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So How Many Have Never Tandem?

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So How Many Have Never Tandem?

Old 02-06-20, 11:39 PM
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TheDudeIsHere
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So How Many Have Never Tandem?

Hope this does not go to the tandem section as it is a question for the general cycling people. Curious as to how many have never, or have ridden a tandem? And what is your experience, opinion? Good or bad?

I know it took the wife and I about 6 months to get rolling. At first it was like fighting one another, then once we got rolling, we were pretty slow. Lots of coordinating with one another to get a good stroke that was good for both of us as I am a spinner and she was a masher.

Amazing feeling once you get synchronized.

I remember after about a month on the bike, we were passed by a group of about 10 riders doing 20 MPH. We hopped on the back thinking we could hold the pace but after 1/4, we were done.

Kept at it, just doing our thing and our styles started to mesh. Few months later, we're at the front pulling a group at about 24 MPH. Such an amazing feeling once the team gets with it!

Some say it will make or break a relationship. I will say we have been riding our tandem as well as singles for 22 years. Still plenty of fun!

We've done 4 organized centuries on the tandem, pretty cool but most rides are 40'ish.










After a 3 mile 5% grade, she wants to stretch. One thing is that we climb faster on the tandem than she does on her single. But I'm slower on the tandem than I am on my single. But the fun factor makes up for the loss of speed. Little local midweek course, we hit the hill 3 times for a good amount of midweek climbing.




Night rides are great. Plenty of lights and hard to miss on the road.




Nice rolling on the flats and downhills.




Climbing on a hot day, she needs a break ha ha! I want to do a local 8 mile climb with 2300 ft gain, 6% grade but she's not crazy about the idea but still trying to talk her into it. Though I am not too happy about having to come down. Get rolling pretty fast on the downhills.






Totally fun IMO!
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Old 02-06-20, 11:41 PM
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Dang it, fat fingered the Topic. Supposed to be "SO", how many..................
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Old 02-07-20, 12:47 AM
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Still wouldn't be standard English: "So How Many Have Never Tandem?"

I bought one once. I tried it with my wife, and she screamed at me the whole time saying that I was trying to kill her. By the end of the ride, that seemed like a reasonable option. We wound up giving it away to a mother and adult son with Down's syndrome, and apparently it really improved his (and her) quality of life, so I am happy with my investment.

But I don't think we will ever try to ride one together, again.
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Old 02-07-20, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Still wouldn't be standard English: "So How Many Have Never Tandem?"

Yeah, I know!
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Old 02-07-20, 02:51 AM
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Back a few years ago: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...57626350106939



Not sure if or when we might ride again.
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Old 02-07-20, 04:21 AM
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I think i might have ridden a tandem once or probably a couple of times; I don't remember clearly as it would have been about 30 years ago when I was about 10. I remember my older brother having a tandem at the time, and I think I went on a short ride with him at least once. I also don't remeber what the ride was like, but it couldn't have been too good, as my brother is 8 years older than me and at 10/18 there was a large diffrence in our sizes.
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Old 02-07-20, 05:14 AM
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My wife and I have taken a few spins on some old clunker tandems my father in law had that were not in that great of shape. Nothing fancy like what is posted here. Even so it was still fun and a new experience. And it didn't cost us anything. I'd be up for trying again but have no interest in buying one.

Good thread with some really nice pictures.
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Old 02-07-20, 05:45 AM
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done it once, had to go on the back because the chappie I was with couldn't handle not being in control and we stacked every five yards!
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Old 02-07-20, 06:03 AM
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Just as my wife and I will never again tandem kayak, we will never tandem bike. I donít go that slow and meandering, she has no concept that we are pedalling to somewhere.
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Old 02-07-20, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FlMTNdude View Post
Just as my wife and I will never again tandem kayak, we will never tandem bike. I donít go that slow and meandering, she has no concept that we are pedalling to somewhere.
My marriage, in nutshell!
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Old 02-07-20, 06:50 AM
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noimagination
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My wife and I first rode a tandem when we were dating, on Block Island, an old clunker. My wife learned to ride as an adult, and is, to say the least, not confident on the road. We took single bikes on the ferry, but just outside of town she got spooked by a passing car and wiped out on some sand on the side of the road, so we rented the tandem. We had a great time, went all over the island.

About 7 years ago, after 15-some years of marriage, with the kids not around much (you who've had teenagers know what I'm talking about), I shanghaied my wife to Tandems East, and we test rode 4 tandems, selected the one we wanted and bought it on the spot.

We don't ride a lot, and my wife doesn't like riding in the cold so we ride the tandem basically May through September. She doesn't ride as frequently as I, during the warm months we ride maybe 3-4x per month, for 1 - 2 hours (longest ride ever was about 3.5 hr).

I do enjoy the tandem rides enormously, though. It is quite different from riding a single, not better or worse, just different, which is refreshing after 10's of thousands of miles of riding a single. There's a lot of teamwork involved - I have to take it more slowly on descents and through corners, and lower my cadence. She has to put up with me missing bumps occasionally, and sometimes going faster than, and riding with more traffic than, she's comfortable with. The purpose of the ride is different too, it is time together (even if we're not speaking while riding) rather than "training", and while we get exercise there is a lot more looking around and stopping to look at stuff. The amount of feedback you get from the pedals is amazing, I can tell what she's doing back there and how she's feeling (this was missing when we tested the Da Vinci tandem with independent pedaling, we disliked that tandem though some teams love the ability of each rider to select their own cadence and not being "locked" together on the pedals). It is hard to describe, but as I said, a different feel from riding a single bike.

We've gone on picnics on the bike, done a loop including the climb from New Paltz to Mohonk Mountain House, taken it on weekend visits to my Mom's, my brother's house, a long weekend at a B&B in Vermont, etc. I'd like to use the tandem more, but I'm happy that we have it and I enjoy our rides, even if they aren't that far or fast.

(Edit: one negative, if I never hear some freakin' moreon yell "Hey, she's not pedalling!" again, I'll die a happy man.)

Last edited by noimagination; 02-07-20 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 02-07-20, 07:09 AM
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I have never ridden one. I would if I had the chance I guess. I would have to trust the person I'm riding with if I was in the back.
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Old 02-07-20, 07:22 AM
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I've never "tandem'd".

Considering my several years experience owning a 2+ seat canoe, I never will tandem with my wife, or anyone else in my family. I was always the motor and steerer pulling deadweight. I'd been better off paddling solo with 400 pounds of cargo.

​​​​​I should've been a trapper/hermit I guess.
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Old 02-07-20, 07:29 AM
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I've never ridden a tandem. A neighbor has an old one in their barn. No inclination to fix it up. Lower grade bike, not sure it could be put into working order, even if I was inclined.
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Old 02-07-20, 07:55 AM
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I've ridden one that I borrowed from a friend. It was a pretty poor one and not in good condition but still quite fun. I'd quite like to have one as it would make it easier for my wife and me to go out together - her pace is around a quarter of mine - but we've no money to buy one and nowhere to store it if we did. Actually, I'd love to have a recumbent tandem but that would require even more money and even more storage space so that's definitely out.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:08 AM
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When I was 4 my cousin put me on the back of a full size Schwinn tandem and my foot immediately got caught in the spokes. When I was 8 or 9 I think my mom put me on the back of a tandem at a lakefront resort with no traumatic repercussions (unlike the tennis lessons).

Then 5 years ago I volunteered to spend an afternoon riding blind students from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind around a nearby park. That was a very nice experience. I rode three different bikes. One had bad brakes and a poor drive train. One was okay, and one was really, really nice. Obviously that was a fairly low-speed affair, but it was a real revelation for me, as I had wanted to try a tandem again for decades. I definitely would not feel comfortable commuting in traffic on one at this point...maybe with practice and marriage counseling.

My wife who rides very casually on a "comfort" bike would be interested in a more upright Old Schwinn, and we did once ride a side-by-side quadra-cycle around a bay in San Diego back in 1997.

Here's me about to ride with a blond co-ed on the back:


And 23 Years ago with the wife on the quadracycle in San Diego...

Last edited by BobbyG; 02-07-20 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:10 AM
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I have never sat upon a tandem. I did get a shot a riding a boneshaker for a short time and enjoyed the experiance. I would consider a very short tour on a tandem if restricted to a parking lot. lol
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Old 02-07-20, 08:11 AM
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Never have but would only be interested in a beach rental (flat terrain) to try it out. Admittedly, I do not know much about tandems. How does one go about transporting one to a riding location? Special racks?
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Old 02-07-20, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
I would have to trust the person I'm riding with if I was in the back.
I suspect that you have identified a key factor affecting the level of success that a tandem team achieves. I don't know, since I only have experience as a tandem captain, with my wife. I have vastly more cycling experience than my wife, so she has vastly more confidence in my ability than in her own, which I suspect has a lot to do with our compatibility on the tandem.

Machka, as an example, has a lot more riding experience than I. Would we be compatible as a team? Who would be captain, who stoker? Generally the captain is the larger rider, because he/she has to hold up the bike while the stoker clips in, holds the bike at stoplights, etc. However, (1) most reasonably fit people wouldn't have trouble holding the bike assuming the stoker is a reasonable size; and (2) all else being equal it is far more important that the team work together, so if the "larger" rider is more willing to ride as stoker then the team will work better that way. I've never ridden stoker, so I have no idea how it would feel to give up control of the bike to someone else.

I love riding our tandem with my wife, but I have no idea if I'd enjoy riding as captain with someone else, and I have no idea if I'd enjoy riding as stoker. I'm very interested in riding stoker as an experiment - indeed, the guy we bought the tandem from said that he recommended that captains should get some experience as stoker in order to get an idea how it felt so that they could be better captains. That isn't practical for my wife and I, I'd need to find someone else to captain.

I've heard people say that riding a tandem is some sort of "test" of a couple's compatibility, but I think that is a horrible misconception. If a couple tries riding a tandem and finds that they're not compatible riding double, then the takeaway is that they're not a good tandem team, nothing more. And vice versa, compatibility on a tandem is just that, nothing more - it says nothing about compatibility as a couple in other areas of life.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:21 AM
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never. never have seen one being ridden except pictures
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Old 02-07-20, 08:36 AM
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nope never, have a feeling Wifey would take advantage cuz her motto is: pedal only when absolutely necessary ...
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Old 02-07-20, 08:41 AM
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I never have, I would love to though.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:51 AM
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My wife is not a bike rider, to say the least. I would like to get her to at least try a recumbent tandem trike some day. But it will have to wait, at the very least, until we buy a house with a bigger garage.

There are quite a few tandems in this area, and I regularly run into one or two when the weather's nice.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:54 AM
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Yep, big Stooge goes in front. Woo-Woo-Woo-Woo-Woo

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Old 02-07-20, 08:54 AM
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We have a Hase Pino tandem. It's configured a bit different than a traditional tandem. The captain with steering, shifting and braking control, is in an upright position in the rear while the stoker is in a recumbent seat up front. The stoker also has the option of not pedaling (not really independent pedaling as if the stoker pedals, the captain has to pedal). Our heads are closer together, which makes communication easier. The Pino is not as fast as a traditional upright tandem, but since we're together and generally don't do group rides, that's fine for us even though I occasionally long for a faster ride. My riding partner up front can take pictures, navigate, read, etc... as the recumbent position allows for secure hands-free riding. We've toured on our Pino along the Oregon coast, in Alaska, extensively in the Mid-Atlantic region and rented a Pino for a tour in France. It's certainly not a bike for everyone and it's not an inexpensive entry point into tandems. The picture is of our Pino mounted on the back of my truck. I could have reduced the overall length by collapsing the boom at the front of the bike but since the length of the bike doesn't exceed the width of the mirrors on the truck I didn't bother. The frame is separable (joint is just behind the stoker seat) which facilitates transport inside much smaller vehicles. The Bilenky Viewpoint, Circe Morpheus and TW Bents Family Tandem have similar seating configurations.

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