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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 02-20-03, 09:17 PM   #1
Sailguy
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Introducing someone to tandem biking

I would love to get my wife into cycling somehow. She never grew up with a bike, and didn't learn to ride one until college. Therefore there is a fear with doing anything other than short jaunts in protected areas on the bike. Riding on roads is a huge point of resistance with her.

I feel that tandem biking would be my best bet to get her more involved. However I am not interested in making a huge purchase in order to find out she doesn't like it. She does think its a good idea, and definately worth a try, but for me that's not quite good enough.

No place around here rents tandems, so I defer to the forum to help me find a way to test things out before I empty my wallet. Is buying used a good option? I have a fear of being stuck with the bike for a year looking for a buyer in that case.

Please relate any similar stories or tips and advice.

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-03, 09:38 PM   #2
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Our introduction and tandem story:

My wife is an avid rider, I caught the bike bug two years ago watching her enjoy great rides, staying in shape, and a desire to share in it with her. We are fortunate in that we are both the same size, I took her hand-me-down Trek when she added a new Fuji crosscycle to our stable.

We both did an annual ride across Iowa two years ago (my wife's third) and saw too many tandems. We wanted one! We feel lucky to have a LBS owner that looks after us and our growing fleet of bikes. He loaned us his older Santana, which we fully intended on buying - it was a large, we needed the medium.

The happy ending... We loved the borrowed tandem , test rode several models and ordered a Co-Motion Mocha for ourselves. In your case, try contacting a local tandem club, or solicit your riding friends to find a loaner if possible. Make the shop rounds and inquire, look at their ads - you know the flyers hanging by the door. You never know what used tandem might show up for sale.

Good Luck!

PS - Can you load up the bikes to take to a longer trail area? Get her secure and interested on that single too.
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Old 02-20-03, 10:01 PM   #3
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Sailguy --

Did you check out The Bicycle Outitter? I'm fairly sure that they rent out tandems. How tall is your wife? I'd be happy to put her on the back of our tandem. You can also check with BART (Bay Area Roaming Tandems). Someone in the area may have a tandem you can try out. Cupertino Bikes may also be willing to let you do a prolonged test ride.

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Old 02-20-03, 10:05 PM   #4
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SteveE, checked the Outfitter. They no longer rent tandems. She is about my height (5' 7" or so) I'll look into BART
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Old 02-20-03, 10:17 PM   #5
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If your wife is new to cycling and timid about riding, I suggest finding an experienced tandem couple to help her understand what tandeming is all about. One of the main reason that men and women do not ride together is the man is to macho and excited about riding and the woman wants to easy into the sport. Usually she is more interested in spending a LEASURE afternoon with her husband enjoyiing the countryside than she is in riding in a paceline.

And if you are not an experienced tandem captain you can scare her to death in about 3 seconds. Get her on a double with someone that know how to tandem first.

Above all remember that tandems are relation intensifiers. If your relationship is rocky you have to remember she is less than two feet behind you and you can not out run her!! But if you have a good relationship a double can turn it into a great relationship.

I know we tandem and have been married for over 35 years.
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Old 02-21-03, 12:44 AM   #6
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Sailguy -

My wife is 5' 6", so your wife should fit nicely on the back of our tandem. I would be happy to be the captain and take her out for a test ride. Let me know if she is interested.

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Old 02-21-03, 10:06 PM   #7
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I agree with Roadie's advice of riding the tandem at an easy pace with someone who is new to cycling. The pace my wife liked at first drove me up the wall, but before long she really started to get into it. When they start trying to pass you from the stoker seat then it's safe to crank it up a couple notches!
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Old 02-22-03, 03:09 AM   #8
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i agree with all thats said before let an experienced tandem rider take your wife out for a short run.....also if she likes it start with small rides on quiet roads if possible...my partner started yelling "bus bus" as a large bus approached us from the rear she doesnt bat an eyelid now with traffic...
another problem i suffered was that she was trying to steer from the back
the tandem was leaping all over the place .......she now tells me to change up a gear so we can go faster i dont know how many time i have tried to explain

" we are not on a motorbike "


also when out on rides have a target to aim for ie a nice coffee shop to stop at

usually works for me ....or in scotland a nice cafe that does lovely warm soup this works in the winter
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Old 03-01-03, 10:07 AM   #9
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Try a KHS tandemania, it is great.

Please try and respect your wifes fear of road riding, and being a stoker, may aggrevate it. My husband of 28 years is far braver about roads than I am. When we first started riding together it was me who out ran traffic and made him nervous.

The stoker sees traffic at a totally different view than the captain. Be happy that your wife is willing to ride on bike paths. The next step could be an organized half century or such where traffic is controlled and supplies readily available.

Also watch your turns, guard rails tend to grab knees and elbows of the stoker.

Bottom line eventually your wife will grow to enjoy riding, unless you push too hard. Remember after the ride, treat her to a good dinner (Wendy's works), to recover, and don't expect her to do anything the night of the ride.

Good Luck,

Diane
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Old 05-06-03, 12:20 AM   #10
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Diane,
that is exactly how my Indiana wife of 27 years feels about traffic but she loves the Tandemania Sport I gave her as a birthday present. Loves bike paths but the traffic noise and congestion is just not her style. She likes to tell me what I miss by having to watch where WE are going. That is the time when I realized she finally started to trust me as a captain.
I used to live in Bloomington; now in So Cal. how about you?
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Old 05-06-03, 03:03 PM   #11
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There used to be a low-end burley (the Zydeco) for rent down here in Santa Cruz -- The Bicycle Rental Center:

Bicycle Rental Center--Mountain bikes, tandems, cruisers, kids' bikes and kid carriers. Rent by the hour, day or week.
131 Center St., Santa Cruz (831/426-8687)

Maybe if you're in the neighborhood sometime you can give it a try. It's not the nicest tandem, but it should be good enough to give you a "real" tandem feel. The Zydeco used to have only 2 chainrings, but maybe Bicycle Rental has upgraded -- the Zydeco was pretty popular.
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