I'm pondering the pros and cons of two different options for more family cycling together time: tandem vs. electric.
My wife likes tootling around on her bike but has a completely different concept of speed and distance than I do. She enjoys the scenery and being outside doing stuff, but isn't going to be leaning in to where she pushes the fitness / exertion aspects of the sport. Now that the kids are beyond the slow crawl to the ice cream store, we don’t have that buffer that prevented me from slitting my wrists at single digit mph. I'm hardly a speed demon, just a regular commuter and medium strong recreational cyclist., I’d like to kit her/us up so that we can enjoy a slightly more significant ride together in both of our comfort zones.
She has brought up tandems a few times. I’m assuming I'll do all the work and she'll sit back there a little bored and heckling me most of the way. I can live with that, though I don’t see her getting into the whole stoker thing. I’m a little concerned about making what I assume will be a significant investment for something we’re not sure about, in particular since I’m 6’5” and she’s 5’2, so finding something that fits might be a bit of a challenge. Plus another giant thing in the garage.
I started wondering if an electric bike for her would be a good option. Something that gives her a boost so we can move along at a decent clip easily, I’ll pedal along and get a bit of a workout, and we’ll cover a little ground at a mutually agreeable speed & effort. I figure it might give us a little more flexibility than the tandem, give her something a little less boring than looking at my back, and be a little more manageable with a few hills around. But I’m just speculating.
FYI, I’m cross-posted over in the Tandem forum, too, at http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?617024.