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From a post made to T@H July 14, 1998

Congrats on the newborn, a wonderful experience we also had less than 9 months ago. Courtney has now logged over 500 miles this season with over 400 hundred of them in an infant seat mounted facing rearward in the center of our Santana Triplet.

Two days ago we rode a delightful 100K (Lizard Under the Skillet ride put on by the Lawrence Bike Club) on a Santana Quad with Courtney between Sue and me with my favorite substitute stoker, Julie, pushing us from the rear. With Julie's help we were able to average 18.5 mph up from our usual 17 mph on the triplet (and that is only if we are motivated!).

We opted for this arrangement after a short trial using a trailer and despite the fact we were able to install the same infant seat in the trailer, with the additional stability provided from full size bed pillows, we were not happy with the continual jostling of her entire body. We had her little head and neck stabilized with rolled towels and a head roll to prevent movement but the jostling motion was still there. It seems the jostling is magnified since one wheel is often going up while the other is going down as they follow the contours of the pavement and the poor passenger is at the end of the upside down pendulum. Since our roads are just not that smooth, at least at the speeds we seem to ride, we quickly pursued other alternatives.

The long bike arrangement effectively eliminated the side to side jostling but it is still necessary to keep a watchful eye out for bumps and to ride on smooth roads. A shock fork would be a very beneficial asset -- but maybe next year...

To keep the little one cool, we use a sun bonnet affair we rigged up, dress her in an adult T-shirt for air flow and to cover her arms, hands and legs that would protrude into the sun's rays and put adult socks over her little lower legs. Helmet wise, the German made Cratoni seems to be the smallest one we have found which comes with an adjustable band on the inside. We removed the band and added extra foam inserts we had laying around from old Vetta helmets to obtain a satisfactory fit. We also took 1/2 of an auto air flow cushion and molded it to fit so air circulates completely around her especially with the sun bonnet open which lets air blow on her helmet and head. We have ridden in 90-92 degree high humidity Kansas weather while she slept most of the time. She did not even have wet hair or clothes on this particular day.

Best of luck continuing to enjoy cycling with your family and should anyone have any questions, feel free to e-mail me directly.


Mark and Sue Johnson

~~~~Precision Tandems~~~~


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Stokid, Courtney Renee born 10/20/97 Do it together..... All in all, she sleeps at least


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