Daisy reveals her lineage

It was not so long ago I posted pictures with some excitement of the new tandem, acquired at the start of the summer holidays.  It took a little while to get everything sorted out for active and regular riding, because the logistics are more than twice that of two bicycles really and you feel as though everything is really very new, even to an experienced rider. Perhaps in large part that is because my riding partner (called the "stoker" in tandem parlance!) is returning to cycling after a gap of many years.

There is a very obtuse link with the reading group book selection here; since "When we were Romans" is written as the first person narrative of a child and this point of view transforms the way we see the adult storyline shown to us (I shall blog this separately and the jury is out as to my opinion and comfort with the device, one famously employed in "the Story of the nighttime....".  I really want to check if it was employed much prior to recent times!).

But back to Daisy....  And by now I hope you realise that we have (sadly?) developed the habit of referring to the tandem by this name.  Then again we do not even have a manufacturer to name the thing by, although we have discovered she is highly unlikely to be a Santana brand and is very much of the seventies era cycle technology but souped up with added components to keep her going as time went by.  She could have been a Crestline, according to "tandem-geek" (a helpful member of a USA cycling forum).  She might, I suspect, have rather humble origins.
There is a host of new terminology that comes with tandem riding, and it can rapidly start to dazzle you as you find out more.  Turning to wikkipedia for tandems I learned just now that there is a "four bang technique" which can be employed in aligning one's pedals to apply pressure in a different way to the drive.... Even more scarey for me as the "captain" is the prospect of commencing cycling with the "stoker" clipped on to help me to get underway and clip in my cleats!  I am not sure we shall ever get that advanced, it is still quite a big step for me to contemplate open, MBX style toe clips for my partner to trial.... and for the forseeable future anything less than the "one bang per cycle" technique is strictly for when we suffer transmission derailings, and not anything I intend us to explore just now.  Stoker may be the one to decide any moves on this score...

I am reminded directly of the Raleigh "Palm Beach" which was my first bicycle with gears (Sturmey three speed, of course!).  It is particularly noticeable in the crank sets, which are both driven on the right side (very old fashioned, for a tandem) and in the frame fittings and handle bars.  Also the seat posts, and I can tell right away that the wheels are not original to the bicycle as these big fat ATB tyres have literally two or three milimeters clearance from the forks, particularly noticeable on the rear wheel which is always the more crucial and stressed and appears to be slightly out of true.

So I rather see Daisy as a seventies Disco chick who never quite glammed herself up and moved on, she still loves to get out there and make the moves but has had to concede to modern times and lose her tank-top and flares!  And what do I want to do?   Well if I can find her road tyres, new wheels, and sort out the derailing drive with some sort of tensioning or anti-jump plate (we mashed up her original and had to cut it away with tin snips!  A bit like losing her platforms!  If I can do all that and we can find the time to get our technique and fitness to a level where the six speeds and maxi-drive do the trick, then she'll yet wow them on the dance floor again!  And if we get to that level, I shall take my partner to the Herne Hill Velodrome for the "ride of her life" and see if she can make it up the wall and hit thirty on the flat, a taste of what track riding would be like for her, it would be such a thrill!

05:13 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,