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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-14-05, 08:26 AM   #1
cydewaze
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Test-riding a tandem today

The fiancee and I are going on a test-ride today (15-20 miles) to see how we like a tandem. In all my 20+ years of riding I've never turned a stroke on a tandem, so hopefully there won't be any road rash today.
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Old 08-14-05, 09:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by cydewaze
The fiancee and I are going on a test-ride today (15-20 miles) to see how we like a tandem. In all my 20+ years of riding I've never turned a stroke on a tandem, so hopefully there won't be any road rash today.
Good luck!! I'd suggest that you take it for a 5 minute spin by yourself (that is without a stoker) first. These long beasts handle differently; it's like driving a bus. Then, after you feel very comfortable, ask the stoker to join. Keep away from all cars and tell the stoker to be still; the slightest movement from the back seat can turn you into traffic. You'll be slow at first, but the two of you will eventually get used to it and then you can turn up the speed.

Having said that, I rode for 20+ years myself with only a very few tandem rides (mostly after I fixed them as a mechanic at one shop or another over the years). In the past year that we've had a tandem, we haven't had a single crash or fallen over. I'm just very, very careful with my stokers. When in doubt, we slow down.

Eurastus...
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Old 08-14-05, 10:45 AM   #3
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Howdi

Hope you enjoyed it and for lots of tips for newcomers check http://www.pedalpower.co.za/Default...tabid=104&pid=0

Cheers,
mdk and the 555 EXPRESS (Enthusiastic Xtreme Paired Riders Experiencing Simultaneous Speeds)
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Old 08-14-05, 05:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips Eurastus! I had planned on taking it out solo, but the LBS manager convinced me to try it with Jess first. I have to say that she did great. She kept very still, and did her fair share of the work. We rode around in the parking lot for around 20 minutes, practicing turns and starting/stopping. We ended up cutting the test-ride short after only about 6 miles because the temp was 108 (with the heat index) and to be honest, it was a lot more tiring than riding solo!

Still it was a nice tandem (Co-motion with 26" wheels and full Ultegra) and although the cockpit was a bit short for me, it still gave us a pretty good idea as to whether or not we'll want one.

Good experience, and Jess only yelled at me once!

P.S. Thanks for that link mdk555.
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Old 08-14-05, 07:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cydewaze
it was a lot more tiring than riding solo!

Not sure if this will ever go away. It hasn't for us yet, esp. in traffic. Starting at lights takes a lot energy out of me.
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Old 08-15-05, 07:25 AM   #6
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Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Tell your stoker what you're doing. Warn the stoker about bumps in the road. Warn your stoker when you shift, when you coast, when you start pedaling again, etc. My stoker and I have been married 20 years and the hardest (but best) ten years have been with our tandem. Good luck. Tandems are wonderful!
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Old 08-15-05, 08:20 AM   #7
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Yesterday I found (being the stroker in the test ride) that I was DRIPPING in sweat because no wind hit me being in cydewaze's draft. There was a huge round wet circle on my stomach after only 20 minutes!

Is this just because it was boiling out, or is this a regular occurrence?
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Old 08-15-05, 09:56 AM   #8
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It was hot as the dickens yesterday. We got out early, but still broiled on the way in. Tried to stay on shady country roads... unfortunately, they can be steep! Climbed Vernon Road out in Whitehall... standing in a 30/23...ouch! But, we conquered!!!
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Old 08-17-05, 07:52 PM   #9
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cydewaze

You are heading off in the right direction. My wife (stoker) of 30 years is finally riding and it took a tandem to do it. In the past, she has had the Giant, GT, Gary Fisher and Cannondale but it finally took a test ride on a Co Motion and she now (believe it if you will) says let's take a ride this evening of this weekend.

Test drive them all, but for my money, the Co Motion (Primera) is sure hard to beat.
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Old 08-17-05, 09:08 PM   #10
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Sounds like U-2 off and a-riding!
It is a bit warmer for the stoker on the back seat in the summer; but then it's a bit warmer also in the winter when the captain complains of the c-o-l-d!
Give stoker some relief by occasionally riding in the drops in the summer
Know what it can be like in Maryland: rode a century with 98 degrees and 98% humidity there years ago . . . 7 a.m., at the start of the ride, sweat was standing on the hairs of my forearms . . .
Soon summer will be over and you can enjoy the gorgeous fall colors in western Maryland!
If cockpit is a bit short for pilot: push saddle all the way back on the seatrails and if need be, get a longer stem.

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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