Sunday, February 17, 2008
Finding the Right Bikes
After borrowing tandem bikes from our good friends Sean and Mary Ann Duffy to ride the Trail of the Couer D'Alenes in 2006, we were hooked on tandem bikes! It was on that trip, watching the stars from our tent as we drifted off to sleep one very clear and quiet night, that we realized we could once again start dreaming of riding cross-country on bikes.
We had some "issues" to deal with, however. First, we now had two kids. Was it even possible to ride across the United States with them in the span of a summer? Second, Alison has MS (more on this in another post). How would that affect our plans? Third, riding 50 miles one day on a relatively level rails-to-trails route was one thing...4,500 miles across the US was another.
Once we returned home from that trip we started researching. We quickly realized that the trip was indeed possible. It was just going to take a lot of planning and preparation to make it happen.
First we started looking for bikes. We found a Burley San Marino on line in Florida. After a couple of weeks it had a new home in Walla Walla. The bike for Alison would take some more looking, however. She currently rides a RANS V-Rex recumbent. We would need to find a tandem recumbent for her to captain.
Finding a recumbent tandem is easy...finding people who really know about them is not! Luckily, we found Coventry Cycle Works in Portland Oregon. Sherman and his staff, especially Jeff, were amazingly helpful. We drove four hours from Walla Walla specifically to go to Coventry. The trip was definitely worth the time. Sherman spent a lot of time with Alison to make sure we got not only the right bike but the right size. If you are looking for a recumbent (or even a trike) we highly recommend Coventry Cycle Works in Portland (503-230-7723).
Alison finally settled on a RANS Screamer tandem. We are now anxiously awaiting its arrival in time for our Spring Break trip across Oregon (more on our cross country route later).