Riding in Tandem, Enjoying Trails and Friends

Tom and I enjoy riding our tandem bike together.  We have spent many happy hours on the orange behemoth.  One of the reasons we bought our little house in Westerville was the access to the Ohio to Erie bike trail across the street.

A couple of weeks after moving into our little house, Tom aired up the tandem’s tires so we could try out a little bit of the trail.  It was a very short ride.  About a mile north on the trail the trail goes over US Route 3.  The ramp on the other side of the overpass is steep.  Heading down this steep section, Tom realized we didn’t have any brakes.  The tandem has a lot of momentum with both of us on it and it was a challenge to stop.  Basically, Tom sacrificed the bottoms of his shoes to get us slowed down enough to stop.  Tom knew the brakes weren’t in top form, but he didn’t know they were that bad.

We turned around and headed home.  Once we got home, Tom called the Trek bike shop in Westerville to find out about replacement brakes.  After talking to the technician for a while, Tom realized he really needed to take the tandem in to the shop instead of fixing it himself.  So he hopped on the bike and rode it the four miles down the trail to the bike shop.  We had not gotten the bike serviced for several years and there were a number of things that needed fixing.

The tandem ended up being at the Trek bike shop about two weeks but when we got it back, it looked like new!  New chain, brakes, cables, and derailleur.  It even had new orange tape on the handlebars.  We took it out for a couple of short rides and everything worked just as it should.  Hurray!

So, a couple of weeks ago, we joined our friends Chris and Bill in Lexington and rode the Richland B&O Trail.  We parked in the lot in Lexington and rode to Butler.  Although Chris and Bill are avid cyclists, they had never ridden this trail.  Because Tom and I are so familiar with it, we were able to be tour guides as well as riding partners.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day, although the weather had turned fallish overnight so it was a little cold.  The sun and the exercise kept us warm enough most of the time.

We enjoyed the ride through the little towns of Bellville and Butler, pointing out restaurants and historic sights along the way.  When we got to Butler, Chris walked to the end of the trail.  You can see the right of way for the trail but there is a guard rail across it to keep you from going on.  Maybe they will continue the trail someday.

Me and Chris
Clearfork River
Bill and Tom
Gazebo at Der Dutchman

We turned around and headed back into the wind.  When we got to I-71, we headed north to Der Dutchman on a side road.  Der Dutchman is open for dine-in but we ordered takeout and sat in the sun in the gazebo outside to eat.  The company was as good as the food and we did the last few miles to Lexington refreshed.

Tom and I love to ride the tandem, especially now with the brakes fixed.  It was even better to ride with friends.  A beautiful day, a wonderful trail, and good friends to talk to made the miles fly by!