May 30, 1999

1999: Our first year of tandeming

Click to enlargeIn 1999 Sheila and I became the proud owners of a Davidson, custom built for its previous owners, and made with high quality components. We got it at an auction, so paid only about half of what it cost. It was dubbed “The Schoolbus”, shown left.

We spent quite a bit of time on it, once we got it set up to fit us. We toured the daffodil country, the tulip fields, and a couple of the islands in our neighborhood. But, by far the most fun was when we went to the annual Northwest Tandem Rally.

Held in Corvallis on Memorial Day weekend, the event boasted more than 325 tandems. We all began the first day’s ride with a mass start in downtown Corvallis. It took 45 minutes for the group to snake through downtown and the OSU campus. Then, we opted for the shorter, 36 mile course. That included one incredible hill climb that resulted in a top speed of 37 mph coming down the backside.

We saw all kinds of riders ranging from teens to couples in their 70s. One family rode a triple with a trailer attached for their smallest children. Everyone had a smile and a story to tell of the wonders of tandeming. We were hooked on the sport before the end of the first day.

The second day found us on a 57 mile course with its steepest hills reserved for the last five miles! What an unpleasant surprise! The good news was that we not only charged up all of the hills, but we weren’t sore from the previous day’s exertions.

Click to enlarge1999 was pre-digital camera so we don’t have a lot of photos of our first year. Thought you’d enjoy seeing this great snow tandem Spencer built on our back deck. This photo won first place in the Bike Expo photo competition on behalf of ETC.