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  1. #1
    ALM
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    Great spring break!

    We purchased our 98 cannondale mt3000 last June and got it ride ready around August. We had NO off road experience at all, just road tandem for 8 years. We did not have a good start and the trails we tried may have been a bit to much for us. After a spill I sensed my stoker was not wild about this mountain tandem since she took the brunt of the fall. I was afraid that was the end our experience.

    Well this past week was spring break and she being a teacher was off. I own a small business so we snuck off and decided to try again. I had found what I thought to be some more tandem friendly trails than we started off with. I was right!

    First we hit flintridge trails in the Woodlands Tx. It had a nice double track outer loop. We wet our feet on that then went into the single track inside. This was the tightest single track of the 3 trails but I did not know it at the time. We made it thru and were surprised how much easier it seemed this time. We left with our confidence level up 100%.

    We spent the night and next morning hit a trails called timberlane. It started with some nice double gravel track but then into some really nice flowing single track. This trail felt much easier to navigate and our speed was a little faster.

    Next we went to double lake recreation area. This had 18 miles of single track. We loved this park and got lost on the trail but had so much fun we did not care! 4 hours of riding later we found our way back. So here are some pics of the trails and I think the pic of my happy stoker shows the second time around on the mountain tandem was much better. We can't wait to get back out. Losing ourselves in the forest and nature was so different than grinding out a metric century road ride. It has just added some new excitement to our riding experience.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on getting over that initial bump, ALM. I'm sure a situ like that has ruined it for a few teams. Here's to more good times–and more difficulty if/when you're ready.

    Doesn't look like you posted pix or links, but no matter here. Cheers...

    Mike

  3. #3
    ALM
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    Great spring break!-img_1489.jpgGreat spring break!-img_1513.jpgGreat spring break!-img_1510.jpgGreat spring break!-img_1512.jpgGreat spring break!-img_1514.jpgGreat spring break!-img_1511.jpgGreat spring break!-img_1487.jpg

    I dont know what is going on with my photos. They loaded but then there was not submit reply or post icon to click. It seems it may work replying to you. We will see. Thanks. My happy stokers face says it all.

  4. #4
    ALM
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    Yea, it worked. All of these trail are near Houston. The double lake trails will have the Big Ring Challenge this weekend sponsored by Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association this weekend. Should be at least 500 mt. bikers at the event.

    We should go race and win by default as we would probably be the only tandem in the race! lol

  5. #5
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    Good stoke!

    The snow's got to end soon here, then we'll be ridin'. Getting psyched!

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    Nice pix, ALM!

    Crank on

  7. #7
    PMK
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    Sometimes that's what it takes. A bit of captain compromise here and there, not freaking out a stoker and gradually building confidence with each pedal stroke.

    Enjoy a lot more miles on that machine.

    FWIW, when crossing small bridges, always be concerned if the planks run in the direction of travel. It makes for some funky feelings to the bars which can easily make you overcorrect or they grooves can pull the tire(s) out from under the centered mass and it gets ugly.
    Also, if you want an awesome bridge story, get with Trey and ask about his swimming lesson at AORTA a couple of years ago. We were the bike behind him and I watched it all from the front row. Glad no one was injured.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    always be concerned if the planks run in the direction of travel. It makes for some funky feelings to the bars which can easily make you overcorrect or they grooves can pull the tire(s) out from under the centered mass and it gets ugly.
    Ditto that. There's a bridge where we ride that has planks like that. Not so much an issue during summer when tires are warm and the bridge is dry. But in the cooler/cold months when tires are hard and the bridge frosty...I almost lost it once. Could have been all the worse since we take that bridge at speed.

    Now it's just become another feature with a known issue and a known solution.

  9. #9
    ALM
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    Thanks for the heads up guys.

    Paul, we changed out the BB and the front der so the shifting is very crisp now and eliminated most of the chain rub. I think what little I have now is just from the new cable stretching and will have to adjust.

    Something you and okayfine or anyone else may can help me with. When out on the trails, is there a good app for a iphone or computer for gps and knowing where i am at on the trails? Honestly, we were not ever really lost but when looking at a map and i have twisted and turned on the trails, I admit, I was looking for a "you are here" on it! lol

    I saw a garmin but $500 is crazy. Surely there is something out there for iphone. Without trying to search thru tons of post and reading, do either of you know of a good system?

    We rode yesterday and got turned around again on a new trail. It was getting late and the thought of no light made me put this on a priority list. Getting stuck on a trail after dark would not make the stoker happy! This is something I never had to think about when on a road tandem.

    And Paul, if I put more than 35-40 psi in the rear tire, it makes it rub the brake booster. any idea???
    Last edited by ALM; 03-25-2013 at 04:49 PM.

  10. #10
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    Should be plenty of answers to your GPS question that involve an iPhone. I don't run GPS or even a bike computer, so I won't be of help. As good a map as I can find has almost always been enough. And that time or two of getting lost? All part of the fun.

    Does the iPhone still use faux GPS (i.e. they use cell towers to triangulate/estimate position)? For a while they didn't have an actual GPS chip, so once you're out of cell tower range (quite often where we ride), it's kaput.

    Besides, nav is a stoker responsibility!

  11. #11
    ALM
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    Lol it has been a adventure! I also wanted to ask if riding off road 1 mile is equal to 3 road miles!!! I find us getting quite a workout in a much shorter time off road.

    Sunday we did have a couple guys tell us we would never be able to ride the single track and should stay on the outer loop. Well we rode it and they were really amazed at some of the tight turns we navigated. Made us two rookies feel pretty good.

    Really wish another aorta would get organized. Closest mt tandem riding couple to us is 4 hour drive away.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALM View Post
    Lol it has been a adventure! I also wanted to ask if riding off road 1 mile is equal to 3 road miles!!! I find us getting quite a workout in a much shorter time off road.
    It is a lot more work, though I find my arms hurt a lot more on the road tandem, due to countering frame flex. Mountain tandem is less efficient (knobbies, volume tires, shocks), but there isn't a conversion. The terrain has much more to do with it.

  13. #13
    PMK
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    ALM

    I have a Garmin trekking / hiking GPS. These are now pretty inexpensive. Regardless of the GPS brand or model, without having an ACCURATE upload trail map, you are still lost. Unless you just back track.

    Learning a GPS in the woods mode takes some time to learn and practice.

    In regards to the BB...excellent.

    As for the tire, well, run the lower pressure or run a different tire or trim the booster, but before any of those, does it rub one or both sides, does it rub when sideloaded or always, other than noise, is it really a problem?

    Also, make sure the spokes are tight.

    BTW...buy your GPS on sale AND buy a decent light to ave just in case.

    As for for a single bike explaining the trail is too tough, fuel for the fire. Give it time, with practice those people will freak out when you pass them in singletrack.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  14. #14
    ALM
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    We have been running 35psi and been fine. It only rubs the right corner and just barley. I had thought about putting on the grinder.

    I am just anal about rubs, noise, clicks. I get a leaf back there and really ticks me off! lol

    Have you done any other mtb rally other than AORTA? I googled and saw Fart and a couple others but they are all up in NY and Jersey. Wish they would have another AORTA. It seemed from info on web that the turnout was good for a 2 year run.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALM View Post
    It only rubs the right corner and just barley. I had thought about putting on the grinder.
    Grinder on the tire, right? You'll want to deal with any rubbing issues and avoid them altogether in the future. You rub the frame enough and it's curtains for the frame. BTDT after a poorly-executed shop "true" on our rear wheel. Rubbed the seatstay enough that Ventana said it was not safe, all in one ride.
    Last edited by Okayfine; 03-28-2013 at 09:12 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    Should be plenty of answers to your GPS question that involve an iPhone. I don't run GPS or even a bike computer, so I won't be of help. As good a map as I can find has almost always been enough. And that time or two of getting lost? All part of the fun.

    Does the iPhone still use faux GPS (i.e. they use cell towers to triangulate/estimate position)? For a while they didn't have an actual GPS chip, so once you're out of cell tower range (quite often where we ride), it's kaput.

    Besides, nav is a stoker responsibility!
    Have to agree here. My stoker uses Maprika for road and off road navigating. We also usually bring a trail map. I believe you need to upload or use a map already loaded on the site in order for it to put you on the trail. We have used it several times sucessfully. Congrats on the Cannondale and as already stated, don't spook your stoker. At some point ride in the stoker position and realize how much trust she puts in you. Good luck and best wishes for many more tandem miles "two-gether"!
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

  17. #17
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by giff07 View Post
    Have to agree here. My stoker uses Maprika for road and off road navigating. We also usually bring a trail map. I believe you need to upload or use a map already loaded on the site in order for it to put you on the trail. We have used it several times sucessfully. Congrats on the Cannondale and as already stated, don't spook your stoker. At some point ride in the stoker position and realize how much trust she puts in you. Good luck and best wishes for many more tandem miles "two-gether"!
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem
    Ed, these two very nice people and will be another great off-road tandem team. Their machine is a sister to our original and is very nice.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

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