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1975 Tandem

Posted Mar 16 2011 8:23am

Colin Williamson who lives in the West Midlands area of the UK, sent me pictures of a tandem frame I built in 1975.

He bought the tandem from the original owner about 15 years ago and used it for light touring with his wife. Then three years ago he stripped the frame and had it repainted. He then rebuilt it as a racing tandem.

Together with his stoker Dave, (He didn’t give a second name.) Colin won a couple of tandem time trials last season.

I still have my frame number register book for frames built in England; this one happens to be the first tandem frame I built. Nice to know that 36 years later it is still being put to good use.

The frame size is 23 inches (58 cm.) front, and 21 inch (53 cm.) rear. From the picture above, it appears that the frame fits Colin and Dave as if it were built for them. There is no wasted space between the two riders, and Dave’s knees barely clear the rear handlebars.

The two riders are members of the Solihull Cycling Club, and compete in the “Veterans” class, with a combined age of 115 years. The pair have recorded a 21 minute 10 mile event, and a 53 minute 25 mile time trial.

I did a quick count, and it appears that I built 25 tandem frames in the UK from 1975 to 1978; I also built maybe 2 or 3 while I was at Paris Sport from 1979 to 1980.

Another tandem I built in 1978, (Picture above.) was  ridden by Paul Swinnerton, (Front.) and Trevor Gadd (Stoker.) in the World Championships that year. The event was the tandem sprint event.

To witness these two powerful young athletes muscle this machine around a banked track at speeds approaching 55mph, was both inspiring, but at the same time, a little frightening for me knowing that I had built it.



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