We have just come back from our first test ride with the two little ones in tow, and it wasn’t all bad…..which is good! Firstly the bike, yet to be named, still needs a fair bit of setting up as far as saddle heights, bar positions etc go, but overall the bike feels amazing! The tandem feels super smooth, and somehow way more efficient than our old Thorn tandem. The tandem is set up with huge mechanical disk brakes front and back, and I instantly noticed how easy it was to stop the bike even towing the girls and going down hill. On our last tour I used to suffer with wrist and hand pain after any day involving steep down hills and heavy breaking (this was pretty much the whole of Croatia).
It only took a couple of minutes for us to find our rhythm and it was amazing how familiar the bike felt. We didn’t venture far from home, as we don’t have helmets yet, but even cruising around the block a few times put huge smiles on both our faces, and we instantly taken back to the feeling of being free and cycling across Europe. However even the slightest hill was directly followed by a deep burning sensation in our thighs and lungs, bugger! We are clearly no longer bike fit, and it was a rude reminder that we really need to up our fitness levels over the next 4 – 5 months otherwise our first few weeks in NZ are going to be excruciatingly difficult.
The twins were behaving them selves, and seemed to really enjoy the ride when we picked up the pace on the flats. Suddenly the was tears, screaming and what sounded like a cat fit going on behind us. Sunny had decided to try to remove Imani’s hair by the fist full, and the pair of them were in tears. Time to head home which thankfully was only a few hundred meters away.
Our little test ride definitely gave us a lot to think about: Will we be fit enough before we set off in the new year, will we even be able to make it up some of the steep NZ mountain passes once we are fully loaded with all our camping gear, but perhaps the biggest question will we be able to keep the girls entertained long enough that we can even cycle to the next campsite let alone thousands of kilometres across NZ?