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Tandem riding improved your relationship with your spouse or significant other?

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Tandem riding improved your relationship with your spouse or significant other?

Old 04-03-12, 09:27 AM
  #26  
Jan Feetz
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Thanks to you all for your great responses on how riding a tandem can improve relationships. After reading all the posts it seems that its all more or less from the Captains point of view. So I am wondering what the co-pilots perspective is.

How do they feel that Tandem riding has improved the relationship?

Since you are all Captains of your ship, perhaps you can ask your crew member this question.

I would love to hear they're feedback.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:13 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
Thanks to you all for your great responses on how riding a tandem can improve relationships. After reading all the posts it seems that its all more or less from the Captains point of view. So I am wondering what the co-pilots perspective is.
How do they feel that Tandem riding has improved the relationship?
Since you are all Captains of your ship, perhaps you can ask your crew member this question.
I would love to hear they're feedback.
I'm the captain, but she's the admiral. that's for damn sure. That being said, while I had originally brought up the idea of buying a tandem, it was her motivation (out of the blue, two years later) to do so. She wanted the bike as a forum for us to work on our relationship with. I'll let her contribute.

"it's just, we can do an activity that we both enjoy and work together to complete that activity. that, you know, strengthens the bound, we have to be clear in our communication in our riding and that crosses over into our day to day relationship."
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Old 04-04-12, 07:08 AM
  #28  
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My stoker is not interested in posting but I will say once I was driving us somewhere in the car and as we pulled up to a four way stop another car approached she said "car right".
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Old 04-04-12, 09:06 AM
  #29  
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I rode a Century this past year on my 1/2-bike. It wasn't a large organized ride and I found it lonely; the amount of suffering probably entered into it. I also find myself calling out shifts on my single.
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Old 04-04-12, 02:01 PM
  #30  
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"it's just, we can do an activity that we both enjoy and work together to complete that activity. that, you know, strengthens the bound, we have to be clear in our communication in our riding and that crosses over into our day to day relationship."
Very, very well said.
From all your posts, it would seem that riding a tandem together goes beyond just saying that "a couple who play together, stay together".

Last edited by Jan Feetz; 04-04-12 at 02:02 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old 04-04-12, 09:54 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
"it's just, we can do an activity that we both enjoy and work together to complete that activity. that, you know, strengthens the bound, we have to be clear in our communication in our riding and that crosses over into our day to day relationship."
Very, very well said.
From all your posts, it would seem that riding a tandem together goes beyond just saying that "a couple who play together, stay together".
The wife like what you had to say, "aw, that's sweet!"
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Old 04-05-12, 05:23 AM
  #32  
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wife/stoker says "We were doing a three week bicycle tour in the New England States with our teenage sons and I was always twenty five to fifty yards behind.
Returned home and purchased our first tandem.
That was twenty nine years and 125,000 miles ago.
I am still behind BUT not very far."
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Old 04-05-12, 09:04 AM
  #33  
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My stoker has been dealing with a calf injury. She has been off the bike since late December. She had an appointment with the doctor yesterday and she told him that if she didn't get back on the tandem she was going to go nuts. He approved her to start doing easy rides with no climbing to start building her muscles up around the injured area.

She said he was surprised at her insistence that she get back onto the bike. That's my girl!
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Old 04-07-12, 12:04 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
Thanks to you all for your great responses on how riding a tandem can improve relationships. After reading all the posts it seems that its all more or less from the Captains point of view. So I am wondering what the co-pilots perspective is.

How do they feel that Tandem riding has improved the relationship?

Since you are all Captains of your ship, perhaps you can ask your crew member this question.

I would love to hear they're feedback.
I figured as astoker I would take a stab at answering your question. First off I must say that according to many of the posts I read I am probably not the most conventional stoker. Our story isn’t as interesting as some but here goes.

First Off I am blind. As a kid I had enough vision to ride. Let me rephrase that. As a kid I thought I had enough vision to ride and proved while eating the front of cars, some parked, that I could ride if I put my mind to it. I could discernthe difference between grass and pavement and hear moving cars. As an adult I lost this bit of vision and gave up cycling.

When my wife,Aubrey and I met just over 3 years ago cycling was the furthest thing from either of our minds. About a year intoour relationship she decided on a lifestyle change. She would change her diet, get fit, etc. She wanted to start cycling. We decided that she would try riding with her talking to me and me following her to see how it worked. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a failure so we went to academy, bought a couple of cheep bikes, and off we went. Well she was off I was upside downin a creek. I was laughing to hard to call her back so she didn’t know I had disappeared for a while. I wish I could have listened to her callingout directions to nobody. Needless to say that experiment failed and my bike went back to academy.

We then decided to give tandems a try. We started out onone of the department store tandems. Once again we crashed and burned. Because Aubrey is so short she wasn’t able to comfortably clear the toptube on the bike. She wasn’t comfortable riding it by herself so I obviously never rode with her.

On to the nextadventure. We actually went to a tandem dealer, imagine that, and rode Santanas. At that point we both fell in love with it. In the two years since we have made several adjustments. We recently sold the Santanaand bought a Co-motion that fits us much better. We have moved the shifters to the rear more on that below.

We have learned that as others have said communication is definitely the key. She is steering but I have the better understanding of cycling. Shifting and knowing when to shift is almost instinctual for me where as she would forget until half way up a hill when our cadence went below 50 RPMs. So we movedon to her informing me of what terrain was upcoming and me informing her when to shift. From there we modified the Santana we previously owned putting the shifters in the stoker’s compartment. This worked so well that when we designed our new Co-motion we designed it with stoker shifting in mind.

So when we are riding I will call out the cars I hear behind us. She will call out large bumps etc when she remembers. Unless it is a large obstacleshe usually doesn’t call it out because I will adjust to it as I feel her fronttire hitting it. We understand each other well enough that rarely does one have to say coast, petal, etc. Every so often I will call out “terrain?” and she will respond with what is up coming. If I am shifting a single cog I will do it silently. If I’m changing chain rings or shiftingmultiple cogs I will let her know.

Though we were one of those couples who could read each other’s minds from the start tandem riding has only improved that. It has helped her to understand my competitive desires. It has helped me to understandher moods and feelings. Usually if weare annoyed with each other all we have to do is go riding. Getting on the bike will smooth that outwithin only a couple of miles.

Last edited by riding_blind; 04-07-12 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-07-12, 12:18 PM
  #35  
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As Phillip's captain (riding_blind), I have to agree--tandeming has only helped our relationship. Beyond all of the things he's mentioned, though, are other things, too, that may not seem important but are. When we first started cycling together, I was on a pretty high dose of Lexapro for anxiety and mild depression. A few months into tandeming I was able to lower my dosage and then get off of the Lexapro all together. Haven't been on it since. Ends up, cycling is my Lexapro, and helps calm my anxiety and even out my moods better than any pill ever could. Anyone who's ever had a partner dealing with anxiety/depression knows how hard it can be on both of you, so that in and of itself helped our relationship (not to mention freed up money to spend on cycling stuff!). With Phillip being blind, his circadian rhythms sometimes get screwy, so it's really hard for him to wake up in the mornings. For whatever reason cycling seems to help with that, which in turn helps our relationship because I'm not stressing and getting frustrated because we won't wake up. Like I said, little things, but it's amazing how those little things can help the big things.

Reading other people's responses on here, it seems like we're also an "odd" couple, in that we started tandem cycling together very early on, whereas most couples have been married for decades before getting on a tandem together. When we first test rode those Santanas, the bike shop owner told us the axiom of wherever your relationship is going, it'll get there faster on a tandem...and yet was completely surprised at how well we took to it and were communicating after one spin around the parking lot. IIRC, he made a comment about how he wouldn't usually sell a tandem to an unmarried couple, but he felt completely comfortable selling one to us. He may have just needed the sale, but FWIW, I think he was right. ;-)
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Old 04-08-12, 11:25 PM
  #36  
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Riding Blind & Tandem Chick.....Wow! Thanks so much for relating your experience to all the forum readers. What a wonderful tale of inspiration. Props to you both. You've overcome challenges and grown closer together as a couple.
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Old 04-10-12, 05:42 PM
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My wife and I were just dating when we bought our tandem together. I had a lousy tandem experience with my previous wife (who liked to ride both road and mtb but not the tandem) so i was a bit gun shy to try again. However, some friends of ours let us borrow their Co-motion and we immediately enjoyed riding it together. So we bought our CoMotion Speedster shortly thereafter. We've had it now for over 7 years and have to say it's been a cornerstone in our relationship. Since buying the tandem together worked out so well we decided to buy a house together a year after and then got married a year after that.

We both still ride singles when we can't ride together and still enjoy MTB riding together but we truly enjoy riding the tandem the most.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:47 AM
  #38  
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We took up cycling after the kids left home. We've gone on a number of "self-contained" tours with our singles. Last fall we purchased a Co-Motion Mocha and plan on touring again once we've worked out the kinks out of learning to ride a tandem. What we've enjoyed most so far is being able to communicate easily instead of hollering back and forth over the street noise. Is our relationship better since the Mocha? After 35 years, probably not. However, our enthusiasm for playing together has been revitalized.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:16 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Brad Bedell View Post
After 15 years, we found tandem riding actually improved the relationship. She's a faster runner than I am and I'm a stronger biker. With the tandem, we are able to exercise together and both get in an equally challenging workout.
For me, it's the same. Thanks to tandem riding - we are learning to work together.
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Old 08-02-21, 04:00 PM
  #40  
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Itís our 35th anniversary here in a couple weeks. Just started on the tandem a couple years ago but after a difficult first few rides, it has been a really great shared experience. My wife always loved cycling but lost most of her vision so after far too long of a wait, I bought a used tandem that Iíve sunk a good bit of work into. Iím a gravel and mountain biking enthusiast so it fits for us to tandem.

I learned quickly that it is pretty tough to get an experienced cyclist like my wife comfortable in the stoker seat. She has to leave for instinct behind and give the captain complete control. Not as easy as it sounds. We are a pretty capable team now though. Absolutely love riding togetherÖif the schedule would only cooperate more.
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Old 08-03-21, 09:25 AM
  #41  
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I think it is good common courtesy to at least mention the fact that the thread you are posting in is almost 10 years old. Downstream posters behind you won't know that. It matters.
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Old 08-03-21, 01:19 PM
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So the interesting thing would be if the posters 9 years ago would come back, and update their take with 9 more years experience.
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Old 08-14-21, 01:25 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by colotandem View Post
People outside of a forum such as this think we are absolutely crazy. I canít count how many times we get a look and a comment on the mountain bike trail saying, ďI have never seen one of those bikes on this trail beforeĒ. We usually just smile and tell them that we get that a lot.
It is funny seeing how people react to us going out onto the trail, seeing us out there, or coming in to the parking lot.
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Old 12-12-21, 12:23 AM
  #44  
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We have been married 51 years and the first 30 years road motor bikes as a team but sadly 20 years ago my wife (Kathy) had a rupture on her lower left ankle which has not repaired she suggested we try MTB as a go and it didn't end well finaly we left or rural holding and moved to the coast right on a cycleway, I said lets try a tandem (8 years ago) so I contacted a group of tandem riders (EXsight) who take vision impared stokers riding) and tried out as a stoker then Captain after 4 rides I took Kathy on a cannondale and she said lets get one!.
We did get a cannondale road tandem and love it however last year her mobility was in serious decline so we elected for ankle reconstruction and she is finaly back on the tandem once a week and steadily getting her mobility back.
We will ride our tandem (now with 250w front wheel) for as long as we remain in good health and I take the vision impared riding (often twice weekly) so the combined experience has kept us both fitter than otherwise and it helps others to enjoy cycling when they could never otherwise experience it
Regards
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Old 12-21-21, 10:14 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
So the interesting thing would be if the posters 9 years ago would come back, and update their take with 9 more years experience.
Good idea! Updating my post no. 28:
Our team age is now 148 and we are still at it on the same bike, our beloved 2003 CoMotion Speedster. We went out on a 42 mile 1900' group ride this past Sunday, a mixed group with some tandems, some singles. It was a sunny day in December in the PNW!

Changes: We are both pretty short and our tandem came with 175/170 cranks though our best crank lengths should probably be 165/150. I put on 151mm cranks for my wife a couple years ago and have just learned to pedal those 175s a lot faster. We can spin comfortably at 95 now if we want to. Our crankset is now 53/39/24 and our cassette is 11/40. Around here, if you can't ride hills, you pretty much can't ride. We've given up loaded touring, just not strong enough anymore, however riding the bike is just as much fun and as satisfying at is ever was and our relationship the same. Our Sunday group rides are still wonderful bonding rituals for us and our friends. As our friend Dominique said after the ride, "We never work this hard when we ride by ourselves!"
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Old 12-22-21, 11:35 PM
  #46  
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Hi new comer only been riding tandems for 5 years after many failed co rides with my wife on solo bikes her failing left ankle made the decision to go and try a tandem a no brainer.
We fouind a tandem group near by EXsight who take vision impaired rider for a spin, so joined up and a change of life and focus.
Kathy (wife) and I bought a 2nd hand Cannondale and have never looked back.
I ride Tuesdays and Thurdays with EXsight and Kathy and I ride when she feels able.
Kathy finaly had a ankle reconstruction 14 weeds ago and as part of her Phisio rides Right hard and chase with the Left, so mydecision to fit a front motor gets planty of use, we can get up hils that we used to often walk the last few meters and no tears from the stoker.
So all I can say is we plan to ride for as long as we are able.
our combined age 147
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Old 12-23-21, 09:27 AM
  #47  
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It is interesting reading these old posts and seeing names we haven't seen in a long time. I always wonder how folks are doing.
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Old 12-23-21, 12:48 PM
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We got our tandem in 1997 to go follow the Tour de France. My wife would not have been able to keep up with the shaved legs and titanium that dominated that trip, but did just fine keeping up on the tandem! Inn to inn trips pulling a trailer in New England are some of our most memorable vacations, even if I do sometimes push my stoker wife to do too many miles and too many hills!
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Old 02-09-22, 06:54 PM
  #49  
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Tandem age 133 happily reporting that our e-assist Landshark tandem rekindled our passion for riding with the local group rides. Before we were dropped early on in the climbs and often never saw anyone after that. Now, we can maintain contact and actually still have energy for chores and other activities after the ride.
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Old 02-11-22, 04:32 AM
  #50  
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Great thread and greetings from Scotland! I've returned to tandeming after a few decades of solo-only riding.

TAKE #1: Back in the late 80s my girlfriend and I toured a bit on a Gitane tandem. It was great fun, we were both young and fit and we flew up the hills. But it was, sadly, not forever. I knew I wanted to get back to tandem riding but it took a very long time!

Fast forward to now, as an older (58 year old) dad with 12 and 9 year old daughters and a non-cycling wife.

I've kept riding and racing so I've stayed pretty fit.

TAKE #2: I acquired a tandem and resumed a year or so ago and now enjoy a selection of three stokers!

My 12 year old is a very fit girl and a natural stoker, happy to match my preferred fast cadence, staying rock solid when cornering and knowing when to power off for gear changes and stoke hard for the hills. She'll ride all day long. We plan to do some overnight tours, maybe involving wild camping.

My previously non-cycling wife (who is a fair bit younger than me) has found new confidence as a stoker and now loves cycling. She gets to ride when our 12 year old allows her to!

My 9 year old is chomping at the bit to have a go, having seen her big sister on the long bike!

And Daddy is happy as it gives me three new excuses to go on a bike ride in preference to doing anything else!

So for me the tandem has been a catalyst for bringing closer together our already-close family of four. We all know about the way a tandem allows two cyclists of unequal strength to ride literally together, which is brilliant in my case, but I love the way it dispenses with the worry of a young child on a solo road bike and the way it makes it so much easier to chat together and enjoy a day out on a bike! And, boy, can my 12 year old talk!
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