I was curious if any of you use your tandem for transportation/commuting/bike pooling in and around the city? We currently live in Vienna, Austria and traffic is so bad during the warmer months that a bike is always faster at getting around town due to the bike paths and marked off lanes for bikes.
As the Cannondale MT800 is our first tandem, I guess I don't know if there are any special protocols when using a tandem for transportation. So let me explain the bike's first utilitarian use that it experienced yesterday within the realm of the parent providing shuttle service for a child.
My son had a baseball game yesterday after school and I had to coach my daughter's team at another field about 2 miles from where my son was playing at the same time. So I hauled my son to his field which took about 50 minutes from our home and then rode off in solo mode on the tandem to the field where my daughter's team was playing. My wife brought my daughter to the game following her Girl Scout meeting and then drove to the other field to watch my son's game and then took him home after the game. Follwing the game I was coaching, my daughter caught a ride home with the other coach and his kids who live near us here in Vienna because she was too "tired" to ride the uphill 1 hour trip home (since she had been on a 2 hour ride with me the day before and it was already 8PM on a school night - I decided to send her home with the other coach). The good news is that both kids really like the tandem and squabble with each other as to who gets to ride with Dad.
I rode home solo on the tandem and was surprised that I was able to ride so well and power the bike very easily by myself. It was actually easier and faster than having one of the kids as a stoker. The only problems encountered were some of the steeper hills had me selecting different gear ratios than I would use on my single bikes and standing for short steep hills didn't have the best of traction due to the obvious no weight on the back end.
So the question is - "Am I nuts to use the bike around town to drop off kids or my wife somewhere and then ride home on the tandem solo? (Or the reverse of picking them up?)" I am hoping it is not considered bad form because it sure cuts out having to wait in traffic, fight for parking, saves on fuel, doesn't create pollution and is a real blast to tool around town.