We took the old Cannondale here:
THE MANATOC EXPERIENCE | The Big Valley Race & Festival : 331 Racing
...just for the open ride.
It was a tight schedule for the day what with group rides and kids races and such, but for lack of an immediate baby sitter we dropped off our 6 y.o. daughter at the club tent (someone used the word "abandoned" - not true! ) and headed out on the course.
First we checked out the kids course. Fun on the tandem, great for the kids.
OK - warm-ups are over.
The race course was in perfect shape. My wife and stoker was a little rusty, but we found our rhythm quickly enough. Checking the clock we only had about 45 minutes before we had to short cut back to the start and pick up a group ride on singles.
We had to work on our communication - yes, I was conveying the terrain changes to my stoker, but apparently I was not conveying the severity of said terrain changes... almost lost her on a small G-out that she couldn't see.
Now we are feeling some real teamwork and we approach the first technical climb: you descend about 5 tandem lengths to a short bridge (about 1 length), then up a steep hill to a right-hand switchback. We cleaned it up to the switchback then ran the front wheel too far off the trail and stalled. No prob - lots of singles hang up here.
Now we are cruising along a traverse following the contours of the terrain - great on a tandem and we pass a novice rider. Now we're feeling cocky (I can feel it in the pedals).
The traverse gets to an eroded section and we are trying to ratchet pedal through some heavy roots and yet preserve my wife's delicate feet. We stall on some roots that match the wheelbase AND the rear cranks.
OK - short carry and we're back under way. The second climb is nasty. I am anticipating walking it. Apparently the wife thought otherwise. I don't know how much caffeine she had, but it worked! The rear tire (HighRoller 2.3) was slipping ever so slightly, but the dirt held and up we went. We were both near puking at the crest so we relaxed on some more traverse trail.
The next one had the potential to hang the rear cranks but I was pretty sure we'd clear it. ...not sure enough to fully commit, though. It was an up-and-over to a steep descent to a bridge to an equally steep, short climb. If I'd fully committed we would have cleaned it, but since I went with caution (probably for the better in the big picture) we had to pedal before the wife's cranks cleared. Stalled it mere inches from tandem celebrity stardom.
Rolled to the bottom and we were in the wrong gear to make the climb.
Back on track and we rocked until the clock went off and we had to take the road back to the tent. I think the wife figured since the ride would be short she'd cash in all her chips - we cleaned every other climb!
So the old 'Dale is still rockin', and we haven't totally forgotten how to ride it.
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Thread: Short but Fun Ride on Saturday