I finally got around to trying my hand at disassembling our new tandem and figuring out how to load it into the truck. I'm not entirely pleased with either activity, but I figure they'll improve with practice.
The biggest problem I had was removing the timing chain. For you non-tandemists, that's the chain that connects the front pedals to the rear pedals, and keeps the riders in sync (hence the "timing" appellation). Unlike with a normal bicycle chain that runs through a derailleur, there's absolutely no slack in the timing chain, and reassembling it would go smoother if I had a couple of extra hands. Fortunately, I have a special tool that allows me to squeeze the loose ends of the chain together and holds them in place while I reinsert the pin that holds the links together.
The actual couplings built into the frame are very easy to disconnect and reconnect, as are the cable couplings. There are two frame couplings and four cable couplings. I initially noticed only three of the latter, and had everything disconnected when I discovered that I'd overlooked one. Much hilarity ensued as I tried to hold the two halves of the frame together with one hand while attempting to unscrew the final cable coupling with the other. Also, certain words may have been uttered.
Here's what the bike looks like broken in two. In case it's not obvious, the first photo is of the back half, and the second photo shows the front half turned upside down.
The two halves fit in the bed of the Ridgeline...barely. I had to remove both wheels, and the tie-down job looks like something out of The Grapes of Wrath. I've decided that the optimal solution for transporting this bike is a hitch-mounted rack. I'll have to remove both seats, but that's a pretty simple process. (The extra-wide handlebars may present a bigger challenge, though. Where's my hacksaw?) The current system pretty much makes the truck bed useless for hauling anything else, and access to the storage compartment is blocked. Plus, it takes 30 minutes to strap everything down securely.
On the upside, the bike clears the garage door opening. Not that I would ever drive under a low-hanging obstacle like, say, the entrance to a certain hotel in Amarillo, Texas.