Being split over two hotels did have certain logistical problems but taken in the whole picture 5 tandems, 10 riders 5 of whom are blind it really was a minor point! We were all sorted out and ready to pedal by 0945. Those of you who haven’t been on a tandem might not appreciate that even getting started poses a challenge with a coordinated clipping in of one pedal and a 321go to get upright and start pedalling ensuring that there is plenty gaps in traffic!
Today is what is known in cyclists parlance as slightly lumpy starting almost immediately with the Devils Beeftub! I was piloting for Louise and as this was my first time I was supposed to have a co pilot as well but due to call offs I ended up being Louise’s sole pilot quite a sobering thought. When piloting a tandem communication with your stoker is all important especially when the stoker is visually impaired you literally have to think aloud warning the stoker of bends, climbs, junctions gear changes everything that effects the forward motion of the tandem. After the climb of the Beeftub came the descent scary enough with sight but when you cant’t see positively terrifying!
With two pairs of legs propelling the tandem the force exerted on the drive chain is doubled another reason for good communication as sloppy communication with mistimed gear changes can result in this.
The route comprised of a fairly good mix of quite roads and cycle paths with the occasional foray onto A roads and busy main streets like our lunch break at Peebles. Mix an organised lunch break with a disorganised community cafe and you end up with some unhappy and grumpy tandemers after a longer break than planned we headed off towards our stop for the evening Musselburgh.
Up until now route marking had been easy to follow and obvious but as we progressed it became harder to follow the route as we changed from C2C to NCN1. We were booked into a Travelodge in a never quite made it retail park and 1 by 1 all the tandems turned up from every point of the compass.
We were collected by taxis for a trip to a nice Italian restaurant where stories of routes and damaged chain rings were exchanged!
Stats Distance 75 miles 35 ft of climbing in 5:51:33 avspd 11.9