05 June 2011

tandem ride on Tiger Mountain

Yes! Today was the first time this year that Shelley and I have gotten out on our Witness. It was a wakeup call (my tandem bike handling skills suck!) and it was also a ton of fun. We also learned a couple of lessons.

Lesson #1 – if you want to find a parking space at the Tiger Summit parking lot on a nice, summer day, show up earlier than 10 AM.

Lesson #2 – you know the expression, "It's like riding a bike." as in you never forget? Well that does not apply to getting the stoker handlebars around a tree on trails with tight switchbacks.

Lucky for us there is a place to park across the street. We had to descend all the way to Issaquah-Hobart and then drive back up to get there but lesson learned.

Tiger starts with three miles of UP. The fork on our tandem has 6" of travel and so on a steep climb you are kinda darting left and right while struggling to maintain your direction. The payoff of course is that once you go down the ride is, in a word, plush.

We got off to a rocky start and I was too heavy handed with the brakes but the longer we rode the better I got and the long rooty section of the trail was not so bad. WE only had to get off for a couple of drop-offs (the bike tends to high-center unless you are willing to haul ass and get air off of ledges, we are not) and for two tight corners. Not bad if I do say so myself.

The second road climb was cake and the second section of trail was also good; we only had to dismount once.

This guy on a freeride bike with platform pedals caught us here but kept wanting us to ride ahead of him. He said, "I'm no peddler..." but he sure was a damn good descender!

Pretty much everyone we met be they rider or hiker made a remark about the tandem. I realize that MTB tandems are rare and ours looks especially bad-ass with the huge tires and full-suspension.

By the end of the ride Shelley and I were a team again! She really loves this and even forgave me for tossing her into a tree at one point. I think it was the worst wreck she has ever had mountain biking and bruised both knees, scraped her shin and whacked her head against the tree trunk. Ouch! What a trooper. And thank you helmet.

I keep thinking it would be cool perspective if Shelley wore a GoPro Hero on her helmet but I suspect it would just be one log movie of my ass. :(

Sleep 7
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Workout Food water, half a PowerBar
Time of Day 10:30 AM
Workout Type FUN
Distance 10 miles
Time 2:05
Equipment Ellsworth Witness
22/32/44, 11-34
Clothing bib shorts, sleeveless undershirt, sleeveless jersey, cap

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