Anyway, for future planning purposes you can learn more about GTR at their Web site:http://www.georgiatandemrally.com/register.html


Le Ghana se lance dans la production de vélos en bambou - Le vélo en bambou imaginé par un designer américain espère demain conquérir des clients dans le monde entier. Cela changerait la vie de ceux qui, au Ghana, produisent cette bicyclette. Ok, if you don't speak French this summary introduces a new video news story from Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Craig Calfee's Bamboo Bicycle Project in Ghana. The original video link provided by Yahoo France News is no longer valid so please use THIS LINK instead. You can also find additional links to archived news reports and videos at Calfee Design's Web site by clicking HERE.


The Geek's Weekly Potpourri of Bloggishness

Down and Out In Atlanta Georgia; 50-year Streak Comes To An End - Well, after somehow avoiding any serious bone breaks for 50 years, this week I managed to turn my left ankle in an awkward enough manner to fracture the end of my Fibula where it comes together at the ankle with the Tibia and Talis bones. So, the prognosis is... I will be more grumpy than usual, a lot more grumpy. No weight bearing in an Aircast for at least 3 weeks followed by 3-5 weeks in a walking cast before I can pedal a bicycle with both legs or ride my motorcycle (the latter are what keep me sane), never mind attending to the house and yard. Moreover, I might as well get in a little Cycle-Smithing by noting how poor our cycling form will be throughout the rest of the year. The only possible upside is the discovery of a new-fangled, hands-free 'crutch' called the iWalkFree that I"ll be picking up tomorrow which -- if it works as advertised -- will at least give me back some basic mobility + use of my hands. We'll see...


 JANUARY 31st UPDATE

Why Today's Bikes Have No Fenders - With perhaps the exception of the Pacific Northwest, it does seem that a tandem sporting fenders (aka, mud guards) is indeed a rare sight. A UK columnist, Philip Jackman, recently offered his assessment as to why so few bikes sold today come with those very practical fenders as part of his Collected Wisdom writings that you can find HERE. I've previously included the subject of "do you use fenders" in two polls over the past few years and there does seem as though about 23% - 33% of the enthusiast riders do, in fact, have and use fenders if only for those times when they are clearly called for. You can the results of a November '08 Poll conducted at the bikeforums.net website HERE and at Question #8 of another poll conducted in Jan-Feb '08 HERE.


Oregon Tandem Club & Bicycle Coalition Work To Provide Bikes To Needy Kids - Team Northwest Tandemonium (TNT) and the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition have teamed up in an effort to provide 2nd - 5th grade needy children with 20" and 24" bicycles. You can read about their initiative HERE.


It's Probably Too Late But.... Registration for GTR Is Now Open - Registration for the 2009 edition of the Georgia Tandem Rally to be held in Athens, Georgia on May 22-24 officially opened at 11:00pm on January 30th. As noted in the Email notice that goes out to the 1,200 teams who have attended one of the past 10 GTRs, the event limited to 95 teams usually fills up in less than a week so unless you're REALLY, REALLY swift there's a good chance that as the average Joe & Jane Tandem Team y'all might not make it in. Anyway, without further fanfare, you can find out more about the rally HERE and you can download the registration application HERE. Note that the host hotel only has 20 rooms left but, fear not, there are plenty of other very nice accommodations near by.


Nick & Holly Need A Tandem To Ride From El Paso, TX to Vancouver, BC - Well, the starting and end points are approximations on my part but the need is genuine. I received the following note this past Friday wherein Nick outlined the ambitious journey and he and his fiance Holly have embarked upon. If you can help point them towards a potential 'ride' for their US leg that would be great.

My fiancé and I are currently on an around the world trip without using any aeroplanes. As part of this we tandemed from London to Spain and are hoping to also tandem from the US Mexico border to the US Canada border. As it is very costly to send our tandem out to the States we are looking for a tandem to either buy (and then sell) or borrow for this leg of the trip.

My fiancé is 5'4" and I am 6'1" and the ideal would be a touring set up with panniers/trailer, good brake system to deal with weight of camping gear and also suitable geometry for long rides. We will be coming into the US from Mexico mid April and will be looking to get one asap after that and will most likely look to be selling it somewhere in the North West or West Coast around 2.5 months later.

It would be great if you could drop a note in a news or classifieds section of the site. We are hoping that someone out there will have one we could use or buy, and also if people have any advice for places to see or rides to take in on the way it would be great to meet up with some fellow enthusiasts.

Here is a link to our website of the trip so far: http://www.3mphroundtheworld.com and also a link to the tandeming sections of the trip if these wanted to be featured. Hol and I are both keen writers and so we'd be more than happy to provide any reports, reviews, photos of the trip if you wanted them for the site as well.


Portsmouth Cathedral's Dean and Chorister Arrive For Services ala Tandem - Yet another sign of the current push for Green alternatives, a news article popped up this week out of Portsmouth where the local Cathedral has installed bike racks in its efforts to encourage staff and visitors to ride their bicycles to work and services. As noted in the article, the Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral and a chorister marked the occasion by arriving on a tandem bicycle. You can read the entire article HERE.


Crank2 Performance Tandems To Host Valentines Day Tandem Rally - The 2nd-only and newest brick & mortar tandem speciality shop that we know of, Crank2 Performance located in Pleasonton, California, will be hosting a special tandem event in conjunction with the City of Santa Cruz and Stage 2 of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California called '2 Wheels for 2 Hearts Tandem Rally' on Feb 14 - 15. You can read more about the event at Co-Motion's Blog entry (which is where I discovered it) or at Crank2's website. It sounds like it will be a great ride and a great event. Too bad we're about 3,000 miles away.


Want to Sneak a Peek Into Bob Brown's Workshop? - Bob Brown's latest Blog update includes three little snippets about some projects he has in work that include a disc brake installation on a Co-Motion tandem using a Brake Therapy adapter, the addition of S&S couplers to a VooDoo 29" single bike, and a very custom-looking tandem that's in very raw form. Take a peek HERE.


Northwest Tandem Racing Website Now Up! - Good friend and fellow tandem geek Henry Able wrote to let us know he's just put the finishing touches on his new tandem cycle racing website, http://nwtandemracing.com. The site will no doubt prove to be an invaluable resource for tandem teams who are interested in competing in on or off-road tandem events in the Oregon, Washington & Northern California area. You will note that there is a healthy amount of WebCyclery adverts on the page which ain't necessarily a bad thing as they often times have pretty good deals on tandem frames and components and, well, they also employ Henry's services, hence the close relationship. Anyway, if interested take a look HERE.

Note: For those who don't know, another good friend, David Hunter, created the Atlantic Seaboard Tandem Racing Organization (ASTRO) discussion forum at YahooGroups back on June 13, 2000. ASTRO is yet another resource where competitive tandem teams can share information regarding tandem racing and events. You can find the ASTRO forum by clicking HERE.



HUNTING ISLAND/SEA ISLAND ROTARY BIATHLON: What: Adventure Biathlon; Where: Hunting Island State Park; When: March 7, race at 1:30 p.m., registration at 11 a.m.; Cost: $40 per person or $55 per team ($10 late fee after Feb. 28 or on race day); Registration: Register online at active.com, or make checks payable to Sea Island Rotary Club and send to The Extra Mile, 336 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401; Notes: Course is approx. 6-mile paddle from lagoon to Fripp Inlet and back, and 4.5-mile trail run; Tandem and relay teams allowed; Awards and post-race party. Information:Call Higher Ground at 379-GEAR (4327) or Extra Mile at 853-9987,or go to www.HigherGroundoftheLowCountry.com or www.TheExtraMileInc.com.

Editorial: In Theory, Green = Bikes And That's Great; But What About In The Real World?

Hey, don't get me wrong, being environmentally conscious is a great thing... right up there with living within your means, giving to those in need through charitable donations, volunteerism, community service, eating and exercising. I also think consumption of alcohol, riding motorcycles, driving fast cars and pursuing all kinds of other activities that enrich our lives are great things too when done responsibly, legally and 'both eyes open'. However, of late every one in the print, internet and TV / cable news world seems to have jumped on the Green is great bandwagon and every day there's this revelation that bicycles are this really cool and green way to get around.

Well duh? That's been true for over 120 years. Unfortunately, somewhere during the 70's and 80's urban planning decided to leave bicycles out of their infrastructure models for community development and what 'could have been' with regard to Green transportation was quickly undone in new communities that became car-centric instead of bicycle and pedestrian friendly. During this same time the nanny state came to embrace the idea that simply jumping on a bicycle in your street clothes and without head protection -- as almost all of us boomers did back when we and hundreds of our friends rode our bikes to school -- was simply irresponsible. Welcome to cause and effect where bicycles become unsafe and parents react by keeping their kids off bikes, sans BMX parks and playgrounds or bike paths. For those who continue to ride, take away bicycle and pedestrian friendly urban and suburban development, make sure there are at least two cars per family running around every day and by-gosh-by-golly you're going to have an increase in the number of cyclists and pedestrians being hit by cars even though there are fewer cyclists on the road.

Fast forward to 2009 where 9 out of 10 motorists are on their cell phones or texting while looking at their GPS displays and fiddling with their iPods or the kid's in-car DVD and it's fairly easy to understand why motorists no longer 'see' the cyclists and pedestrians they've just hit. So, what does this have to do with Green reporting and cycling. What we now have is a recipe for disaster in terms of the number of motorist / cyclist collisions where folks who don't live in the bicycle-friendly communities that are used as examples in many of these Green news items who haven't got a clue how to ride a bicycle on public roads are being encouraged to take to those roads with all of those distracted motorists.

So, at least in the short term, I would expect to see a rise in the number of cyclist injuries and fatalities and calls for more bicycle-specific infrastructure projects to make communities more bicycle friendly. Now, where's the Green in all of that?

Yeah, it makes for feel-good reporting that seems like a great idea on the surface, but throw in a good dose of reality -- this isn't the Netherlands folks and we can't all live in Berkeley or Portland -- and I'm not feeling all that good about it. Where are the stories on motorist and cyclist education programs? Where is the necessary focus by law enforcement agencies on educating officers about the rules of the road and aggressive prosecution of motorists who kill through negligence that's often time dismissed as simply "just an unfortunate accident". Unfortunately, having seen some of the 'new' bicycle commuters riding with inadequate lighting, dark clothes and poor public road riding skills I'd say that many of these future accidents will in fact be "just an unfortunate accident".

Tandem Content: You'd better have a good grasp on your local traffic conditions, experience riding safely with traffic and a willingness to put yourself and your passengers at risk before adopting a tandem or any other type of bicycle as a means of getting around in your community when school busses and commuters are on congested roads... Be visible and you'll survive.

End of my Rant.

 JANUARY 24th UPDATE

Co-Motion Classic set for August 21st - 23rd at Eugene, OR - Co-Motion just announced their dates for the 8th annual Co-Motion Classic Tandem Stage Race (CCTR). As in past years, the event will be held in Co-Motion's home town of in Eugene, Oregon. You can read more about the event HERE and you'll also find a link embedded in their CCTR Blog entry from June 2008 that encourages folks to consider racing with their kids in the "C-Class".


Tandem Folks in the News: Maria Johnson & Steve Nichols of Hillworth Stores in Devizes, Whiltshire UK - The economic downturn is clearly a global happening given the globalization of banking, lending and production of consumer goods and services.  The crunch has even hit Hillworth Stores of Devizes, Whiltshire.  In an effort to generate some additional revenue for their convenience store, owners Maria Johnson and Steve Nichols have chosen to employ a tandem bicycle instead of additional  staff.  You can read their story HERE.


NBA Players Take To Tandem For Contest - In the Internet's never-ending pursuit of filling with web with mindless video content a site called "ibeatyou.com" sponsors all kinds of weird contests where competitors capture their best efforts on video and then submit it to the site.  This is the story of one such competition that put Clippers' player Baron Davis and the Suns' Steve Nash on a really whippy tandem bicycle clad in garish attire as they done along the beach in Santa Monica. California.  You can find the article HERE and a very short video clip HERE.


Southern Tandem Rally '09 Web Site Now On Line - This year's Southern Tandem Rally is being hosted out of the Villages near Ocala, Florida. Bob and Jan Thompson just let us know that their Web site is now up wherein you'll learn that registration will open up around April 1st.  You can visit the Web site HERE.

 JANUARY 17th UPDATE

The Two-fer

Alabama Tandem Weekend, April 17-19 - Jack Goertz wrote to let us know the 2009 Alabama Tandem Weekend will be a redeux of last year's low-key / no-fee 2008 'Tandems on the Trail' based out of Anniston, Alabama. Dates selected are April 17-19. The basic format / event schedule looks like this:

Friday -- Meet at the Victoria Inn, Anniston, AL. Rides in the area. Maps can be downloaded from the web. Group rate has been arranged @ Victoria Inn. Friday night -- Dinner on your own in Anniston.
Saturday -- Meet at the Chief Ladiga Trailhead (time TBA). Ride will be to Cedartown, GA. Lunch on your own in Piedmont, AL. Overnight @ Holiday Inn Express, approximate 1 mile north of trail, in Cedartown, GA. Be prepared to carry your own gear for the overnight. Those wishing to ride more than 45 miles may continue on the Silver Comet trail as far as they'd like, then return to the Holiday Inn Express. Group rate has been arranged @ HI Express/ Cedartown. Saturday night is dinner on your own in Cedartown
Sunday -- Meet in front of the HI-E (time TBA) for the ride back to Anniston trail head. If lunch is desired before Anniston, it's on your own @ either Piedmont, AL or Jacksonville, AL. At the end of the ride, put your tandem back in your car, say your good-byes, and see you in 2010!

Past Alabama Tandem Weekend participants will receive additional information via Email and others who would like to receive information can send an Email to Jack at: goertz@mindspring.com


Tandem@Hobbes Archive Searches - It would appear that Alex Wetmore's search engine temporarily stopped archiving Tandem@Hobbes list content back on December 17th.  Alex has advised that he is in the process of running the disconnect to ground and will endeavor to return it to service.   In the mean time, if you have a need or desire to look back and read previous postings made after December 17th  there is still the Hobbes Hypermail tool.  You can find it HERE and it's rather intuitive to use... just not as clean reading as Alex's tools as all of the source data is presented in the results.


Tandem Folks in the News: Danny & Karen Knutson of Redondo Beach, CA - All Danny wants to be able to do now is 1) ride his tandem with his wife, 2) dance at  his son's wedding, and 3) find the hit-and-run motorist who put him into the hospital for the past seven months.  Please see the linked article HERE and if you live in SoCal and have information on the whereabouts of the suspect vehicle or driver, please contact the Redondo Beach police at 310-318-0621.


[Warning: The Following Update Could Cause A Desire To Upgrade Your Tandem]  

Co-Motion Blog Update on Carbon-Drive Belts -  Good thing our tandems have extra-long rear stoker compartments, otherwise I'd be whipping out my checkbook!  Co-Motion recently posted an update on their exclusive Gates Carbon-Drive tandem sync belt system and the very positive feedback they've been receiving from the folks who've already made the switch or who have new racing tandems fitted with the system. They also noted that other builders are also expressing an interest.  To make matters worse, Co-Motion has also put a new FAQ on-line that you can find HERE that demystifies the form, fit and function of the Gates Carbon-Drive sync belts AND they've also shared a link to a Gates YouTube video that provides some basic belt-handling tips.


French Fashion Embraces The Tandem; Who Knew?  The chic French fashion brand Comptoir des Cotonniers will be offering a tandem leisure bike this Spring as many of the world's trendy lifestyle fashion brands move to capitalize on the renaissance of the always-green alternative for sport and transportation, the bicycle.  You can read about the fashion industry's move into the cycling genre HERE and see the Comptoir des Cotonniers lovely red £1284 tandem HERE.


You Got Me...  Google "Tandem", Poach a Photo & Paste to Your Blog - Here's an interesting Blog that appears to bring you a photo-a-day of tandem bicycles with an occasional single bike thrown-in and a very brief commentary on the photo.  Replete with the ubiquitous Google ads (yes, I must admit I too have put them on my site after being told I was foolish not to), I suspect there will continue to be more and more outlets like this as folks look for ways to generate a little revenue from their interest in tandem cycling.  


 Tandem Folks in the News: Tad Johnson and Victor Shen - Tad and Victor decided to shake things up at the inaugural Bogstomp bicycle cross race held back on December 13 near Eureka, California.  You can read the entire article HERE.

Tandem 'Whizzer" spotted at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum -  During a recent visit to the spectacular Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama we discovered the museum had added a rather extensive display of 'Whizzers' since our first visit a few years back.  Most notable was the inclusion of a tandem Whizzer that was prominently displayed over the 1st Mezzanine level elevator door.  In an exchange with tandem-guru, entrepreneur and Barber volunteer Jack Goertz of Tandems Limited we learned that Jack had a hand in the restoration of the tandem Whizzer.  Given that we've found several tandem cyclists to also be motorcycle owners, let me just say that the Barber Museum deserves to be on your Bucket List.  Plan to spend at least 6 hours, maybe more.  In fact, it would probably take a full two days to see and read everything on display and, well, there's not much that isn't interesting there.


Yours Truly Bags A New Two-Seater - Well, OK. It's not another new 'tandem bicycle' but it is a two-wheeled bike that seats two riders in tandem.  Alas, my beloved CBR1100XX was done-in and damaged beyond economic repair in the process.  In my search for a replacement ended up in what would best be characterized by the Monty-Python's Flying Circus schtick, "... and now for something completely different".  The acquisition of the new-to-us bike is what took us to the Birmingham, Alabama area and Barbers last weekend, hence no Bulletin Board update.


"Burley Blows It" ... Out Through Costco - It's been all over the discussion forums and blogs this past week so if you're one of the three people who didn't hear, Burley recently made a business decision to liquidate it's 2008 trailer inventory through a sales agreement with Costco.  Rather than rehashing the net traffic I'll let you read the very sanitary story that Bicycle Retailer & Industry News ran last weekend including it's interview with Burley CEO Michael Coughlin that you can find HERE.


Litespeed's Parent Company ABG Layoffs Reflect Economic Fallout - American Bicycle Group located near Chattanooga, TN, recently announced they were being forced to layoff 25% of their work force and vice president of sales Steve Boyd in response to the economic downturn.  You can read the entire article at Bicycle Retailer & Industry News by clicking HERE.


Oh my Gosh No More Arai Drum Brakes?!  Yes, it's true...  Production of Arai drum brakes has ended and all of the existing inventory has moved off of the wholesaler's shelves and onto the shelves of OEM builders like Santana and Co-Motion or retailers like Tandems East in Pittsgrove, New Jersey.  So, should you be concerned?  Probably not.  First of all, there is a very small number of tandem teams who truly need a drum brake on their tandem and that number has been reduced by the introduction of reliable rear disc brakes. While discs don't offer the superior head capacity of drum brakes and can't be used like a drum brake, they give tandem teams who are on the fence and looking for some added piece of mind when faced with challenging descents who might have otherwise bought a drum brake.  This alternative to drum brakes will likely allow the amble supply of new drum brakes being held by the OEMs and retailers to last through a couple years (as no long as folks don't hoard them). Moreover, I'm confident that the second-hand market supply of Arai drums will last for many years to come as, again, there were a lot of folks who bought Arai drums 'just in case' and then found they just didn't need them and put them in their parts boxes where they continue to gather dust.  Finally, there is purportedly some new drum brake products in the development cycle that may be suitable for tandems in the future.  Clearly, they will be more expensive since the development costs will need to be amortized and, well, they are low-demand products.  


Tandem Folks in the Bloggosphere: Shelly Stern & Son of Charlottesville, VA - Shelly Stern is associated with the Charlottesville, Virginia-based Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation. This Blog entry provides a very nice overview and introduction to ACCT and notes that Shelly is leading by example through the use of a tandem bicycle as an alternative to automotive transportation.  You can read the Blog item HERE and learn more about ACCT HERE.


Unicyclists Welcome Tandems & Single Speeders To Their Off-Road Championship - Quoting from the Mountain Bike News Website, "Global Biorhythms Events is happy to be hosting the 2009 Muni (Mountain Unicycle) Long Course World Championship in Northern California on October 10th, 2009.  Concurrent with this race, the 2009 MTB Tandem World Championships and a MTB single speed will be held."  Tandem participants will be limited to the first 75 teams who register.  You can read more about the event HERE.


R&E Cycles' 1st Quarter Newsletter Is On The Web - Of note in the Jan-Feb '09 edition is the introduction of titanium tandems along with other custom frame offerings in the beloved and cushy material.  Also covered in this edition are the following items as extracted from the R&E Newsletter Archive: "The Bike and Pike Expo!! - Rodriguez Titanium Frames are here - The new Rodriguez Shiftless frame ($800) - R+E announces a new $1,599 bicycle that's made right here in Seattle - John can't stop raving about his new Trillium Big Squeeze brakes - Watch your toes, or wind up on your nose (toe overlap)"  You can download the current newsletter HERE and find the Newsletter archive HERE.


[Updated] Tandem Folks in the News: John & Stacie Matthews of Bellingham, WA - Yet another intrepid tandem couple, John & Stacie Matthews of Othello, Washington, are about to embark on an epic journey from Bellingham, Washington to Ushuaia, Argentina.  Read more about their epic journey plans HERE


Why A Tandem is Better Than The Wii Fit - This is just a wonderful little blog article where "Miss Behavin'  describes her initial experience with a Wii-Fit and contrasts that with the "relationship" she shares with her tandem.  Just a fun and witty article that I suspect any Wii-fit owner might embrace as well as anyone else looking for a good, winter-time read that you can find HERE.


Tandem Folks in the Bloggosphere: Bob Brown - Good grief, seems like just about everyone has a blog these days!!  I just discovered Bob Brown of Bob Brown Cycles' blog page.  Bob is an accomplished tandem builder from fly-over country and you can find his blog HERE.


 JANUARY 3rd UPDATE

The Devil Does It Again - If you're a fan of professional cycling or have at least watched the Tour de France chances are you're seen Didi Senft, the guy who dresses up as the devil or "El Diablo".  Didi has at least one other claim to fame and that's a penchant for building the largest and smallest bicycles and tandem bicycles in the world.  You can see his latest creation, the Guitar Bicycle, along with his monster-sized tandem by clicking HERE or you can visit his Website where you'll find a few photos of his museum: http://www.tourteufel.de/html/museum.html


In the Blogoshpere: Jeff & Louse Davis, Seattle, WA - As noted in their Blog profile, Jeff and Louise are retired tandem enthusiasts who have created something of a travel log with accounts and photos from their various journeys that you can find HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: Brian & Barbara Thompson of the UK - Retirees Brian and Barbara Thompson traveled to Australia over the Christmas holiday to visit family and to tackle the 150-mile long Great Ocean Road. Read the complete story HERE.


Bike Friday & Co-Motion Featured in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN) - BRAIN ran an interesting article over the weekend that focused on Eugene, Oregon's home-grown bicycle manufacturing business, providing some insight into Bike Friday and Co-Motion Cycles.   Read the complete story HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: Simon Giles & Matt Wadham of the UK - Simon Giles & Matt Wadham plan to begin a 300-mile ride on January 9 in an effort to raise money for Leukaemia Research.  You can read the entire story HERE.


Tandem Folks in the News: The Ellis Family of Brooklyn, NY - The Ellis family from Brooklyn, NY, was spotted by a local reporter on December 28th while they were out riding in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  While I struggle a bit with the idea of putting a family of 5 on a Bob Jackson tandem built for 2 with a single child seat I'm reminded, "to each their own".   You can read the entire story and see a photo of the Ellis' on their Bob Jackson HERE.


Tandem Folks in the Blogosphere: Randy & Bernice, Ocala, FL - Randy posted an account of their day-after Christmas, 94-mile ride to Gainesville, FL, with friends that you can read HERE.


Why Do So Many Non-Racer Cyclists Ride Racing Bikes?  Chris Kulczycki, owner of Velo Orange, along with several other cycling enthusiasts from Seattle, WA, are strong advocates of the classic touring bicycle as an alternative for non-racing cyclists who might be better served by a more comfortable ride. I recently gave myself what I refer to as my "Vintage Bicycle Quarterly Library" as a Christmas present and have been immersed in the 'classics' throughout the holiday break: it's quite interesting.  Anyway, lest I digress, you can read the entire story from the Sunday Time's HERE.


Copyrights And The Internet: Yes Virginia, There Are Limits - I recently ran across a new web site catering to tandem enthusiasts that reinforced the need for budding internet Web Masters to study up on copyright laws BEFORE compiling content for a Website, commercial or otherwise. In fact, TheTandemLink.com is set up as a link site and only uses short summaries of articles on the Bulletin Board as a way of complying with the spirit and intent as well as the legaleze of copyright laws. The following are links to a couple web pages that provide pretty good information pertaining to what is protected, to include your own intellectual property.

- Copyright and the Internet, by Virginia Montecino

- 10 Big Myths about copyright explained, by Brad Templeton

Bottom Line: You can't copy other people's writings, renderings or even their link lists without first obtaining their explicit permission to do so.

 


RETURN TO THE CURRENT BULLETIN BOARD

Archives: 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006- 2007 - 2008 - 2009- 2010


Best when viewed at 1024 x 768

Page Updated:

Copyright © 1998 - 2017 by TheTandemLink.com

All rights reserved.

Mail to:

Terms & Conditions for Use of This Site