Thursday, August 21, 2008

Riding Twogether

About a month after we moved to California, Katie was getting tired of me disappearing for hours on end with my bike. It was frustrating for me as well, because I wasn't able to fully share my favorite past time with her. We've tried to ride together in the past, but it discourages both of us; me because I'd feel like I was waiting all the time, not pushing myself hard enough, her because she couldn't keep up and would burn herself out.

Enter: the daVinci Grand Junction. We'd borrowed a mountain bike tandem from some friends in the past (which is a complete and utter blast), but never seriously considered one for ourselves until about 2 months ago. Turns out daVinci just started making a "budget" road tandem, with 26" wheels to fit fatter tires -- up to 2.3" if desired -- as well as having Avid disc brakes. This thing rides like a steel dream. It climbs like a dog but once you point it downhill, get ready for perma-grin. We'll effortlessly hit 35 on downhills, and we can cruise comfortably on the flats around 18-20. We've actually ridden some of the steepest mountain roads with only minor suffering. And, arguably the best part, we're together the whole time. I can hammer it out and satisfy my masochism, Katie can push herself and then some, or we can relax and talk about our days together. Cue the cheesy music, I know, but it's really a cool thing to be able to share something like this.

One other neat thing about the daVinci -- and sorry for being all bike geeky in this post -- is that we can independently coast. Normally tandems are linked front and back, that is, if the front rider (or captain) is pedaling, the back rider (or stoker) must pedal as well. daVinci uses a double freewheel system so we can coast independently, but both drive the bike as we pedal. "Ride together, think independently" is their slogan.

Add a touch of California sunshine, a couple riding buddies, and some chilled beverages afterwards, and you've got a recipe for a perfect southern California evening.

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