Every year the town of Glover, Vermont puts on the Tour de Glover bike race as part of their Glover Day activities. Glover is a small town just on the other side of the hill from where I live. It’s a small community with under a thousand residents but Glover Day manages to draw in people from the nearby towns, such as myself. My son, Noah, and I had agreed quite a while back to do this race together on the tandem this summer.
While the Tour de Glover is just a small community race, it is actually a bit of a tough course. It’s twelve miles from start to finish but close to four of those miles are climbing with a total gain around 1600 ft. It’s all gravel roads other than a mile or so that is class-4 unimproved. It mostly suits a cyclocross bike but I managed to set the course record at one point on a mountain bike. This time we would be riding the Cannondale mountain tandem.
I was a little concerned that the climbing would be too much for Noah but he paced himself really, really well. We even managed to pass a few people on the long climbs. Probably the most difficult part was keeping our speed under control on any of the downhill sections. The tandem picks up speed like a runaway train on even the slightest down hill slope.
We ended up finishing at 12th and 13th place – right in the middle of the field. The best part was that we had a blast doing it. I also learned that Noah has a little competitive streak in him; he did not like it when other riders passed us. Emma also ran the race solo. Unfortunately, she got confused at one of the intersections and put herself solidly at the back. She says she prefers riding trails anyway.