Hi Marcia, Hi Ric,
We are just on return from a great touring trip crisscrossing Japan. Its a very safe country to travel despite a very different culture, language, signs...After we booked the tickets half a year ago we read that tandem are not allowed in some provinces, however we have had no problems at all in the last 3 weeks. We got the views from police but all in admiration. We enjoyed the many hot springs all around, which were quite soothing after long days in the saddle. I had no cramps at all, usually for me on other trips.
We did a few train rides as part of the trip. A bike is free to put on the train, however it has to be in a bag, a 'rinko' bag. As there are no bags for tandems Elke showed off her sewing skills and thanks to the fact that our Hawthorne can be quickly separated in 2 pieces, the tandem traveled well in the trains, despite sometimes very tight spaces...
There were no problems with the Hawthorne on the road despite the heavy load with the packs as well as no problem on travel in its cases. Great. Thank you for making it possible to allow for 38mm gravel tires as some of the roads were a bit rough and the low pressure still made the ride safe and smooth The cable actuated hydraulic brakes worked well coming down many passes of the volcanic landscape. We would have to stop more often to cool down the brakes with the mechanical brakes of our other tandems. We noticed some rattle noise though occasionally when braking - not sure what is as the pads are good and the brake power seemed not to diminish.
Greetings, Kai and Elke (Calgary)