Posted by Lucas Winzenburg
We’re Buddy Glover and Deanna Wu, an engaged couple living just outside of Boston, MA. We both grew up here but have been using bikepacking as a way to explore the US and beyond. We’ve done the gravel growlers in Vermont and North Carolina, the TMV in France, and the GR5 in Belgium.
I’m a mechanical engineer for the federal government and Deanna works in public health doing youth substance use prevention. I come from a freeride mountain biking and BMX background, but lately I’ve been staying more grounded. Shortly after we met in 2014, I convinced Deanna to start riding with me and commuting into work. Now, she bikes more than I do!
When we aren’t on separate bikes, we ride a 2014 Co-Motion Java named Javi. Getting a tandem was an idea we had been throwing around for a few years but we never had the opportunity to give one a try. Then, one day, we caught wind of a Co-Motion demo event at Ace Wheeworks in Belmont, MA. We test rode Javi and instantly enjoyed the rush and excitement of a different way of cycling (thanks, Ed!). We couldn’t justify the price tag at the time and thought maybe the allure of tandem cycling would fade, but it didn’t.
A few months went by and I proposed to Deanna. As part of the proposal, we went back to Ace Wheelworks and found that Javi had not been sold! He came home with us and we’ve been grinding out pavement, gravel, and some singletrack miles ever since. Our first endeavor was a 50-mile segment of the East Coast Greenway from Malden to Newburyport, MA, on the 4th of July. At that point we knew that trips on the tandem were doable, so in September of 2019 we did the Green Mountain Gravel Growler in VT and it was the most fun we’ve ever had on a bike.
Tandem cycling is unique in that you have to make each other aware of everything you’re doing. The captain (front of the bike) and stoker (rear of the bike) have to coordinate every move, including stopping, starting, braking, incoming bumps, etc. If you don’t, you might end up catching your partner off guard and causing an injury (or worse, starting an argument, which happened on more than one occasion on the Green Mountain Gravel Growler…). The Rohloff adds another layer of complexity because you have to stop pedaling in order to shift. It is far different from riding your own bike, and I recommend that everyone try riding a tandem at least once. I promise that it will give you a new perspective on cycling.
While we have a few non-tandem trips planned (we are very curious about the Pacific Northwest), the next ride we want to tackle on Javi is the Newfoundland T’Railway. Eventually, we’d love to do the GDMBR on it together.
- Frame/Fork 2014 Co-Motion Java
- Rims Velocity Cliffhanger
- Hubs DT Swiss 540 Tandem/Rohloff Speedhub 500/14
- Tires 29″ x 2.2″ Continental X King
- Handlebars Co-Motion Dropbar/Bullhorn
- Headset Chris King NoThreadset
- Crankset Belt-drive FSA Gossamer
- Pedals RaceFace Chester
- Brakes TRP Spyre
- Shifter(s) Co-Motion 14-speed Rohloff Twist Shifter
- Saddle WTB Test Ride/Selle Italia Lady
- Seatpost Co-Motion/Cane Creek Thudbuster
- Stem Co-Motion
- Front bags Revelate Harness/Egress Pocket
- Frame bags Rogue Panda
- Rear bags Porcelain Rocket Microwave Panniers
- Accessory bags Revelate Feed Bags/Jerry Can, Rogue Panda Alamo/Rincon
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Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.