Bikes to Like: Ron and Barb’s Burley Paso Doble Tandem

I remember the first time I rode with Barb and Ron. I spied the Berthoud bag adorning on their steel Burley, their matching Swobo jerseys, and thought to myself, “These are some stylin’ randonneurs. I must find out who they are.” And so I did. Ron and Barb are great randoneuring buddies with wicked senses of humor and one awesome  tandem. Don’t believe me? Read on, my friends!
Barb and Ron
1. What kind of bike do you have?

We have a 2006 Burley Paso Doble tandem.

It’s a mid-price range Burley with a True Temper steel frame and Ultegra drivetrain. We bought it at Tandems East during their ’06 spring Tandem Expo. We went to “just look.” That Mel is a clever guy holding his open house at just about the time of year people are expecting their tax refunds!

2. Where do you ride it?

We ride mostly near home in New Jersey. We routinely ride brevets in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania with occasional forays to surrounding east coast regions for variety.

Burley, Swobo, and Berthoud goodness

3. What do you like about your bike?

Our Burley has adapted very nicely to what we’ve asked of it. When we bought it we had never heard the word “randonneuring.” After more than a few changes (ditched the STI levers for bar ends, new wheels with sturdier rims and wider tires, etc., etc.) it serves as a very comfortable, reliable, competent ride over the longer distances.

4. Fenders or no fenders?

Yes FENDERS! In fact I think I may be a little obsessed with fenders. I’ve gone through several different variations, made every mistake you can make, and spent more money than I care to admit trying to fit a set of fenders “just so” on a bike that wasn’t really made to fit them.

I am very proud of my custom installation of a set of SKS/Esge plastic fenders mounted with a pair of Berthoud aluminum stays and topped off with a PDW Fenderbot light. Or I should say, I WAS very proud of my custom installation until 5 miles into the Boston 300k last Saturday we hit a bump and the rear fender cracked completely in two at the stay. We had to stop and manually rip the remaining fender off so it wouldn’t get caught in the wheel and cause an accident. I’m presently pondering whether to try (again) to mount some metal fenders or give it another go with the SKS’s slightly modified to avoid breaking.

5. Does your bike have name? If so, what is it?

We never felt the need to name our Burley. Not even quite sure if it’s male or female (or how to tell for that matter…). I suppose a Paso Doble should have a Latin name. Maria…? Esmeralda…? Salvador…?

6. What is your favorite accessory on your bike and why?

I’m really fond of our Berthoud handlebar bag, or as I like to call it our designer French luggage. It rests on a Nitto rack that was custom fit to the fork by Stephen Bilenky of Philadelphia.

Barbara wanted me to say that her favorite feature of the bike is her captain, but I won’t let her. It’s way too mushy! She also likes the little $10 piece of stainless steel that holds her waterbottles upright and within easy reach.

7. What is your favorite photo of your bike/your bike and you?

I’ve always been really fond of this photo taken by Maile in the early morning hours of the 2010 New Jersey 400k. It makes us look fast!

This is a pretty good shot of the bike just leaning on our garage:

Burley Paso Doble

I also like these two that Felkerino and you took of us at last year’s Civil War Tour:

Ron and Barb on the Civil War 200K
Ron and Barb at the Civil War 200K

8. What did I forget to ask that you want to tell me about your bike?

Did I mention it’s PURPLE? In photos or in low light it often looks black, but get it in the sunlight and it’s a beautiful deep metallic flecked purple. If you catch it at the right angle it can sometimes look green.

Thanks to Ron and Barb, for sharing all the great details about your fine randonneuring tandem! Also, who knew that fenders could be such a complicated issue?!

One comment

  1. Hey, I know that bike. Last time I saw it, it had a custom mudflap holder without a fender look going. You right coasters do some pretty funny fender mods.

    The other thing about that bike is that it pretty much causes its riders to be in a good mood.

    I hear it will cross the pond in august too.


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