We Meet a Family Crossing USA on Tandems
UPDATE 5/30: Lucy and I met up with the tandem family as they rode past north of Lansing. We rode our own sweet old red Nashbar tandem with them a few miles before they made camp. Then Martha and Henry drove up with dinner vittles, including wild turkey soup. The Family had been riding into headwinds the past couple days. The kids all played around the campground. Lucy and Martha were really inspired. Lucy and her neighborhood pal Lauran say they're going to save their money and ride across the country. Martha said it was amazing to see a normal non-bike-crazy family just get up and go, and take it one day at a time, and keep it simple. She's catchin on! Eat, camp, ride, play, load-up, repair, look at the map, use the cellphone. I'm going to fit an adjustable stem onto our tandem so both Martha and I can captain it. Our Piccolo is good for one more summer, so we'll have two tandems ourselves, in effect. Now, where to? We'll start with a one-day tour...
4/30 REPORT: Last night some Detroit friends called and said their old friends---a couple with 2 young kids---just rode up to their house on 2 tandems and they wanted us to come have dinner with them and for me to help them plan their way across Michigan to Muskegon where they wanted to catch a ferry to Wisconsin. They're riding from Wash, DC > Wash State.
I cancelled my evening ride with Steve F (sorry!) and our family headed out to meet the biker family.
It was a super evening! Rob, Ina, Wiley (8) and Maya (11) are XC ski people from the ski-famous Methow Valley of Wash State. We *almost* had a "friends of friends" connection---close!
Their adventure is so inspirational!
These are folks of limited means who worked doubletime awhile and saved up and decided to just Do It because their kids aren't getting any younger. They wanted some Special Slow Time with them. Wow, what a great way to get it.
Actually, I would think that most any way of stepping out of the usual USA routine would be a way to get the Slow Time Effect. Moving into a travel trailer, going backpacking, moving onto a boat... Moving to the Keewenaw Peninsula? To another country? : )
It gets us to wondering about what kind of adventure we could do with our family. ...But I reminded Martha that we ARE doing an adventure. Still, we do plan on taking a Step Out to slow down. We're going to try spending our summers living in our trailer up north...
Here's their Tour Journal so far: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3Tzut&doc_id=4977&v=23
It's titled "RandomRoots."
It's been neat reading about the Roots side of their tour so far --- they're from Back East so the first part of their tour included lots of re-connecting with Old Family and Friends who they hadn't seen in a long time --- this proved surprisingly valuable to them.
(Man, that Crazy Guy site is ROCKIN!)
I brought my reliable old 1970's Michigan boxed map set (anyone have this?) and we quickly found a good route after comparing them to the map they had.
They had independent cadence daVinci tandems. Sweet!
They're riding by just north of us, from Laingsburg to Sleepy Hollow, probably on Friday. I think that Lucy and I will go find em and ride with em a bit on our tandem. Lucy loves riding. She got a new(old) Jamis Capri for her 9th birthday a few weeks ago---and has been riding every free minute since! Henry doesn't much notice biking yet, but enjoys it whenever he ends up doing it.
Lastly: in their Journal I saw where they lost brake power in one tandem on a downhill where they had to brake hard behind a slow truck. They have disk brakes. I thought people use those brakes to AVOID that kind of problem. Is there a cure for this?