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Re: Tandem Tales

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:38 pm
by TonyB
Tandem Tails: John and Tony, race 4, 1st July

After the disastrous Pierces Creek race the next Vets race was the Vets annual Honeysuckle hill climb race (26k, finish up 9.1k, 4% ave, 20% max) this is one of my favourite races and I wanted to race by myself, John was happy to give that one a miss.

Our next race together was a points Criterium race at Stromlo Criterium Track, for this race we used the tandem training wheels with some Swhalbe 32C Durano Performance tires, as a warm up we rode the 15.5k from Johns place to Stromlo, the new tyres rode very nice, as we have not done a Crit together we chose to ride in E-grade, John is graded as a D-grade Crit rider and with Cameron has ridden in A-grade, I normally ride C-grade Crits. EFG-grade races were 25 minutes +2 laps with a sprint every second lap, with 3-2-1 points on the laps and 5-4-3-2-1 at the finish, we were racing in a clockwise direction with the finish slightly uphill, my preferred direction. Not knowing how we would go I mentioned to John I would be happy to earn at least 1 point.

Our starts have improved and are not much of a problem now and we had a good start at the front of the bunch, the first lap was easy with the first sprint lap flag being waved at the end of it, the finish straight is up hill and the back straight is downhill which suited the tandem, John and I took off and we led down the back straight, at the end of the back straight is a tight corner which has been named Collarbone Corner, the Tandem has a low BB and John uses some SPD pedals with large plastic edges, we struck a pedal on Collarbone which put us off line a bit, 2 riders got through and we could not pull them in, we got third and 1 sprint point, we were very happy it looked like we would be competitive, this fired John and I up, I usually do quite well in points races and do better as the race progresses and other riders start tiring, again the next lap was easy but we found ourselves at the front, solo riders love to suck on to Tandems, again on the sprint lap back straight we took off, somehow we got around Collarbone without pedal strike and were leading into the finish before one of my track mates John L. passed us on the line, the same happened on the next sprint but as we caught F-grade near the line the sprint was nullified, John and I were starting to enjoy ourselves and we got second on the rest of the sprint laps on one sprint lap on Collarbone we hit the pedals fairly badly which upset our line and 4 riders got past us, we pushed really hard to the finish and pulled in all but one rider, our average speed for the finish segment was 48 kph, at last we were showing some form. We were out front for most of the race, our average speed for the race was a reasonable 35.4 kph.

The E-grade winner, John L won 17 point, John and I got 2nd with 13 point and third place got 7 points.

Positives: We both felt we had a strong ride, new tyres felt and handled very nice and the bike went well.

Negatives: Pedal strike on Collarbone, we will try some different SPD pedals with better cornering clearance next time, my endurance has dropped a bit in the last couple of months. We nearly got wiped out while riding home on the bike path, we were riding around a well know dangerous blind corner when some idiot coming the other way on a MTB was cutting the corner at speed fortunately he had good reactions and we missed each other by a couple of mm.


Re: Tandem Tales

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:13 pm
by ironhanglider
Great stuff Tony.

There is no doubt that when the mechanicals are sorted out it makes the riding a lot less stressful.

When you figure out a method to encourage solo riders to do a turn please share it, cause I never figured it out. I didn't try pedalling backwards though...

The anti-clockwise crits are the best. Collarbone corner is downhill and you can roll through it really fast. All you need is to be in the front at the top of the hill and you can hold off just about anyone to the line.

I can't imagine you will stay in E grade long (at least for crits).