While some couples cite the ability to chat while cycling as one of the many pluses of tandeming, Captain Hermes and I exchange very few words while riding. Often due to the wind noise as well as our focus. And, OK, one advantage of being a stoker is being able to safely listen to my power song playlist on my Ipod shuffle, with the volume low enough so that I can hear the Captain: "Stop sign." "Stand." "Car back." And my favorite "More power!" which he uses quite often. (I guess he views me as a turbocharger.)
Flash back to last evening: just relaxing after dinner after a l-o-n-g week, reading the newspaper, glancing up at the television - James Bond "A View to a Kill" - scene with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the dirigible. Bond seizes hold of the mooring rope, so Zorin tries to dislodge and kill 007 by pounding him against the side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Bond manages to wrap the mooring rope around a girder. Zorin demands that his pilot pull away, shouting "More! More power! More! Do it!"
My jaw dropped, my eyes widened, and I burst out laughing. I queried Hermes if he stole that line from the James Bond flick. He sheepishly admitted that he had. So all this time, Captain Hermes was knowingly spoofing this great "More power" James Bond scene and I was clueless.
About a year ago my husband and I were climbing a slight hill downtown. It's not the best place to ride a bike because of all the traffic lights and stop signs. My husband was approaching some railroad tracks when the alarm bells came on. Not being able to see ahead and not exactly knowing how far away the train was, I immediately started pedaling as hard as I could, which he was not expecting. We got over the tracks in plenty of time but now each time he wants "more power", he just says "Choo Choo". When he tells his friends of the incident, he tells everyone I turned on my afterburner and he almost was knocked off the bike.
It Takes Two
When encountering dogs during the 30 years we rode singles, our standard procedure would be that my wife would go to the front if she wasn't already there and I would take second and get most of the dog's attention. When we started riding the tandem a year and a half ago, we realized how automatic that procedure was when my wife couldn't go in front and she felt very vulnerable sitting in the back with the dog closing in. She often sees dogs off to the side before I do and she would suddenly yell, "Go! Go! Go!" which scared me the first several times she did that as she is pouring on the power. The first few times I would invariable ask why or ask for a noun, delaying my response, and annoying my stoker. Last year on the TRIRI ride (6 months into tandem ownership) we had the episode I call, "The Meanest Dog I Never Saw." We were riding calmly along a farm when my wife is suddenly yelling, Go! Go! Go! and she begins to pedal hard. Before I can respond with my voice or my legs, the timing chain falls off and I yell, "We have to stop! I can't pedal!" She says, "I'm not stopping!" and proceeds to power us down the road out of danger, as the timing chain drags along. Well, I never did see this dog but my wife says it was a very big and mean looking dog that was after us (her).... I learned the importance of keeping the timing chain adjusted and I now respond quickly to "Go! Go! Go" and ask questions later. We are leaving for this year's TRIRI in about an hour and I tightened the timing chain last night.
Originally Posted by Velodiva
When approaching traffic lights we are aware we are a bit slower than some of the automotive trafffic and quite often I get a surge of power from Kay . . .
A humorous story from decades ago about stoker's(will)power. We had a German friend, named Hans, who felt women just weren't much suited to ride bikes. He had a habit of drafting us and then sprinting away, a-grinning..
One day stoker said 'no racing with Hans' . . . so we are moving right along and Hans is pulling his usual drafting . . . when Kay says 'stomp on it, don't let him pass!' Whoaaaaa! Afterburner kicked in and Hans was left with a gap he couldn't close. Hans learned a sweet lesson that day!
She's done the same thing to a couple other single drafters when they annoy her with sexist remarks.
What a stoker!