Victoria Populaire – 70K!

26 03 2012

Team 20" at the end of the ride...

Sharon and I rode the 50K route at the BC Randonneurs Victoria Populaire Sunday. Add in ~20kms riding to/from the event and we rode farther than ever before on the tandem. Sharon also rode her longest ever distance on a bicycle. Obviously 70kms is not going to impress folks that ride 1200km events, but considering Sharon didn’t ride a bike when I met her this is a great achievement. Even better Sharon’s talking about riding the 100km route on our own this spring. Our distance riding progress may be slow, but it’s steady…=-)

50K Route Map - click for bigger version...

We met up with Aaron and Laura at the start. They were riding Dahon folding bikes so we were all rolling on 20″ wheels. We were joined by Brian and Mike on their big wheel bikes. The day was sunny and there were something like ~140 riders joining us on the course. The organizers did a great job staffing the controls and the route was well chosen for pleasant cycling.

Rider organizer Dave M giving the troops last minute instructions...

We let the majority of riders start in front of us so we could enjoy a relaxed pace around the course. I had my gps running as well as the course cue sheets. Between the two we managed a first ever zero bonus KM event by staying on course the whole time!

The intrepid members of our 50K posse at control #2...

The tandem proved comfortable for this distance and we had no issues cranking up even the steeper climbs on the course. I’m more and more impressed with our Raspberry Rocket on every new adventure. Thanks Bike Friday!

Sharon taking a breather along the route and enjoying the views...

Thanks to the BC Randonneurs for putting on a great ride for those riders not quite ready for a 200K brevet. Thanks also to Aaron, Laura, Sharon, Brian and Mike for riding with us…=-)

Mr.Lazy happy they have cookies at the control!

Victoria Populaire 2012 photos:



4 responses

26 03 2012

Reblogged this on The Crazy Randonneur and commented:
Here’s a great post by my blogging inspiration, Vik.

He and his gf Sharon did a 50k populaire on their Bike Friday tandem. Awesome job!

Now if I can only talk my CFO at home into letting me buy one…

28 03 2012

Always inspiring to see the tandem out. I looked over previous postings and was wondering about the drive train specs (didn’t see reference to this…)– what derailleur system did you go with and is a triple crank essential, or would a compact double do the trick for your and Sharon’s riding on the Raspberry Rocket?

Thanks so much.


28 03 2012

@David – I don’t spend much time thinking about the tandem drivetrain. It’s a basic 3 x 8 derailleur drivetrain. Bar end shifters. Deore rear derailleur – no name front derailleur.

On the 50K we spent about 45% of the time in the middle ring, 45% of the time in the big ring. 10% in the granny ring.

Given it’s a touring bike I wouldn’t change the gearing as being tired, with a big load and a long steep climb could make me very happy for the granny gear, but if you used it only for sport riding and you had a strong team you might want a different drivetrain.

11 04 2012

Hi Vik
Quick question – I was in the Vic Populaire and saw some folks with these cool mini panniers. Photo # 28 in above link. Looks like the name is “Slick Rack” but I cannot seem to find anything about them on the web. Have you ever come across these in your travels?


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