Flying Scot - Continental Tandem

Jamiedyer

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This Lovely Tandem I had bought back at the end of February/start of March.
It is a Flying Scot tandem Continental model. This is a later one built by M Steel in Newcastle, very much in the Dave Yates style. Mid eighties I think judging by the sizing etc.
This was bought to take up the mantle of touring with Caleb as he is now getting too big for the Big Dummy Cargo bike. Like he has been saying since he was three that we needed a tandem so he can help me on the hills, this I finally agreed with after that last Orkney trip
I purchased this from Scottish tandem/Audax legend George Berwick who is getting on now and into his 80's. This didn't leave him short of a ride as he and his wife have a Dave Yates tandem, each, Jammie Dodger models as well as recumbents, tandem and solo and others.
I finally managed to get down to Fife to George and Margarets to pick it up, at the start of July when the first lockdown eased, along with a huge assortment of seats, seatposts, handlebars, brakes etc. I had a great few hours in their company sitting in their lovely garden talking bikes, drinking tea and Margaret showing me bits from their journals with all the various trips the tandem had done over the years, as well as a couple of test rides and fitting. George had said it is built by Dave Yates at M Steel the same as his two Dave Yates tandems, the jammy dodgers. He and Margaret said that this had done the least miles of the three and in their words ' had hardly done much at all' as her journals had the mileage for these three was around twenty eight thousand from memory. This could also be down to the fact that being slightly higher on the front, George was stoker with Margaret on the front. despite this I looked through many many pages and photos of this tandem touring Portugal, Spain, multiple French trips, the pyrenees as well as Ireland. One of the photos he sent me originally showed Margaret astride it atop of Mont Ventoux. I just hope we can give it as adventurous a home as it has had previously.
Had a bit of time just after picking it up to try and make a start on sorting what sort of modifications to make for Caleb to ride on the back of the tandem. Will experiment with bars and stoker stems etc but for now just transferred his bars from the Cargo bike so he felt comfortable. I was thinking I may need to fit kiddie cranks but ended up fitting some crank shorteners for his pedals and these will be fine. My cockpit is usable and fits as is so that will get changed in time. Still need to give it a good clean and tidy up, but getting there for now. The cockpit actually has a couple of mismatched levers with an STI lever on the left and a non aero lever on right. This turns out that the gear blade of the aero lever operated the second rim brake on the back. This had been disconnected, for my benefit I think
Due to the ongoing covid restrictions on travel etc we have been riding locally only, no big tours yet, just day runs etc. We have got it ticking over and will get a few more rides out of it this holiday before winter comes fully and then I will strip it down completely.
One problem we found with the crank shorteners fitted was that the bolt that holds the arm onto the crank arm through the old pedal hole is almost like a large chainring bolt and was just catching the front chain. I tried shorter bottom bracket on the front to pull the chain line over slightly but hardly made a difference. I ended up sliding the complete eccentric bottom bracket over by about 6 mm to make it work. It is hopefully temporary and will get sorted over the winter. It works fine but just there must be a better way. I also have a Phil Woods eccentric bottom bracket shell coming to replace the Hadon one that is getting a bit rough on the threads.
Today I have been changing over the brake levers to a matching pair of aero 600s and cleaning up the bar tape as needed to fit a new gear cable anyway and the mismatched pair have been really annoying me, despite working fine. I have the rest of the week off for the school holidays so hopefully the rain will ease and we will be back out.
Once the pedals were adjusted on the shorteners Caleb took to tandem riding like a natural, we never have any problems and he absolutely loves it, he loves the fact he is contributing rather than just sitting on the back.
Really looking forward to the next step in Calebs and mine two wheel adventures, and judging by the rides so far, things are looking pretty good.
Just thought it was about time I put this into the readers rides as it is definitely part of the stable now and fits right in with the others Scots.

Jamie

A couple from when we first got it. Rear drop bars changed for Calebs bars from the Big Dummy.

IMG_3393 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

IMG_3410 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

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Jamiedyer

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This is from one of our Blog posts from an early shakedown ride.

After a morning with visiting family the weather soon cleared up here to lovely sunshine and just a light breeze so Caleb and I decided to take the FS Continental out for a shakedown ride to town to get an ice cream.
Calebs crank shorteners worked great though I still need to put a narrower TA bottom bracket on the front as when putting pressure on you can hear it clip the front chain. It really needs the narrower bb as I have only managed to make it work by pushing the eccentric bottom bracket in the front way over to the right. Solid but maybe not the best for long term. Gears need completely sorted to work right with bars and levers up front also needing changed. I will most likely strip it completely when I put in the new BB and deep clean and refresh everything. It is pretty oily and greasy all over despite cleaning when we got it home. Caleb did really well especially as we went the long way and he had a few climbs to manage, he is fine on his small touring bike but was just as instantly at home on this. Even for myself there is a bit of adjusting and making sure you communicate as your working in....tandem ;) Really pleased he was so happy and seems like a good successor to our Big Dummy cargo bike for our further adventures.
Had dinner and now the clouds have come back in and it looks like winter mist out there!

Jamie

IMG_3799 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

IMG_3790 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

IMG_3793 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

IMG_3797 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

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Old Ned

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Great read and great to see your lad enjoys it so much. I loved tandem riding but only raced, never toured. I suppose 62 x 12/18 would make getting to the top of the Ventoux a bit dififult! Good to see George Berwick is still going. I remember his name from way back. As well as touring, didn't he ride a lot of distance TT'ing, 12 and 24 hour events etc.?
 

Jamiedyer

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Well Brian and I will hopefully get our ride to Altnabreac later in the week after being postponed.
Meanwhile Caleb and I spent an enjoyable afternoon out on the Flying Scot tandem. Still work to be done to suite us and most of that will be over the winter when it will get stripped down and fully serviced. For now our major problem of the front derailleur rapidly losing the ability to move was down to an outer cable falling apart at a cable guide. Next up is bars and brake levers.
We now had gears back and that made it easier to head up the hill behind the house and up off the coast to slowly meander through the farm roads and tracks out towards Dunnet before heading back to the coast and taking a few of the dirt tracks to see if we could get anywhere on them. Some were good and some either didn't go anywhere or were flooded due to the weeks rain.
We stopped at Castletown harbour and had some brownie that Caleb had cooked with Heather yesterday and I had snuck into the trunk bag. Weather was dry but definitely cool, winter will soon be here.
It was a great few hours and Caleb loved it, he is a natural on the tandem as we never have any problem with being out of sync or thinking we are about to do something we aren't, it's just very easy and natural.
Anyway, hope it was dry with everyone else.

Jamie

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Jamiedyer

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Old Ned":1ugi0g4i said:
Great read and great to see your lad enjoys it so much. I loved tandem riding but only raced, never toured. I suppose 62 x 12/18 would make getting to the top of the Ventoux a bit dififult! Good to see George Berwick is still going. I remember his name from way back. As well as touring, didn't he ride a lot of distance TT'ing, 12 and 24 hour events etc.?

Hi mate,
Yes George is still going strong and just as much a character as ever.
I know he still holds a few Scottish tandem records for the 12 and 24 hour TT's. Not so sure whether he still races as much but he is pretty active. When I was there he was showing my their recumbents as they had one each and also a tandem recumbent, which isn't really my thing but this thing looked more for racing than touring and it was the length of a small truck. All I could think was 'your a braver man than me George'

Jamie
 

Jamiedyer

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Today up here the rain of the past two weeks finally stopped and this afternoon the sun even came out.
So making the most of my time off I adjusted a few little things on the tandem and told the little man to suite up as we were off for a ride. No need to ask him as he is always asking to go for a ride on it.
We didn't have too much time but we got about an hour and a half scooting round the hills to the south east this time. It was a glorious afternoon but it was also very cold on the way back. As soon as the sun even looked like it was starting to drop the temperature went with it. Still a nice ride out.
The tandem is going well and more importantly the little man is loving it, not only that but he has adapted to it with no problems at all. It is a bit different to riding solo and the fact that you are inexplicably linked and need to work in...tandem makes it a much more conscious thing, such as saying when you need to freewheel, change gears, brake, put the inside pedal up when cornering quickly etc but we just seem to do it and it is only now and again with the gears where I need to even say anything. So very pleased with how it's going.
One thing I am finding though is that because I have put his bars across from the Big Dummy where I had the Jones bars so they were very similar in width, I now notice how much leverage he has with them now I am on very narrow drop bars, also the fact they are higher. It's not deliberate from him but the input from him maybe turning round and then pulling himself back on one ide etc is really felt especially at any sort of speed. We are still on 28c width tyres too. I was thinking when riding back that maybe if I put some touring bars on it like butterfly bars or such then our postures would also be the same both in being upright and also more relaxed for myself. I was already going to see about slightly wider tyres, maybe 30's if they would fit and also some Randonneur bars. Will see how it feels over the next few days before making any decisions.
Anyway here's a couple of photos as usual. :)

Jamie

IMG_4126 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

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