Tandem Cycling - Sociable
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08-03-07, 02:02 PM
I've seen old pictures of what was called a 'sociable.' This was a tricycle or quadricycle for two in which, unlike a modern tandem, the captain and stoker were sitting next to one another.
Are there any modern sociables?
08-03-07, 03:06 PM
there certainly are. You can rent them at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. I've seen them for rent at least one other place this summer, but i don't remember where it was. My stoker and I rode one at a bicycle trade show last winter. It was pretty odd. There is no synchronization. Each rider controls his/her own gears. The biker on the left controls the left wheel brakes. The rider on the right controls the right wheel brakes.
This made turns pretty exciting. Our "test ride" was on an indoor course with all left turns. When we came to a turn, I'd slam on my brakes, and Marcia would pedal like crazy to get around it. (I was on the left, the "inside" side of the turn).
We wouldn't buy one of these (and we have 15 bikes between us already). They are heavy. They take up too much roadway (or pathway). They are best ridden as a rental novelty at some vacation destination.
Just my $.02.
08-03-07, 03:35 PM
We discussed these some time ago: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=56888
The last great gasp for the sociables was several years ago and the vast majority of those ended up going to beach rental business in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, as best as I can recall. These were 26" fat-tire / MTB ish models that bore the name "Buddy Bike", a moniker that has since been applied to yet another unconventional two-seat bike that was originally called the "Love Bike". (http://www.buddybike.com/) There are also a number of them floating around in private collections or that were picked up off of Ebay for a couple hundred bucks and Larry Black may still have one in his collection at Mt. Airy Cyclery. The following are photos of the more recent versions.
There's actually a pretty good thread under a series of photos taken of a home-built Sociable Bike in NY that's worth checking out: http://www.citynoise.org/article/917 I haven't read all the way through, but I suspect there may be some leads in there.
Again, the darn things will pop up on Ebay now and again. Turquoise and Yellow seemed to be the two most prevailent colors for the most recent attempt at a production run. They can also be home built in any one of a number of different configurations.
There are also a number of recumbent sociables (which is what I believe Pista Largo may have ridden) and you'll also find a few "double bikes" where essentially two bikes have simply been conjoined.
You can find photos & info on several other incarnations here: http://www.geocities.com/rcgilmore3/tandem.htm
08-03-07, 05:52 PM
These so-called sociables seem to get re-incarnated every decade . . . but never seems to get anywhere.
Our opinion is that riding one of these could quickly become 'unsociable'.
08-06-07, 07:46 AM
There are also a number of recumbent sociables (which is what I believe Pista Largo may have ridden)
08-20-07, 09:07 PM
FWIW: There's a sociable "Buddy Bike" up for bid on Ebay right now.
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