We’re celebrating a milestone….today our tandem odometer turned 40,000 miles! We rode our go-to short ride from home, 23 miles around Mercer Island. It’s a fun loop with great views of Mt. Rainier, lots of twists and turns. The folks we recruited to take our photo at the overlook said, “Wow 40,000 miles…you must have a great marriage!” And the guy we passed on the I-90 bridge caught up to us and said “you have the four greatest calves I’ve ever seen!”
We started it in 1999 with a used, yellow, Davidson tandem we’d bought at an auction. It was called The Schoolbus. It marked the first time Sheila cheerfully rode again since her 1990 bike crash when she broke her foot, shoulder, and ribs. It changed our lives in ways we never expected. Below you can see all 3 of our tandems: The Schoolbus (1999), a Rodriguez named Sweathard (2000-2003) and a daVinci named Clio (2003-2020).
Since then, we’ve been around the Big Island of Hawaii, climbed Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps and toured in 12 states and provinces without counting the additional nine during the 2012 CROSS-COUNTRY TOUR! The tandem has truly become our happy place.
You can read about all our adventures on our blog, but we thought we’d give you a few interesting stats to consider:
- We’ve logged 380 miles on The Schoolbus, 5,674 miles on Sweathard, and 34,950 miles on Clio.
- We’ve racked up 950 rides averaging about 42 miles per ride.
- We’ve ridden 22 century (100 mile) rides and 2 double centuries. The doubles were one-day Seattle-To-Portland (STP) rides. We’ve done the STP 5 times.
- We’ve attended 17 tandem rallies, all were NW Tandem Rallies except the one we did in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2006 during our European tour.
- Our maximum speed was 59 mph on Camano Island in 2004.
- Our lowest mileage year was 2016 while we prepared to move into CHUC, our cohousing community, with a mere 145 miles.
- Our highest mileage year was 6,655.3 miles and included our cross-country tour and training for it.
- Including today’s ride we’ve ridden the Mercer Island Loop 31 times.
- We’ve done 10 organized tours and 7 self-led tours.
- We founded the Evergreen Tandem Club in 2000, led countless rides and were lead organizers for the 2004 NW Tandem Rally.
Along the way we’ve had more fun than you can imagine. We’ve stayed healthy and fit. And developed into a strong team with tons of confidence. We always smile when we get out on the bike, rain or shine.
Tandeming has been very good to us. We hope to keep the rubber side down and the wind at our back for many years and miles to come.