Monday, April 12, 2010

Tandem 1 Finds a Temporary Home

Many are aware that I have two tandems. Tandem 1 (the first one I bought) is a size large, steel, Santana Sovereign. It's an absolutely awesome bike. Of course all the fools that are convinced that if a bike isn't made of carbon it's crap, scoff. What they don't realize is that this steel tandem rides and responds as well as great single bike.

First some background on the tandems, then an update on what Tandem 1 is up to:

I bought Tandem 1 used for $1100 from its only owner. I then put some money into it to get it up to a reasonable level of componentry. Replaced the bar end shifters with new Ultegra 9 speed levers. Got a new rear wheel built that would accommodate 9 speed. New brakes. Etc. At that point it was truly a thing of beauty. The only problem was that the size large was a little too big for Carol. If you've ever spent any time riding on a tandem, you know that nothing ruins the experience faster than an unhappy stoker.

So, I knew that a smaller tandem was in order. I ended up buying another Santana Sovereign, this one an aluminum size medium, and we moved to the new machine. Tandem 2 is a really nice bike too (Campy drivetrain), but it's only 4 pounds lighter than Tandem 1, and definitely isn't as nice a ride. You can really notice the smoothness of the steel when the entire team gets out of the saddle. Tandem 1 has a nice smooth flex to it. Tandem 2 has much more of a jerky feel.

The point here being that if you want to buy a tandem, don't be put off by an older steel Santana. You can get them for relatively cheap, and they're better bikes than many of the new ones that are out there today.

Since Tandem 1 went out of favor, it's been collecting dust. I've talked about trying to sell it, but I've never found anyone that would pay even close to what I thought it was worth; so it's just sat there.

As a member of the San Diego Tandem Club email list, I regularly get updates on the Blind Stoker's Club. As I watch these emails go by and see all the good things that this group does, I've wanted to talk to them about loaning them Tandem 1. Well, it finally happened last week. I met up with Dave White, the guy who runs the club, let him take a look at the tandem to make sure it would be useful to him, and let it go.

Today I got a really nice email back from Dave letting me know how the tandem is doing. Depending upon how things go, I will likely be spending some time with these guys, filling in when they are in need of substitute captains:

Eric -

Thank you for loaning us the outstanding Santana sovereign tandem. I have learned to contain my expectations until "first sight"; you never know what to expect. Your is a gem, and we really appreciate it. In the near term, it will be going to SDSU student Jeremy Poincenot (6'1") and his fraternity brother captain. Jeremy has a genetic disease called Leber's LHON and lost his sight suddenly 18 months ago. Here is Jeremy's website

The entire Greek week at SDSU is raising funds for LHON research this year, and Jeremy will be throwing out the first pitch at the Padres game April 20th. He is being filmed for MTV's "Real Life" series. Also a good golfer, Jeremy will be competing at the Blind Golf World Championships in England this summer.

You will hear a lot more from us and from Jeremy and his 2nd CURE tour in June.

We will list you on the BSC roster as a substitute captain.

Thanks for everything,

Dave White

Oh Yah, Bike Riding/Racing

Hey so, I've fallen off the rails with regard to the racing this season. Riding for that matter as well. The past six weeks or so have been a disaster as far as riding goes. I have a list of excuses a mile long. Mainly though it's down to a massive amount of work-work. Lately there's been so much to do and so few people to do it, that we're all getting over-loaded.

The cycle is a draining one, and extremely hard to pull out of. Too tired to ride because of all the stresses and hours of work. Feel bad, get more sleep, make time to ride, but see the stress level go even higher as the work pile gets bigger. So then, ride even less because even more tired.

The bottom line on this is that I need to take more control over what it is that I get sucked into at work. That's going to be the goal for both me and my team over the next 6 months. We'll see how well we do.