It's Not December Forever
by Barbara Kornbluh
The house is still quiet and the sun has not risen yet on this early
snowy December morning. It's just a regular day soon filled with the
usual routine. After walking Bella, our one- year- old Cavalier King
Charles, I'll whip up a hearty breakfast and perform the normal gym
workout before teaching piano back at the house.
The students have
become accustomed to harmonizing their classical piano music with the
melodies of the Tandems East phone ringing all day.
Our eager tandem
customers and friends have tandems on the brain - Some are placing
orders for stocking stuffers and gifts from our selection of tandem
themed beer glasses, vintage posters, custom jewelry (designed by me),
assorted cycling jerseys and great fitting and fun to wear women
specific cycling clothing. Others are pondering that long-overdue
service needed or part upgrade they have been saving for in the
If you have not already made the worthwhile trip to
Tandems East, you may have seen us at the numerous events around the
country such as ETR (Eastern Tandem Rally), MTR (Midwest Tandem Rally),
Seagull Century, VeloSwap, Covered Bridge Century, Philly Bike Expo,
Endurance events, The Big Stampede and the Westminster Swap Meet, to
name a few. Although most bike shops keep usual daily business hours,
the Tandems East hustle and bustle begins around the time most are
sitting down to dinner. It's then that Mel and I, plan how we will spend
our time at events, discuss the upcoming orders to take to the Post
Office, or dream about our next destination tandem trip like our past
journeys to New Zealand, Italy, and beyond (don't worry, you're
Each year I write this back page article reflecting on
Tandems East, the amazing people we have met and all the rides in
various parts of the country that have enriched our lives beyond belief.
Friendly tandem enthusiasts often make a point to stop me at events to
say how much they enjoy catching up on our lives within these few short
Our year kicked off with riding along the Pacific Ocean
from a rental condo in Solana Beach, Ca. for a little R&R and winter
training. Each season we meet up with Rich and Ina Wolf, Dennis and
Cindy Spillane and their group of San Diego County tandem friends where
they treat us to fabulous rides, great California cuisine and Rich's
wealth of historic knowledge.
Tandem Weekend 2013 was a great
success, held at the beautiful beachfront Golden Inn Hotel in Avalon,
New Jersey. Tandem owners creating a rainbow peloton of bright red,
pink, yellow, orange, a variety of fades and black tandems pedaled some
of our favorite roads along ocean waters before turning into the country
side and back over a series of causeway bridges. The constant hum of the
ocean worked as a natural backdrop. During several weekend rides along
these same roads with great friends Debby and Dave Schwartz, Janet and
Dave Heilman and Janice and Norm Haber we observed a bird family raising
their newborn from chicks to adulthood, perched at the base of the North
Wildwood bridge against bay waters. Definitely nature at her best.
One of our yearly highlights is having the opportunity to ride with you.
We were thrilled that many of you joined us at Tandem Sunday, Tandem
Weekend, and at organized fundraises and rallies. One of our favorite
rides has always been the MS150 - a worthwhile cause which raises
awareness and funding for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis by
hosting fun and challenging rides throughout the nation. Our local MS150
is the City-to-Shore Ride held each September starting in Cherry Hill
and finishing in Ocean City. Our close friend, Nan Stekette, organizes a
team made up of singles and tandems for this worthy cause. And you can't
miss us - Our jerseys, created by Sommerville Sports, are bright yellow
and pink with the name TEAM JOELLE in bright pink. Our team is named in
honor of Nan's cousin who battles MS each and every day and sits at the
end of the finish line, cheering us on as we pass through the final
stretch. We are so glad to share the route with hundreds of cyclists
with one common goal... finding a cure for this awful disease.
Although we don't have any new tours lined up but, like you, we are
dreaming of new adventures to share with our friends via tandem.
have been busy and 2014 promises to hold some exciting news: We have a
Tandems East now has a building less than a mile from
our home. Yes, you read that correctly - we've realized our dream and
have expanded to better serve our customers. Situated in the country on
a few acres of open and wooded land, this small warehouse is helping to
take the bulge out of our house and allow plenty of space for Tandems
East to grow. We're now able to offer a selection of choice used tandems
at affordable prices, as well as our complete line of off-the-rack or
custom tandems, ranging in every price to fit all budgets. Tandems East
will continue to be headquartered at our home on Gwynwood Drive. Don't
despair - I will continue to bake banana bread for our daily visitors!
Ladies , our clothing showroom is ready for you to shop! Colorful,
great-fitting jerseys, shorts, arm and ear warmers, and other
accessories have racks and shelving to be displayed neatly in a cozy
setting, as well as newly designed tandem jewelry, in our dedicated
retail space. Mel has been working hard getting this all ready for a
spring time debut. Stay tuned for more exciting news about our
ever-expanding women's clothing assortment.
Natalie and Roy continue
to live in Connecticut working in the design world where they are
raising their one-year-old son.
Jed and Sara and their three children
are still in Hopewell, NJ and aren't planning on going anywhere too soon
- it's a cycling paradise! Jed's business, the custom clothing
manufacturer Sommerville Sports, continues to grow at a swift pace,
taking him around the country and the globe to expand his brand and
their customer base. They are expanding their line in 2014 and will be
on the backs of several UCI Professional teams, as well as their many
customers around North America.
So as you see the Tandems East family
is full of joy and looks forward to sharing the road and making new
memories with you. Here's to 2014 filled with safe miles, family and