6 tandems for a 65 kilometre ride

Four of us started from the Golden Head park, but by a quick reinforcement through the peninsula we were six at Bernard’s garage, then seeing us riding with such teams, a dozen of us reached the bridge of Decines.

Just to say, our club looks great with its tandems made of carbon or steel (all right, these latter ones are a bit heavy). The club grows up day after day with new chargers and pilots and stocks and thus does not lack panache. Ivan in blue cassock, trumpets the guidelines, but among all our elders, Bernard is the wisest : bent on his mount, piloted by Tihnga, he seems to be sleeping, but don’t be fooled; he calculates the trjectory and knows very precisely where the bumps, turns and obstacles and good restaurants are. (Reopen the restaurants!).

Under his command, the troop does the same, passing hills, bridges and ordeals without ever bending, always absorbing rain and wind with a common effort ; everything seems peaceful to us. No complaints, no tiredness, we ride, and beside us, solo cyclists cover us with their praise (and we deserve them).

How pretty that Saturday cavalcade was! The low clouds at the beginning of the day opened holes of light. Arriving on the heights of the Dombes, the sky was all blue and in the ranks, it was all about summertime, challenges ahead and beautiful friendships. We welcome new recruits every time we leave; Joachim and Matthieu, visually impaired and very good sportsmen accompany us now, ready to propel us on miles of roads. We happen to know each other while pedaling, and that’s the pleasure of the tandem : being able to chat without seeing the time pass. Sometimes on a hill, we unite our breaths, then, when the bump has passed, we resume our chatter, as if nothing interrupted it, everything looking quiet and simple, and we start dreaming of pedalling far, without ever stopping.

Leo and Romeo refresh the troup ; they are young and handsome. You would not believe it if I told you that in this club, even with René who celebrates his 87 springs head held high, mounted on his bike like all of us, really, we seem only twenty.

Sharing, sport and friendship; the most beautiful elixir of youth. It is simple alchemy : Tihnga, Bernard, Romeo, Matthew, Laurent, Joachim, Michel, Grégoire, Leo, Mehdi, Ivan and then Sophie, but you also, if you are reading me here, come and swell the ranks, let’s multiply the actions, and even, let’s be casual, have successes, let’s celebrate inclusion! The more crazy we are, the more we sow. We are witnessing that.


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Story of a ride

René Devinant

René is really fit : in spite of his eighty-six summers, he is sporting young boy’s calves. His age at the mileage counter borders on the thousand. René is a great cycloter, he can challenges other athletes, those crown eaters of sport’s applications. René does not need a watch, nor a power ratio, he doesn’t care about the percentage of the elevation, the colour of a jersey or the profile of a helmet. Rene pedals, so it is, eyes closed and piloted by Jean-Louis. A legend has it that he slept on a Paris-Roubaix. René is a myth and we ride with him.

We left from our downtown premises with Ivan and Laurent, taking advantage of a glimpse of good weather and we rushed to Bernard’s shed. That is our club’s bearings. We also have premises in the velodrome, and Paul’s and Alexandre’s. I probably forget some others.
– Meeting at Bernard’s shed.
According to the jargon of the club, this means we’re going North. Bernard is our mechanics-GPS. Regarding his visual acuity level, it is not the top, but, and that is a real mystery, if we give Bernard a tandem in kit, not only he assembles it at fast speed, but he can rush twice around the Dombes while you are still looking for your 10in. spanner in the toolbox.

Ivan was very proud with his Moustache. This is not about the new hair style of the president but the latest born tandem of the club. Watch out for that : suspended fork and saddles, hydro-disc brakes, Shimano XT 11-speed derailler and two high-performance Bosh batteries. It is just wonderful to take the president for a ride after a whole night work (the club covers all unreasonable causes, Ivan works a lot and this is not to be argued).

Saturday 27th

Go speedsters, 4 tandems followed by Vincent on his push bike – his bike is red, so he goes very fast – towards Mas Rillier. Some stayers take advantage of the climb to rest or muse over (yet nothing of what Ivan the President does is blameworthy). We enjoy overtaking each others and this funny train makes other single cyclists laugh and car drivers swear. We consult the GPS, a.k.a. Bernard who guides us through the maze of Dombes without looking, pilots and stayers conversing. We sometimes swap tandems so as to chat with every friend while René in the middle, pushing firmly on his pedals, throws two or three jokes about, just to remind us that the quality of his wit, along with his pedal stroke, does not decline with the years. Janis, Laurent and Tihnga, the last comers are conquered by the club (what a charmer René is !) and Jean-Louis our treasurer and emeritus sportman may be beginning to think that this new tandem, o felony ! so equipped with batteries, allows people who are not so fit or less serious ones to ride sixty kilometres without failing. (We saw Laurent go down a slope on assistance “sport”, but everything that occurs in the club remains in the club of course).

Sophie, Driver at the TCR

The trip is still too short and smiles always very wide. We would not mind getting lost sometimes, deep in the Ain, or perhaps towards the Alps, always displaying a happy mood. It even seems that we are aiming for Tokyo, in tandem. That seems far away, but our champions Anouk, Paul and Alexandre are training to grab some stars there, while riding around the Dombes we are dreaming of going around the world, just to accompany them!

Sophie Garde-Lebreton


An outing with the new pilots of the Club

To follow up with the “Pilot on Tandem for Visually Impaired” training activities organised by the Rhodanian Tandem Club on Saturday, December 19th 2020, we went out with newly trained pilots. 8 tandemists and 2 single cyclists took part.

Under the direction of Bernard, a registered blind member of the club, the group soon found itself in the Dombes (department of Ain) from Vaulx-en-Velin (in the Rhone department ).

It was a 50 km ride that Bernard knows by heart. It was impressive to be guided by Bernard who improvises himself as a tourist guide too.
Thank you to all the participants: Sophie, Jean-Louis, Bernard, Ivan, Janis, Laurent, René, Vincent, Gilles and Tihnga.

Leizure, News

Train to consolidate the offer of the Rhodanian Tandem Club

On Thursday afternoon, Ivan, President of the Rhodanian Tandem Club, carried out an activity to practise piloting a tandem. 4 motivated participants met in the velodrome of the Golden Head park.
Laurent, Pierre, Janis and Léo crisscrossed the streets of Lyon under the guidance and instruction of their trainer of the day.
Ivan: “We had a good time. I hope I have succeeded in transmitting the taste of cycling to two people. It is important for the Rhodanian Tandem Club to recruit pilots in order to meet the requests for outings by the club’s visually impaired.”

Would you like to take part in the adventure, please contact us.
Email: contact@tandemclubrhodanien.bike
Tel: 06 07 13 02 07

See you very soon.