Several years ago our friend, and inventor, Ed Rios made a prototype drag parachute for tandem use. His stoker, Jane, wisely refused to participate in the test, and of course we volunteered. Stoker Claire wore and deployed the chute which, after a bit of a jerk on deployment, worked to bring our speed to reasonable levels on a descent of Mt. Lemmon just outside of Tucson, Arizona. We loved it! It would need to be bigger for touring less smooth roads, but for day rides, perfect. Ed, how about making it double as a tent fly/tarp?
When we travel on our tandem in difficult places, like Tibet, and SE Asia, keeping the bike clean is the last thing I’m thinking about at the end of a hard day: food, a place to get horizontal and sleep are first priority, maybe changing money, buying food for the next day, trying to understand your host, the market vendors; all this before sunset since it’s often cold then, or sometimes not the best time for a gringo to be wandering the streets. So this is often when the derailleuer looks like after 3 or 4 thousand miles.
As you can see this hub had some major abuse on our last adventure, in particular pushing for twenty kilometers while lost for two days on an old branch of the Hoh Chi Minh trail in Laos. At least it didn’t run over a bombie and blow us all up; these part would have been really scattered then. After cleaning, I forgot to take a photo, the parts were clean and smooth again, ready for another go at some more mountains, this time the Andes, and probably a bunch of bad dirt roads. That’s why I paid big bucks ($150 or so a long time ago) for a great hub (not a sponsor, we have no sponsors) The hub body has over 18,000 miles on it, and we are on the second set of paws and springs. Not a bad deal.
In late 1995 we were riding our tandem, Zippy across remote Rio Grande, West Texas. We were 30 miles from any town, enjoying the warmth and sun, racing winter in New Mexico. A seventies era car passed us slowly, dented and rusted, and pulled over on the opposite shoulder a hundred yards ahead. Being alone, on our bicycle for about 11,000 since leaving our home in Washington State six months before, we naturally looked carefully at unusual cars and unusual behavior. As we neared the car, a man in his late 60’s emerged from the car and waved us down. He looked harmless, even cute, so we stopped and smiled as he approached with his antique camera, and took this picture.