We like our trips to be loaded with plenty of learning opportunities. On the right is the old town of Tallinn, Estonia, where among many other things we saw the terminus of the Hands Across The Baltics that took place near the end of the Soviet Union.
We rode lots of beautiful forest paths, roads that were mostly lightly traveled, and sometimes some challenging surfaces.
We began with a few days in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania (old town pictured above).
And we took enough days off the bike to take care of necessities such as resting legs and bottoms, shopping, and laundry (right in Riga, Latvia).
The tandem touring year kicked off in Mid-May with a self-contained, self-supported tour in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. We rode our Co-Motion Equator tandem, equipped with panniers. One other couple toured with us, riding single bikes. In 16 riding days we learned more than we could have hoped for and saw incredible sights. The people we met along the way were warm and friendly. The accommodations were comfortable. The roads were mostly pretty good. All in all this was an excellent tour totaling 740 miles.
The Tandem Year In Review 2019
Another fun and fruitful year has come and gone. We've welcomed new tandem couples into the tandeming family, we've assisted many couples with maintaining and upgrading their bikes, and we've had plenty of adventures on tandem.
2019 saw us enjoying two domestic tandem tours, one international tour, and one tandem rally, putting on more than 3000 tandem miles.
Next up, over the 4th of July Holiday, was the NW Tandem Rally in Boise where we reconnected with lots of friends and customers and set up our vendor display in the park. We also snuck in a couple of rides.
We were fortunate to spend lots of time with family, especially enjoying our growing grandchildren. We shared family Holiday time with them and baked lots and lots of cookies! We also were very happy to include our oldest grandson in some of our volunteer activities, distributing books to needy kids at local pop-up food banks. This project has become one of our passions.
And we played the lodge bunny role for a family ski trip to Montana in February.
After that came a train ride to Klaipeda on the Baltic Coast, where we assembled our bikes and started the tour.
including ferry rides to and from the Estonian off shore islands.
enjoyed the scenery,
We closed out the year by treating ourselves to a cruise up the Eastern Seaboard into Canada, especially enjoying the fall colors. This was followed by a quick visit to Atlanta. We spent a day at the Carter Center and then attended my 40 year medical school class reunion.
I shouldn't forget that 2019 also saw me back at United Bicycle Institute in Portland to further my education and training. This time I became a DT Swiss Certified Wheel Builder.
Whew! What a year it's been! We are so grateful to have our health, our friends, and each other. And we are especially grateful for our customers - those who put their faith in us, whether it be for a new tandem, for travel accessories, for servicing their treasured machine, or just for advice - we appreciate all of you. Thank you and Happy New Year! We wish for you the very best in 2020.
And as always, please email us if we can help you in any way with your own tandem journey.
As always, not everything in our lives is about bicycles. We actually began our 2019 with a month in the Middle East, visiting Israel, Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan. This trip included traversing the Suez Canal!
We stayed in some pretty nice places, ate well, and.......
And our final tandem adventure for the year was in New England, where we enjoyed gorgeous colors in the Green Mountains of Vermont, riding just over 220 miles with several single bike riding friends. To say that the scenery in this area was beyond description really doesn't do it justice!
Our next adventure saw us off to Eastern Oregon to ride in the Wallowa Mountains/Hells Canyon area with a group of local friends, including one other tandem couple with whom we've often traveled in the past. This was a 276 mile tour for which the Tandem Diversity van served as the support vehicle and luggage wagon. You can see from the photo of the van that the Atoc/Draftmaster racks served us well!