Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring Training (or lack thereof)

We have been so busy. It has felt like we haven't had nearly enough time for all of the things going on in our life in the past few weeks. We did manage to ride the tandem once this past week, to see the Wailing Jenny's at the Calvin Theater in Northampton. We also got groceries after the show and used our new panniers to carry them all home on the bike!

Though we haven't had the time to take another long ride since our trek to Greenfield and back, it feels good every time we DO get on the tandem, even if we only go the few miles to town and back. We're not too worried about training for the trip. We may end up going much slower in the beginning than we are anticipating, but that will be okay. On the other hand, we'll be full of fresh excitement and that will give us a boost at the start.

The lilacs are in full bloom these days and everything is green and growing. On a walk through the neighborhood, it's easy to pick a beautiful bouquet. It's hard to imagine that in a little over a month (!!) we will be starting our cross country ride.

Here are a few things to do before we leave:

Tune up the bike (hopefully we'll do this tomorrow at the Pedal People bike workshop!)
Take the bike for a "fully loaded" ride up and down some big hills
Buy new sleeping pads, 2 more panniers and extra tubes for the bike
Buy bike maps from the Adventure Cycling Association
Buy a netbook computer to take on the trip (and set it up with Ubuntu before we go)
...Not to mention getting our house cleaned and ready for renters and tying up all the loose ends so that things go smoothly here while we are away!

We really do have a lot going on, but when a few more big pieces get taken care of, we think we'll really start to feel the excitement (as opposed to feeling overwhelmed).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friends try out the bike!

So far, Spartan, Chris, Selena, J, Cara and Jim have all tried out the tandem. The general consensus: It's a lot of fun, but it does take a little getting used to.

Cara goes for her first ride.

Jim gets a ride, too.

He was a little nervous.

Chris tries the captain's seat.


For a more relaxing ride, he tries out the stoker's position.

J and Selena take a turn. Are they ready?

Not quite.

And they're off!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Busy week; short ride

Well, it was a busy week (we bought a house in Springfield, worked on fixing it up, and started trying to rent it), but we managed to get in a short ride tonight to our friends' house. It feels good to get on the tandem at least once a week, though we hope to do more as things at the Springfield house get settled.

Total for the week: 4 miles.
Fun factor: High.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our first long ride.

We went on our first really long ride on the tandem yesterday. It was a beautiful way to spend our Easter Sunday. The weather was in the mid seventies with blue skies and a little breeze, perfect for biking!

One of the many clumps of beautiful blooming forsythia we passed on our ride.

Our pedaling took us out of Northampton, through Hatfield along the Connecticut River, up River Road and into Greenfield. Brett's Mom works at the Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and we stopped in for a quick visit and hugs.

Brett takes a rest and tests out the back seat.

After our visit with Kathy, we got some lunch in town and then biked home along rt. 5. The ride back took us about two and a half hours. Our legs were tired by the end and we were ready to be done.

Taking another break by the side of the road.

We rode almost exactly 50 miles total! This ride was a good chance to work out a lot of little things. We made a lot of adjustments to our seats, both tilt and placement, to find the most comfortable riding positions. We also got a lot better at communication, telling each other when we need to take a break from pedaling, and figuring out which gears work best for both of us. Sure we got tired, but it was a lot of fun!