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Massachusetts Tandem Rally 2016


Join us for the Massachusetts Tandem Rally at Ride Studio Cafe.  We’re hosting a full, fun day of tandem riding, great food, and socializing with interesting tandemers from all over.

What:  Massachusetts Tandem Rally 2016

When:  April 30, Saturday – doors open at 7 am

Where:  Ride Studio Cafe at 1720 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA.  (339) 970-0187

Why:  Tandems are twice the enjoyment on two wheels!

Let’s start the season off right – with some great tandem rides with all our tandem friends!  We hope you’ll join us for this season opener tandem day! It’s going to be a lot of fun.  We can’t wait!

Value for Your Registration Investment

This is so much more than a simple tandem ride.  We’re providing a full day of tandem value and offerings:

  • Three beautiful rides from which to choose.  See below for details.
  • Big pancake breakfast – the best pancakes ever!  Or a light lunch, depending on which ride you register for.
  • Mid-ride food stop – well stocked with all kinds of ride foods and drinks.
  • Big post-ride supper at the Vine Brook Tavern that includes four tickets for alcohol drinks.
  • Donation to Mass Bike.  10% of your registration fee goes to Mass Bike to help make our roads better and safer for tandeming.
  • Four custom Tandem Rally water bottles.  Two for each tandem rider.  A $48 value.
  • A 10% discount card for the day of the ride.  You’ll receive a 10% discount on anything you purchase at RSC between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm on Saturday, April 30.
  • A Ride Studio Cafe voucher for a future purchase of any one of the following:
    • Tandem tune-up labor at 50% off.  An $80 value.
    • Tires and tubes installed at no labor charge.  We’re including the cost of two tubes, too.  It’s that time of year to be thinking about new tires as the season gets better.  A $60 value.
    • Brake overhaul at no charge – including both brakes, new pads, wheel truing, brake safety check, and all labor.  A $90 value.

Three Ride Options

These are fun rides, not competitive rides.  It’s still very early in the season so we’re going slow and steady.

We offer three ways to ride the routes:

  • Guided Ride:  We’ll have one ride leader for each ride so if you’d like to ride in a group, please join us for that ride.
  • Route Files:  For Garmin computers and smart phones.  We’ll post these files the night before the ride so you can load them, or you can load the files on the morning of the ride at the Ride Studio Cafe.
  • Printed Cue Sheet:  If you’d like to ride on your own, and prefer a cue sheet, we have these available for both road rides but not the mixed-terrain ride.


Ride One:  Metric Century

  • Start Time:  8:15 am
  • Distance:  About 62 miles
  • Estimated Time:  About 4.5 to 6.5 hours
  • Terrain:  Suburban to rural, good pavement, rolling hills
  • Climbing:  Average; about 70 feet per mile.
  • Food included:
    • Pre-ride Breakfast beginning at 7:00 am
    • On-route snack stop
    • Post-ride Dinner beginning at 1:30 pm

Ride Two:  Tandem Thirty


  • Start Time:  12:30 pm
  • Distance:  About 30 miles
  • Estimated Time:  About 2.5 to 4 hours
  • Terrain:  Suburban to rural, good pavement, rolling hills
  • Climbing:  Average; about 70 feet per mile.
  • Food included:
    • Pre-ride light lunch beginning at 11:00 am
    • Post-ride Dinner beginning at 2:00 pm

Ride Three:  Mixed-Terrain Ride

This is an unusual tandem ride.  We’re riding mixed-terrain of singletrack, fire roads, and pavement.  We’ll see a bit of everything.  If you’d like to join us for this ride, and you’re not used to riding mixed-terrain on your tandem, please read the bike requirements below.  We expect a small group for this ride because most tandems aren’t designed for this kind of riding.


  • Start Time:  8:45 am
  • Distance:  About 25 miles
  • Estimated Time:  About 4 to 6 hours
  • Terrain:  Suburban to rural, a true mix of singletrack, fire roads, and pavement.  99% rideable on a tandem.
  • Climbing:  Average; about 70 feet per mile.
  • Food included:
    • Pre-ride Breakfast beginning at 7:00 am
    • On-route snack stop
    • Post-ride Dinner beginning at 1:30 pm

Free Tandem Clinic – Date Changed 

If you have friends that are thinking about tandeming, or that you want to be thinking about tandeming, tell them to register for our Tandeming 101 Clinic.  We’re offering a tandem clinic for riders interested in learning more about tandeming and why it may be the best way to ride in the month of May – moved from the day of the Tandem Rally.

When:  This May
Where:  Ride Studio Cafe
Why:  Learn to love tandeming
Cost:  Free of charge

Register:  Please register so we know how many to expect – and we’ll let you know exactly when it’s happening. Having it on the same day as the tandem rally was going to distract from the tandem bike riding. This way, we can bring a great presentation to you without the distraction of the rally.


The price is $95 per tandem.  With that investment you receive all of the benefits mentioned above – well beyond the registration fee.

Ride Studio Cafe tandem customers receive a 25% discount.  Contact us for your discount code.

Register Now

Tandems on Display at Ride Studio Cafe

Ride Studio Cafe has some of the best tandem customers.  We’ve also specified and delivered an extremely wide array of tandem designs.  Some of the tandems you’ll see at the Rally – and in which we specialize:

  • Custom from the ground up.  At RSC this means frame geometry, tubeset selection, every frame feature – from the brake system, gearing options, rider position, and more – and every single part you’ll specify for your tandem.
  • Ideal tandem frame material:  Titanium and steel.  Titanium is the ideal material for a long-distance tandem – when properly designed for each rider; it’s comfortable, stiff, durable, and rust-proof.  Steel offers and amazing ride feel and great durability for the long ride.
  • Travel tandems:  We do a lot of S&S coupler bikes in all styles.  Traveling with a tandem is one of the best types of riding we’ve ever had.
  • Performance road tandems:  We do a lot of lightweight high-performance tandems that offer a fast ride while providing durability, longevity, comfort, and stability.
  • Mixed-terrain tandems:  Having the ability to ride anywhere on any terrain is the end all be all for cycling.  Making that possible on your tandem provides a whole new adventure.
  • Bikepacking tandems:  We believe that touring offroad with your tandem is the ultimate cycling experience.  It combines all our favorite types of riding at once:  Tandeming, riding in the remote woods, camping out, and being together.  What could be better?  Making bikepacking tandem-able creates a new level of cycling that’s like no other.  It is indescribable.
  • Working with the most versatile tandem design companies:  Seven Cycles and Honey Bicycles.  Both companies build the most incredible tandems we’ve ever had the pleasure to work on and ride.  Sevens are individually custom designed.  Honey Bikes offers 27 stock tandem sizes.  That’s not a typo:  Twenty-seven sizes to fit better than any other stock tandem you’ve ever ridden.

We’ll be at the Studio all day so check out the tandems and ask us questions.  We also offer demo rides on any of our tandems so feel free to set up a time to test.  We aren’t doing demo rides on the day of the Rally because all our demos are already spoken for.


Next Steps before Arriving For the Tandem Rally:

  • Make sure you’ve signed the online rider waiver.
  • Make sure you have everything on the Ride Checklist below.
  • Check your bike to make sure it’s ready for this ride:  Plenty of brake pad wear available, the right tires for early season riding, gears working well, wheels in good shape.
  • If you use a Garmin GPS device and you’re so inclined, upload the route file the night before getting to the Studio.
  • Arrive early for your ride.  Please arrive at least 45-minutes prior to your departure time; this will give you time to:
    • Have a big breakfast – or lunch, depending on which ride you’ve registered.
    • Sign-in to your ride.
    • Be present for the pre-ride meeting.
    • Meet your ride Navigator – unless you prefer to ride solo.
    • Have time to use the restroom.


If you’re driving to Ride Studio Cafe, make sure you don’t park in behind Panera; they will tow you. There is a lot of parking behind the CVS; it’s $4 per day.

Be Respectful of the Community and Your Co-Riders

  • Please don’t ride on the sidewalk in front of Ride Studio Cafe.
  • Please don’t block any of our Ride Studio Cafe’s neighbors’ doors with your bike.
  • Review Ride Studio Cafe’s Riding Rules.

Rider Checklist – Bring on the Ride

  • Helmet
  • Cycling shoes outfitted with cleats – no platform pedals
  • Identification
  • Appropriate clothes for changing temperatures
  • Tool kit: including, at a minimum, one appropriately sized tube, CO2 cartridge and inflator or a mini pump, patch kit, a multi-tool
  • Water: Two full water bottles
  • A sense of adventure

Tandem Requirements for the Mixed-Terrain Ride

Tandem mixed-terrain riding is unusual – and one of our passions at RSC.  We’ve got a small contingent of dedicated riders that will be joining us for this ride.  If you have a tandem that’s appropriate for this type of ride, we hope you’ll join us in the woods.

Bike Requirements

  • 30c tires, minimum size.  If you don’t have 30c or wider, you’ll be riding alone after you get a flat.  A tire with some tread will probably be appreciated.
  • Clipless pedals:  This ride isn’t for everyone; we’re riding with skilled cyclists.

Mental Preparation

If you haven’t ridden one of Ride Studio Cafe mixed-terrain rides before, the ride is likely to be a bit disorienting.  In order to optimize the odds that you’ll have a fun and memorable ride, here are some tips:

  • One Thousand Turns – always in the direction you don’t expect.  We’ll probably be going left when it looks like we’d be taking a right.  Some of the best trails can be difficult to find.
  • All-Terrain:  This ride really does have it all – gravel, broken pavement, single-track, boardwalks, and even a few beautifully paved roads.  Be ready for anything and everything.
  • Adventure & Exploration:  This is a study of terrain and hidden beauty.  This is not a pure fitness training ride.  If you’re here for a race-pace ride, you’ll be frustrated.
  • Your Navigator Is Doing an Impossible Job:  Your ride Navigator has probably not ridden this route before; even if the Navigator had, there’s no way to remember all the twists and turns – even with the most sophisticated Garmin.  So, be patient when your navigator overshoots a turn or takes a moment to re-orient.  Some of the trails truly are invisible.

The Three Serious Rules for the Mixed-Terrain Tandem Ride

  • Ride Safely.  Safety during an off-pavement ride is different and more expansive than safety on the road.  Details follow.  On the paved sections, follow Ride Studio Cafe’s Riding Rules.
  • Take Care of the Rearward Rider:  This means you are responsible for the rider behind you.  With 1,000 turns is it easy to get lost or lose the person in your wake.  Always keep this rearward rider in sight; stop at intersections if the aft cyclist is not right behind you.  Never assume.  Also, keep count of how many riders are behind you; this makes it easier to ensure you’re all together.
  • Be Vocal:  If you’re falling behind make sure you call out to the rider in front of you; that rider will then call up the trail – setting a mic-check domino effect so everyone stays together.

Safety on Mixed-Terrain Group Rides

This ride has nearly every type of terrain and obstacle you could encounter on a fun all-terrain bike ride.  We anticipate that many of the group will not have encountered some of these obstacles before.  Here are some important safety tips to ensure the ride is a blast – not a frustration, or worse.

  • Ride within your abilities.  This is a fun ride, not the fastest ride.  ‘First to finish’ means foregoing the fun.
  • Always be ready for a sudden turn, and ride single file on the road.  Many of the turns into the woods are not readily apparent from the road.  Be careful when riding behind.  No half-wheeling.  No three riders abreast.
  • Follow the ride leader – or Navigator.  If you ride ahead of the Navigator you will get lost.
  • Leave a gap between you and the ride in front of you:  Leave a couple bike lengths between you and the person in front of you.  There are 1,000 turns on this ride – most of them are invisible until you are right on top of the turn into the woods.
  • Be aware of people walking and parking.  Most of the off-pavement sections are designated for walkers.  There are times when we’ll be skirting a parking lot or a school sports field.  We expect these people to not be on the lookout for cyclists.  These areas are the most dangerous sections.  Ride slowly and predictably.
  • Internalize Ride Studio Cafe’s Riding Rules.

That covers everything you’ll need to know for the Massachusetts Tandem Rally.  If you have any unanswered questions, please contact us.  We hope that you’ll join us for this memorable season opener of riding and socializing.


Night tandeming. Photo by P. Blalock.

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