Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lake Washington Tandem Ride

So I have to talk about this on the blog, just because it was such an exhilarating ride. The weather was amazing on Sunday. Ryan had some work that he needed to get done, but it'd been over a week since I'd been able to ride, so when our friend emailed me asking to ride Sunday I jumped at the chance. I made sure Ryan would be able to get some work done by asking our friend's son to come hang out with the kids after their church was over. Gareth had a soccer game in the early evening which I stressed about for a bit, but then decided to not worry about - if I was back in time to take him, great. If not, that'd just be the way it was.

We rode my friend's tandem, which meant he loaded it on his car so we could drop his kids off at church and leave from there. I went in thinking we were aiming for 55 miles since that's what he needed to meet his weekly goal of 100 miles. Apparently he wasn't expecting to meet his goal, but I didn't know that at the time. I was a little nervous about how I'd hold up for that many miles with how little I've been riding lately.

We saw a lot of other tandems while riding - even a recumbent tandem! And lots of people out in general. We ran into a 12th Man 12k going on in Renton (starting from the Seahawks training facility which is down there), which meant going quite slow for a stretch as we were going against the flow and didn't want to get anyone mad at us.

At one point we had a motorcyclist pull up beside us and my friend joked with them about racing. They let us "win" as we needed to make a left turn a few minutes later. The views all around the lake were breathtaking. And we were averaging 16 mph for much of the ride. By the end of the ride we averaged 14.7 mph. To put that in perspective, a couple weeks ago we rode the north half of the lake on the tandem and averaged 12.1 mph (granted, that was also pulling Mal in the trailer, so that makes a difference for sure). If I'm riding a single I'm doing well if I average 11 mph.

We could've just done the south half of the lake, but we were both feeling pretty good and making great time, so he decided to go all the way around. We stopped at a brewpub toward the end of our ride and met some nice people. One is a math professor at UW. She was coming from Woodinville area. The other actually lives not too far from us. It was great to see tons of families out biking along that trail. Man, if you want a successful business, setting up a brewery/bike shop along a bike trail seems like a good way to go. There were also lots of people out enjoying the various parks along the route.

Definitely a tiring ride (even the next day all I wanted to do most of the day was fall asleep). But I took some Aleve right when I got home and didn't feel sore at all the next day, which was actually surprising to me. I love getting out and riding like this. There's the sense of accomplishment after a long ride, but it also feels invigorating just to get outdoors, enjoy the sun, and push your body.

I was back in plenty of time to get Gareth to his soccer game. Normally I dislike taking Mal along to those because all he wants to do is throw balls on the field and run onto the field himself. But I took him so that Ryan could finish his work - which he did! And Mal wasn't quite as horrible to have along as he was in the fall, despite still wanting to throw himself and balls onto the field. Then we went to our friend's place for a barbecue before I headed out for rehearsal.

I don't feel ready to ride around the lake on a single yet, but hopefully in a couple months!


Myrna said...

Holy cow, that is quite the ride! I am impressed. Go you.

kristine N said...

Are tandem bikes typically faster? I wouldn't expect that you'd be faster on a tandem then on a solo bike.

That's quite the ride! I'm impressed!

Erin said...

Tandems are heavier, so they're going to be slower at some points than others I think (I don't totally know/understand all of this yet). But they're usually geared quite low, so going up hills can be easier than you'd expect. Plus you've got the leg power of two, so I think that helps on the flats. And going down hills you can definitely get more speed. So, yes, sometimes. You can, under the right conditions, get higher speeds more easily than on a single. But I'm sure there are people that on singles could be much faster than on a tandem.

Of course, it helps that my friend has really strong calves. Like impressive enough that people will compliment him on them from their cars. So I'll always get a faster speed when riding on a bike with him than when on my own!