Careful y'all... Any thoughts such as those are best kept to yourselves, even if your spouse doesn't happen to surf the net and read forums such as this. It's just bad Karma and I'll be darned if I know how they do it, but most spouses are quick to pick up on these supressed thoughts.
That said, the unwritten book of tandem science has a chapter that explains why it is normal to find that at the top of most epic climbs -- when captains find themselves in oxygen debt, gasping for air and oozing lactic acid from their leg, arm and back muscles -- stokers will have sufficient energy reserves to carry on a future ride planning discussion with fellow stokers.
Other unwritten chapters include:
1. Heart rate monitor anomalies
2. The timing ring reversed wear pattern phenomenon
3. Tandem or resistance trainer; you decide
4. Why captains should be thankful they're not stokers
5. Why happy captains always have happy stokers
The last two chapters mentioned are the most important ones. If you haven't done so, it is a humbling experience to climb onto the back of a tandem and assume the role of stoker. Morover, if you love tandeming, the benefits to be derived from just "sucking it up" far outweigh the alternative which is riding alone.
Just my .02. For an interesting, sarcastic but humorous account of what it's like to go from being a top notch triathlete to being a stoker, here's a link to Jim Riccitello's account of his experience stoking for Gord Frasier at the Tour de Tucson a few years back: http://www.active.com/print.cfm?cate...&story_id=8319
While written as a humor piece, it is quite revealing.
"when captains find themselves in oxygen debt, gasping for air and oozing lactic acid from their leg, arm and back muscles -- stokers will have sufficient energy reserves to carry on a future ride planning discussion with fellow stokers".
That's pretty funny Mark. I'd always just admired how my stoker must be much more fit than I and able to recover so quickly on said climbs