Riding along the Bodensee, sporting our King Ludwig jerseys from the prior year.
2004 - Bodensee: Our only other multi-day tour in 2004 was around the Bodensee with Santana. This week long tour was yet another memorable ride in beautiful countryside, and included rides in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. In keeping with adding some of our own flavor to these trips, we began by riding from the Zurich airport to Friedrichshafen, the start city for the tour. This took us only one day (65 miles), and we had our luggage sent ahead by taxi. In this photo we are enjoying the ferry ride across the lake from Romanshorn on the Swiss side to Friedrichshafen on the German side.
2004 - Tour BC: Tour BC became one of our favorites and we chose it to kick off the 2004 touring year. As always, routes and support were excellent. Rosie got the nod again, as was the case for all our touring in 2004.
2003 - Southern Germany: This tour piggy-backed onto the Santana Bavaria tour. We loaded our stuff in panniers, stored our bike cases at the Platzl Hotel in Munich and spent a week touring, after which we enjoyed a couple more days seeing sights in and around Munich. On this tour we decided 700x28 mm tires were not beefy enough to handle touring on Germany's gravel bike trails, at least not while loaded. In future we resolved to tour on 700x32's. We've been quite happy touring on larger tires.
2002 - AIDS Vaccine Ride: Turns out 2002 was a big year for touring as well. After Hawaii, we were off to Amsterdam for the European AIDS Vaccine Ride, from Amsterdam to Paris. Thanks to our very generous donors, we raised over $25,000 to donate to the cause of AIDS vaccine research. We chose the Tandem TwosDay because immediately after this tour we trained to Germany for a week along the Romantische Strasse, self-contained, just the two of us.
2001 - Tour BC: 2001 was a big year for Rosie and us to tour. No sooner had we returned from the Coast than we took off for the interior of British Colombia for a week long tour (no photos) put on by our friends John and Danelle (lately Tour TK and Tour CO). We also rode RAMROD on Rosie that summer. We were probably in our best tandeming shape ever in 2001. Those were the days!
2002 - Hawaii: With Santana we had gotten a taste of Hawaii and we liked it. So in the spring of 2002 we returned on our own to circumnavigate the Big Island (no photos). Once again, Rosie got the call, pulling our gear in our Bob trailer. We took a week and added a day ahead of the tour, to explore Kona and to do some snorkeling.
Here we are with the Heceta Head light in the background. Lighthouses have always fascinated us and on tour we try to seek out as many as we can.
2001 - Oregon Coast: On this trip Rosie showed us just what a versatile and capable machine she is. After riding Tour de Blast, we were driven to Astoria by a friend where we began what was at that time our longest tour, more than 500 miles in 6 days down the coast to Gold Beach and then over the mountains to Grants Pass. This was also the trip on which I realized what a true gem my stoker and life partner is. We hauled our gear in a Bob trailer.
1999 - Leavenworth, Washington: Leavenworth was the scene of the Sleeping Lady Tandem Rally, a 3 day event in the Washington Cascades. We were still riding the Screamer at this point (no photos).
2001 - Hawaii: We took 2000 off from multi-day tours to let my neck heal up, and jumped back into touring in 2001 by joining Santana for another trip, this time their 5 day rally in Hawaii over Valentine Day, now one of their signature trips. This not only found us back upright, but also on our 2001 coupled Co-Motion Speedster for her first trip. This bike (we've named her Rosie) still rides with us. She's been back to Co-Motion for frame repairs and repaint, but still is pretty much our main machine. She doesn't travel any longer, having been replaced by bikes with belts and enclosed hubs, but she has more flights than any other of our tandems. We plan to grow old with Rosie. It was fitting that her maiden voyage was a romantic Santana holiday in Hawaii.
1998 - Scottsdale: This was a Santana Cycles rally, our first. The venue was Scottsdale where we spent a week, riding on our own and with the rally. This began a long (and continuing to this day) relationship with Santana and with owners Bill and Jan McCready, whom we now count among our closest friends. In fact our close friend list includes lots and lots of couples we have met over the years on Santana trips. For this rally we took our custom Java, the first and only time we've flown with a non-coupled tandem. That we gave it up after one trip might tell you something!
1997 - Spring Classics: This time the TwosDay put us at a bit of a disadvantage. The springtime in 1997 saw us in Belgium for Spring Classics race viewing. We joined a tour organized by Tim Grady of World Cycling Productions. We followed Tim, Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, and the crew for a week, riding with them, dining with them, predicting race outcomes with them, and of course watching the races. It was a great trip but with the small wheels on the tandem we had trouble keeping up with the group (these guys are strong riders!). It was on this trip that we decided to get a full sized travel bike (see below).
Paul Sherwen stopped by for a chat during our finish line picnic. The t-shirts were compliments of Eddy de Groot, a soigneur for the Motorola team. Paul autographed the photo the following year during our Spring Classics trip to Belgium (see below).
Riding up the Champs on finish day.
1996 - Tour de France: After touring on our own in the Dordogne, we experienced 8 days following the Tour de France, lead by Velo Vacations (an excellent trip, by the way). We rode and watched the tour in the Pyrenees and the Bordeaux wine country, and then we took the TGV to Paris for the tour finish. We rode up the Col du Tormalet, to Cauterets, and most of the way up Hautacam. My lovely stoker provided not only motive power, but lots of needed encouragement!
You can see from this photo that by 1996 we had perfected the art of compartmentalized packing. We each had a stuff sack for clothes and there was a shared sack for books, kitchen utensils, etc. Tools and spare parts rode in the bottom case. Back then there were no electronics to contend with.
1995 - Loire Valley, France: This trip truly marked the first time Chris and I jumped fully into touring. The machine selected was our Tandem TwosDay. We rode fully self-contained, with the trailer, and stayed in small inns. We took the train from Paris to Samur to begin the tour and we finished in Orleans. Afterward we took the train to Dijon so I could show Chris where I had gone to a semester of college at the University of Dijon. It was on this trip that we saw clearly the genius behind the Bike Friday system, and its incredible utility and flexibility. We still to this day have not seen anything that rivals it for independent, self-contained touring. This trip we put together ourselves, relying heavily on a book about touring in France by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks.
Before heading down to the Loire we watched the finish of the Tour de France in Paris (Miguel Indurain's final win).
This remains one of my absolute favorite tours. I'd go back and tour the Loire in a heartbeat!
1995 - NW Tandem Rally: No photos to share from this rally that was in Victoria. Chris and the kids went along and we took both the custom Co-Motion Java and our Counterpoint triplet. The kids took turns stoking.
1995 - New Zealand: For this trip we took our Tandem TwosDay from Bike Friday in a van and rode day rides, moving between hotels in the van. Chris and the kids took turns stoking.
1994 - Cycle Oregon: This week long ride around Southern Oregon was with a friend from work as stoker. We rode the custom Java.
1994 - Cycle Oregon Double Century Weekend: This one I rode with my son on our new custom Co-Motion Java. I had this made to accommodate our kids, both taller than their mom, but Chris later rode stoker for many years on this bike.
1994 - NW Tandem Rally: We rode this rally with our daughter on our new Counterpoint Trio. This was the wonderful result of conversations with Jim Weaver and of his creative abilities.
1993 - Cycle Oregon: This tour I rode with a team that took a disabled rider on a specially equipped Counterpoint OPUS. Here's the team, riding into the finish in Oregon City. The tour was a week along the Oregon Trail from Baker City to Oregon City. I learned quite a lot about myself that week.
1993 - Cycle Oregon Double Century Weekend:
This one we rode on our first Counterpoint OPUS. Here we are at the finish. These two days were our introduction to back-to-back long rides on the tandem.
2015 - Ottawa, Illinois: Following the Midwest Tandem Rally in Rockford, Illinois, we joined the CATS (Chicago Area Tandem Society) post rally tour along the Illinois River. Here some of us are enjoying a break in Wild Bill's home town.
2015 - Eastern Washington/Oregon: Soon after the San Juan Islands we rode a challenging tour in Eastern Washington and Oregon, cycling in the Blue and Wallowa Mountains. This tour was organized by firefighter friends. Tough but great fun. Rollie got the nod for this one too.
2015 - Holland: Springtime found us in chilly Holland, riding to see tulips and cruising on the barge, Angeline, with Bike & Barge Holland Tours. Cold but wonderful. We definitely can highly recommend Bike & Barge Holland! This tour was done on a tandem rented from Bike & Barge.
2015 - San Juan Islands, Washington: After the NW Tandem Rally in Bellingham we held our Tandem Diversity post rally tour in the islands. Great weather, great people, great riding.....and we saw Orcas at Lime Kiln Park!
2016 - Lands End to John o' Groats: This will very likely be the most significant tour of our lives, in terms of overall effort, miles and elevation. And what a wonderful experience it was! Along with 15 other riders, we rode end-to-end in the UK on a tour conducted by the CTC (Cycle Touring Club), of which I am a member (Mark). The support and route planning were excellent. This will be remembered as one of our absolute favorites!
We had a rainy start at Lands End in Cornwall,
2015 - NW Tandem Rally: The NW Tandem Rally was in our home town of Bellingham and we were the title sponsor! Due to sponsor activities and our vendor booth, we actually didn't get to ride much, but it was a great time. This photo of us sporting our official NWTR kits was taken for us by our friends, Matt and Asia. In this photo we are on Robbie; Ruby got to go for a tandem rally ride as well.
Along the way we saw interesting and beautiful countryside, like this bridge near the border of Cornwall and Devon,
Somewhere along the Danube in Slovakia.
Somehwere along the Danube in Romania.
2012 - Danube River with Santana: Our second time on the Danube with Santana saw us repeat the upper part of the river from Passau to Budapest, and then carry on to the Black Sea. This was actually two Santana tours, back-to-back. There were several couples that stayed on board for both tours. We had our belted Speedster as our steed. We were off the bike for a couple of days late in the trip due to a small medical issue for me, so we didn't get to ride in Bulgaria, Moldova, or Ukraine, but on the other hand that gave us two extra days of relaxed cruising. This photo is in Bratislava, capitol of Slovakia. Bike Friday jerseys again!
We're posing with the triplet, sporting the Tour of Turkey jerseys given to us by our dear friend and Turkish guide, Firat.
2012 - Midwest Tandem Rally, Madison: Rosie's twin, Greta, a green Co-Motion Speedster with couplers was chosen to fly to the Midwest for this rally. Our daughter rode with us on her single except for the last day, when all three of us rode on her triplet.
2012 - Salzburg to Passau: We kicked off several weeks of European touring with a ride from Salzburg, Austria to Passau, Germany, just the two of us with our belted Speedster (Rollie). This was a ride along the Salzach and Inn Rivers. We carried our gear in panniers and had our luggage and bike cases shipped overland to Passau. Here we are at the front door of the Hotel Sacher on departure morning. It appears we really like those Bike Friday jerseys!
2012 - Northwest Tandem Rally: The 2012 touring season got off to a late start, with the NW Tandem Rally in Salem, Oregon over the July 4th Holiday. Rosie got to go with us for this one.
As is Provence. After the cruise we stayed on in Arles for several days to do more exploring of Provence on our own, including an in depth look at the time Vincent van Gogh spent in Provence.
Burgundy is a very beautiful and charming area for riding.
2011 - Burgundy and Provence: Later that summer it was a Santana cruise on the Soane and Rhone Rivers, beginning in Geneva and taking in the sights of Burgundy and Provence. This time we had a new bike; our belted, Rohloff Co-Motion Speedster, the model they now call the Equator. And how about the black helmets? Otherwise it was the same old us, including our Bike Friday jerseys which are among our favorites. My sister and her husband rounded out our touring group on this trip again.
This photo was taken just outside Akyaka, where our tour ended. This gives you an idea of the typical Turkish countryside. We were there in the Spring, when it was green and lots of flowers were in bloom.
One of the significant highlights of the Bavaria tour for all 4 of us was a visit to the shop of Wofgang Haas, a great friend and the European distributor of Santana tandems. We got to know Wolfgang on Santana tours; he welcomed us to Rosenheim (where we also visited the annual flower show) and gave us lots of good tips on routes.
2010 - Bavaria: After a hiatus from international tandem touring in 2009, we returned to Europe in the early fall of 2010 for a self-contained, self-organized loop tour. Rosie provided the transportation, pulling a Bob trailer. My sister and her husband joined us, riding their Santana and also pulling a Bob. This was a loop tour; we left our cases at the hotel in Freising where we stayed the first and last nights, riding a 2 week loop first west and then south into the Alps. A stopover in Oberammergau saw us attending the Passion Play. This was a really fun, relaxing trip with over 500 miles of riding and over 20,000' of elevation. To me, this is what tandem touring is all about.
2009 - Big River Trail: We had enjoyed riding the Mississippi River with Santana so much that we decided to ride some of the northern part of the river, just the two of us. We flew with Rosie into Minneapolis, left our luggage at a B&B where we stayed the first night, loaded Rosie with panniers, and took off downriver along the Big River Trail, on the Wisconsin side of the river. This mostly follows Hwy 35. After Prairie du Chien we turned inland and rode to Madison where we visited family; we rode just 4 days. Then a rental car back to Minneapolis reunited us with bags for the flight home. Here we are at the terminus of the Military Ridge Trail in Verona. After this trip we resolved to go back some day to finish the remainder of the river.
We were again joined by my sister and her husband, us on Rosie and them on their brand new Santana. This was our only multi-day tandem tour for 2008.
2007 - Santana Colorado Rockies Rally: We joined my sister and her husband for the Santana rally in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. There were 4 days of rides plus a great whitewater rafting trip out of Glenwood Springs. We drove out to Colorado for the rally, taking Rosie along.
Easter Sunday on the river in Port Gibson, Mississippi.
2007 - Santana Big River Rally: You will notice that 2006 had no multi-day tours for us on tandem. Turns out 2007 was all domestic; we traveled internationally both years, but not for tandeming. Anyway, the Santana Big River trip was one of the best ever with them, mostly because of the music and because we got a really close look at the post-Katrina clean up in New Orleans. We flew down to Memphis and home from New Orleans, and once again Rosie got the call for this trip.
2005 - Tour BC: This time our daughter and her husband were to ride Tour BC with us, but as she was expecting their first child, she drove along in our van and he rode his single bike. This was our only multi-day tour in 2005. It turned out to be the most beautiful of the Tours BC we rode, going into Alberta and to Banff. Rosie did the honors for us.
2003 - Bavaria: Just two weeks after completing the Coast tour we were off to Munich to join a 12 day Santana tour in Bavaria, highlighting King Ludwig's castles. What a fun tour! Including dinner in a salt mine! The tour ended in Salzburg; from there we took a train back to Munich and then struck out on our own to tour some of the southern part of the Romantische Strasse (see below). Rosie had the honors again, and for the second half she carried panniers.
2003 - Washington Coast: The touring year was off to an excellent start with a week long tour out our back door, across the Olympic Peninsula, down the Washington Coast, along the Columbia River to Portland, Amtrak Cascades back here, and then ride from the station to our house. The photo is at the end of the trip. We thought we would have to box the bike up for the train trip but when we arrived at Union Station in Portland the baggage folks said heck no just wheel Rosie right into the baggage car. Rosie carried panniers for this trip.
1996 - Cycle Oregon: Once again I had the honor of serving on a team that took a disabled rider on this week long tour in Southern Oregon. Here we are at the finish in Lakeview, Oregon. The bike was the same modified Counterpoint OPUS that the team had used in 1993.
2002 - Door County Wisconsin: We finished off the touring year with 4 days of day riding with our kids in Door County. This was supposed to also be a trip for the TwosDay, but some gorilla (that would be me) broke the captain's stem handle bar clamp during assembly at the hotel. Fortunately, a nearby shop had Trek tandems for rent, so we were back on the road for some great Door County riding.
2002 - Romantische Strasse, Germany: Once again, the TwosDay proved its worth. After leaving the AIDS ride in Paris, we trained to Germany, rode for 5 days north to Wurzburg, trained to Frankfurt, and flew home from there. We had the trailer with us to carry our gear for the Germany part of the trip.
Here we are hammering into Namur, Belgium at the end of a 125 mile day on the AIDS vaccine ride (the organizers didn't set this up as 125 miles - we managed to do that by getting lost and riding 21 miles in the wrong direction first thing in the morning!).
1999 - Bon Ton Roulet: In the spring of 1999 I sustained a neck injury and was off upright cycling for two years. We immediately acquired a coupled Rans Screamer and shifted to recumbent riding for the duration of my recovery. The one flight with this bike was to New York for this excellent week long tour in the Finger Lakes region. We still keep this tandem around, just in case of a relapse of my neck troubles. It's a joy to ride, and is one of my favorites.
1999 - Sierra Vista: In keeping with the Santana theme, we started out 1999 with a winter sun rally in Arizona, starting in Sierra Vista and including a 4 day loop to Bisbee and Tombstone (no photos). The Bilenky was the chosen ride for this one.
The cycling part of the tour was organized for Santana by Andy Hampsten, a very classy guy, gentle soul, and ferocious bike rider.
After a pre-tour in Rome, we began with a couple of days riding on the beautiful Isle of Elba.
1998 - Tuscany: Santana became our travel focus, with a 12 day tour in Tuscany as our next stop. For this trip we had our long awaited, coupled, custom Bilenky. It was a beauty, but we never really got along with it. I think that, even though custom, it didn't really fit me well. Nonetheless, this was a fun trip and our first non-French European adventure.
With "Der Teufel" on Hautacam.
We made it!
1996 - Dordogne Valley, France: Emboldened by the success of our Loire Valley trip the year before, we returned to France in 1996, this time to the Dordogne, again with help from the Hendricks' book. Again the Tandem TwosDay proved its worth. We trained from Paris to Perigueux, rode to Cahors, and then trained to Pau to join an organized tour (see below). We again pulled the trailer for this 8 day tour. It was hillier than the Loire, but we only had to walk up one short hill!
1995 - TNT Tandem Tour: Later that summer the Portland tandem club (known then as Team Northwest Tandemonium) put on a 3 day tour in the Willamette Valley and into the Cascades, with luggage sag provided by family of one of the couples. We were in tune with our Tandem TwosDay at that point, having just returned from France 3 weeks earlier, so that bike got the call. This was an absolutely gorgeous loop, including the Auferderheide Memorial Drive.
Elsewhere on our website I've posted a listing of the various tandems we've owned over the years, many of which we still own and ride. This was not just bragging, though we are indeed proud of our fleet. Rather it was largely to demonstrate that we have the experience to be credible advisors when it comes to tandem selection. We've owned, ridden, and traveled with enough tandems to have a good feel for what works and what doesn't, and for where pitfalls may lie.
Along the same lines, what follows is a brief summary of tours we've taken over the years. The list includes all tours, rallies, and multi-day events done on tandem. There are a couple with other stokers, but most are with me as captain and Chris as stoker. Not included are single day events such as fund raising rides, club rides, centuries, etc. Also not included are tours that I have done on my single bike.
The totals you see may not always agree, and this is due to things like mixed modes of travel on any given trip. For example, if you total up trips that include air, train, car/bus, boat/ship, and out the back door, the total will be much more than the 61 tours we've taken, simply because some trips involve more than one mode of travel. The totals do not include taxi/shuttle transfers to and from airports. So when, for example, a trip is counted in the car/bus category that means a car or bus was used to move between locales, most often between cites. Domestic flights include Hawaii.
Again, this is not meant as bragging. Rather it is meant to show you that we have the experience as travelers with our tandems to be credible advisors to you on tandem travel. Traveling and tandem cycling have become one of our passions; together on tandem we are seeing the world bit by bit, always learning, always trying to stretch ourselves a little, most often trying to take the Rick Steves approach of travel through the back door. These tours represent a mix in terms of organization; some are with organized tours, some are just the two of us, some are group tours we organized.
Enough preamble. Since we began touring in 1982 we have ridden 61 tours, rallies, and/or multi-day events. Here is how those shake out in terms of details: (updated as of February 7, 2017)
Total Tours: 61
Domestic Tours: 35
International Tours: 26
Locations of International Tours:
New Zealand: 1 Vietnam: 1
Europe: 18 (includes UK)
Countries other than USA where we have ridden tandem:
United Kingdom (England, Wales, and Scotland)
Modes of transportation used:
Air: 32 tours (27 round trip flights)
Train: 6 tours
Car/bus: 36 tours
Boat/ship: 11 tours
Out the back door: 8 tours
International flights (round trip) flown with a tandem: 18
Domestic flights (round trip) flown with a tandem: 10
Brands and models of tandem we've flown with:
Brand and model International flights Domestic flights Total
Tandem TwosDay (from Bike Friday) 5 1 6
Co-Motion Java (older model Java, non-coupled) 1 1
Bilenky Custom, coupled 1 1 2
Rans Screamer, coupled 1 1
Co-Motion Speedster (2001), coupled 6 4 10
Co-Motion Speedster with belts/Rohloff drive, coupled 4 4
Co-Motion Mocha with belts/Rohloff drive, coupled 1 1 2
Co-Motion Speedster (2007), coupled 1 1
Co-Motion Enhanced Primera, coupled 1 1
Total miles ridden on these 60 tours: 15,620
Total elevation gained on these 60 tours: 637,526'
Longest tour (distance): 1060.3 miles, Lands End To John o' Groats, UK, 2016
Most elevation on a tour: 79,868', Lands End To John o' Groats, UK, 2016
Highlights of Individual Tours:
2014 - Lopez Island Weekend: Most of the tandem couples that shared this weekend of touring Lopez Island with us also joined us on the tandem tour of Turkey later in the fall. Molly pulled our gear in a Bob trailer for this tour, here seen walking onto the ferry at Anacortes to begin the trip out to the island.
2014 - Northwest Tandem Rally, Pendleton: This rally in Pendleton, Oregon marked our return to multi-day touring. Not only did we ride, but we also got to man the vendor booth for our friend, Charlie Buchalter of ATOC. As you can see, we took the Mocha (Molly, short for Molly Mocha).
At the top of this pass the Aegean Sea is behind us over our left shoulder and the Med is over our right shoulder. In this photo you can see that Rosie was our ride for this trip. The derailleur hanger got stripped out so we did the tour with the rear derailleur zip tied on. Worked just fine!
2011 - Tour TK: Our friends Danelle and John moved their focus from British Columbia (Tour BC) to Western Turkey, where they led a 12 day tour along the Aegean and Mediterranean Coast. What a marvelous tour! Good food. Good scenery. Good riding. Warm and friendly people. We've been to Turkey 4 times now and we really enjoy it. I suppose we'll probably be back again.
And then packing on the dock in Lisbon at tour's end.
And here I am test riding Rosie outside the hotel in Barcelona.
2010 - Santana Windstar Cruise: My sister and her husband went with us again, as did their son, on his single bike. Rosie was our selected bike again. This turned out to be one of the better Santana trips, a cruise on Windstar cruises from Barcelona to Lisbon, including stops in Gibraltar and Tangier. This photo is assembling the bike at the hotel in Barcelona.
2008 - Down the Danube with Santana: We had a real Santana streak going here. We joined them for a trip down the Danube from Vilshofen to Budapest, riding in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. We began with a pre-tour in Prague, but there was no tandem riding there. From Prague we were taken by bus to the start. We slept on a river boat and spent our days riding down this beautiful river, much of the riding on bike paths.
2014 - Tandem Tour TK: This was the highlight of touring over the past several years, for us. Our friends Danelle and John (Tour TK) worked with us to organize a tandems-only tour along the Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts of Western Turkey. Prior to that, the group enjoyed a pre-tour in Istanbul, organized by Chris and me. The weather was great, the routes were good, the people were warm and friendly; the whole experience could serve well as a once-in-a-lifetime tour. Molly was our chosen ride - we rode her with 1.25" tires; given the condition of the Turkish chip seal roads, there were times we wished for 1.5" tires!
2013 - Big Island: Chris had hip replacement surgery mid-year; this trip to the Big Island of Hawaii was our last prior to surgery and served as a research trip for the new trailer we'd been working on with Co-Motion. It turned out to be a combined tandem/van tour. We had our new coupled Co-Motion Mocha with belt/Rohloff drive.
2015 - San Juan Islands, Washington: Friends from Bellingham helped us check out the routes for our island tour later in the summer. Rollie was our ride.
2016 - Orcas Island, Washington: We needed to do some serious riding research on Orcas Island since we plan in the future to incorporate Orcas into our signature San Juan Islands tour. Molly took us around the island, including up to the top of Mt. Constitution. Here she is, resting on the descent.
2015 - Midwest Tandem Rally: The 2105 rally was held in Rockford, Illinois so we could ride our Wisconsin bike (Greta). Here we are in a photo taken by the local newspaper, sporting our Tour TK jerseys from the year before.
2017 - Vietnam: We spent most of the month of January touring and tandeming in Vietnam, checking out the country for tandem touring and checking out NZ Pedaltours as a tour company to organize tandem touring. Both were big winners. We think we want to go back to Vietnam, its beauty, and its warm and welcoming people. For this tour we took Rollie, our Co-Motion Speedster Rohloff. A good choice for the rough roads and challenging riding conditions we encountered there.
2015 - Colombia: to escape NW winter, we toured in Colombia on a trip put together by our friends Danelle and John, now known as Tour CO. This was our first foray into South America. Wow! Colombia is a cycling crazy country so of course we were well received. I liked the food. The riding was very challenging for us (mountains), so as a tandem tour this requires riders perhaps lighter and more fit than us. Our belted/Rohloff Speedster (Rollie) carried us through the Colombian mountains and coffee country.
and a sunny finish at John o' Groats in Scotland, 1060 miles and 17 riding days later. This trip Willy came along to assess the suitability of the Co-Motion Primera Ultra for strenuous touring - verdict: Perfect!
and this bridge over the River Wye on the border between England and Wales, with Chepstow Castle in the background.
And a few I forgot to mention: In 1982 my son and I went on our first tandem tour, camping at Champoeg Park south of Portland, to celebrate his birthday. I also forgot to include two additional tours in the above summary: a tour on our Rans Screamer we rode to LaConner for the Tulip Festival in 2000, and a tour to the San Juan Islands in 2000, also on the screamer. All three of these additional tours were out the back door.
From the above brief summary you've probably noticed that through the years we have toured extensively with Santana Cycles and with Tour BC/Tour TK/Tour CO. That's true. Of the many tours, rallies, and multi-day events we've ridden, 13 have been Santana experiences and 6 have been with our friends Danelle and John (now Tour CO). I guess that lets you know what we think of the experiences with those two companies - we keep on coming back for more.
Future Possibilities: We are already beginning to think about where to go and what to see in 2017. For sure we already know that 2017 will include tours in Vietnam (Vietnam is actually in the books - see above), Spain, Albania, and Idaho, as well as the 2017 NW Tandem Rally in Seattle.
Will you join us? Will you contact us and let us know where you are interested in touring with your tandem?
How can we help you? Be sure to get in touch and let us know how we can help you realize your tandeming and traveling goals and dreams. See you on the road!