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Thread: Scared

  1. #1
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Scared

    I need advise on how to get over being scared. We are new to the tandem world and yes this was only my third ride but today I was scaring myself several times in situations that seems like they should have been a no brainer. I'm the Stocker and my husband is doing really good as Captain. On down hills, I'm terrible, I really make him slow down. He is getting a little frustrated with me, can't blame him, but he has always known that I'm not great on downhill speed. Even little whoopdedoos scared me a couple of times. I've ridden this ride on my single dozens of times but this was the first time on the tandem. Do I just need to give myself more time. I don't want to give it up but I don't want my husband hating me either. Help!!!

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    I would give it more time. My wife and I were into our second season of tandeming before we really started to get comfortable with it. In fact, she still doesn't like fast decents. The momment we hit 45 mph she starts yelling at me to slow down. What's amazing is that she can't even see the speedometer, but she is almost always within a mph or two of 45 when she starts telling me to slow down.

    I will say that the stoker position is definitely the more scary than being the captain. Especially for someone who has done a lot of single riding. I tried it once. At the first turn I tried to steer so hard from the back that I twisted the captain's seatpost pulling on the stoker bar. It takes a level of blind trust that I found to be very difficult to provide.

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    SDS
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    As a captain, I work for the stokers. They are REAR ADMIRALS and outrank me. Whatever they want they get, as long as it doesn't interfere with the safety of the vehicle. If you don't want to go fast downhill, then the tandem doesn't go fast downhill. My tandems have speedometers on the back, and I ask my new stokers, "what's your limit going down this hill?" I've never had them say anything but "use your judgement," or "kick it."

    You have to have absolute confidence in your captain. You both can wreck the bike, but he is the only one who can keep it from wrecking. He has to ride the way you want to ride.

    If you lack confidence with a perfect captain but you want to be a better team, I think you should start with rides with which you are more comfortable. Do some rides that are perfectly flat and, if you are comfortable with that, work your way up to rides that are more hilly. I think that you only have a natural level difficulty with trying something too hard before you were ready for it, but if you never get to where you are confident with going downhill, your husband should consider himself to be very fortunate to be part of a team with you anyway.

    Tandeming is about teamwork. At its best you are two people on one bike with one mind that contemplates only one course of action with no hesitation. You stand and cut curves and execute complex strategies with no externally evident debate. You are a precision drill team of two. Whatever keeps those Budweiser Clydesdales happy when they are pulling that wagon around is the same thing that keeps you happy.

    So if you need to stay on flat ground for a while now, or for forever, that's where you are going to ride, because you both want to do that.

    Want to be a happy stoker? Put a mirror on your captain's helmet, and on yours. Information is power. People say I (almost) never shut up on the front of a tandem. Often I am telling my stokers exactly what I am doing ("Left turn coming up, clear left, clear right, TURN left.") The stokers are my backup safety system, and they can't know I am safe unless they know what I am thinking (which improves their confidence). The exception arises when we are competing for a sprint line, and I don't want others to know what my strategy will be, in which case the stokers follow what I do. Your captain should communicate to you his intentions, particularly right now when you need some reassurance.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed
    Do I just need to give myself more time. I don't want to give it up but I don't want my husband hating me either. Help!!!
    Yes, it will take some time to adjust, particularly since you're already a cyclist who is used to having a lot more control over your own personal bike. It's actually easier for a non-cyclist or at least someone who hasn't done a lot of cycling to adjust to the stoker's position because they don't have to deal with not being able to act on their instincts as a cyclist.

    However, there's more to it than that. Your captain also needs to give himself more time before he can assume he's built up enough confidence to assume everything he's doing as captain is OK with you.

    I would suggest that you have this very conversation with him so that he understands exactly how you feel, e.g., "I'm really excited about riding together and I think you're doing a great job but I feel really uncomfortable when you (fill in the blank). What can we do to work through this?" Be specific and then see what he suggests. If you have some suggestions of your own throw them out too.

    The truth is, what you decide to do isn't nearly as important as having the conversation and continuing to have conversations like this whenever there is an issue. It reinforces how important communication is to the amount of enjoyment you'll both have on the tandem and how well you'll perform as a team. They are deeply interrelated because you're not ballast, your a partner and you're totally dependent on his skills and consideration of your needs relative to your safety and comfort.

    Personal Perspective & Experience: I was the long-time cyclist and Debbie had not ridden a bicycle on public roadways in some 30 years when we got our first tandem some 7 years and 20k miles ago. Debbie would often times caution me regarding our downhill speed when we first started riding the tandem and I scared the bejeezus out of her a couple times as we carved through some very tight curves at 45+ mph. I know this because she told me so and, yes, I can honestly tell you that I was a bit disgusted because I looked at her request for caution as a challenge to my cycling skills. Well, as I grumbled to myself and quietly habored all kinds of ill thoughts I also took a moment to mentally put myself in her shoes as my stoker, someone who can't read my mind, see what I'm doing, or see the road ahead from my perspective. After doing so -- and because I had been forced to take the back seat of a tandem behind our tandem dealer before taking over as captain with Debbie on the back -- I quickly realized how lucky I was that Debbie was even willing to ride on the back of a tandem with me. I apologized a short while later which I think (OK, I know) she appreciated and that went a long way towards letting her volunteer her feelings. As you would expect, the longer we rode the more comfortable she became if only because:

    1. I had demonstrated that I was willing to listen and act on her requests;
    2. She was generally more trusting and therefore more relaxed because she knew she could say "when" and we'd be able to talk through it afterwards (and tandems are easier to control when stokers relax); and
    3. She developed her own instincts about how to behave and what to expect when we encountered certain types of terrain on the tandem.

    Now, interestingly enough -- and just to let you know that the communication stuff will always be needed -- Debbie began to ride a personal road bike about 2 years ago and would often times go out on her own while I was at work and ride some of the same routes we rode on the tandem. When we were back on the tandem there were certain turns where once again I was scaring the bejeezus out of her because she was now in your shoes, e.g., familiar with a section of road where I was pushing our tandem much harder than she was comfortable with on her personal bike. Her brain didn't care that we were on the tandem; it just knew that "she" was travelling into those turns faster and more leaned over than "she" was comfortable with. Yup, I got all pissy again because she was challenging my skills and didn't trust me. Fortunately, it only lasted a few minutes because I quickly put myself back in her shoes, put 2+2 together regarding her weekday rides, and started up the discussion about why she was now bothered by a corner that we had gone through well over a hundred times and the connection with her personal bike rides.

    Anyway, it's a long post but hopefully you see that you are not alone in your feelings about your experience on the back of the tandem. Moreover, because we're males, we are required to act like buttheads whenever we perceive a threat to our egos and that's never going to go away. How successful you are as team may require mutual respect for the short hissy fit and the discussion that needs to follow.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-30-05 at 10:15 PM.

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    Give it time...

    I've started the post over about a dozen times because I know exactly how you're feeling. It's scary!

    We recently bought our tandem. Everytime we get on the bike I have to remind myself to just let go and let the captian take the reins (which is pretty darn difficult for me!). Trust and communication is what it takes. I have to tell myself that he wouldn't put us in danger. That I did marry him because I could trust him. Sappy as it may sounds, it's what works for me. I also remind myself that he's new at it too. So if he takes a corner a bit too fast or cuts it a bit tight, I smile and tell him about the moment from the stoker's view.

    Just give it time. Talk it through. Like the other posts say, start slow and work up to your comfort level. It takes a lot of talking and work in the beginning but the results are worth it.

    - d.
    - d.

  6. #6
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    Litespeed,

    I have the front seat and my 7 year old daughter has the rear seat, so I have experience as a captain, not as a stoker. Still, a few things strike me:

    - There is a question of "control" and of "riding style". As a stoker, you have to let the other do the driving, a little bit like when you sit at the right of a car. Sometimes frustrating, other times unnerving or dangerous.

    - You hint that you also ride solo, but I wonder how your solo riding style compare to your husband's. If you generally like to ride hills at 20 km/h while he likes them at 45 km/h, then some adjustment is necessary. It's not just a question of "control" but more a question of riding style. Some adjustments need to be done on both sides obviously, so that you find a common ground.

    - If I compare stoking to sitting on the right of a car, there are unnerving situations for a back-seat driver: passing very close to parked cars, stopping at the last moment, etc. If your pilot travels downhills at the same speed, but slows down sooner for stops and other obstructions, you will find it much less problematic.

    - Tandems have only two wheels and the front drag of a single, but they are twice heavier than a single. Therefore downhill acceleration is much more accute than on a single. Unless the hill is short or you want failing brakes, you should do on and off braking.... which tends to be unnerving for stokers. Even if you ride downhill at a reasonable speed, the acceleration-deceleration is really unnerving. A good solution could be to alternate between front and rear braking (i.e. always slowing down) or to install an Arai drag brake that would slow down your downhill progress.

    Other solutions that may or may not be practical:

    - Ride only on flat or almost flat terrain for a while until both of you get used to the tandem.

    - Switch positions. Maybe you need to be in control!

    Finally, if there are a few other tandems in your area, you might want:
    - to ride a few times (as stoker or pilot) with an experienced partner;
    - to have your husband ride a few times as a stoker with an experienced captain, especially with one that would give him tips and tricks.


    BTW, right now, my 1st stoker is a 7 year old daughter who tends to be very cautious and don't ride too fast downhills, and my second stoker is a 3.5 year old who would like to pedal downhill until 60-70 km/h, if not more...

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Litespeed,

    Please don't let speed knock you out of the tandem game. In my experience, speed is something that is often overcome with time and experience, whether on a bicycle, motorcycle, car or in/on any other machine that has a tendency to go fast.

    Ask your husband to have some patience with you as you get used to the sensation of speed. Over the next several rides, you should start to feel a bit more at ease with the current pace. And if you need to go slow for a while, ask. You are the stoker. What you communicate to the captain should have a strong impact on how the tandem is ridden. Just communicate that to the captain in a nice way and any self-respecting captain should understand. After all, you are half the team. A captain without a stoker on a tandem is pretty much useless. Please also let your husband know that riding fast is an acquired taste. These things take time.

    On a single bike, my wife used to BLOW past me on the downhills. It's not that she was flying down the road, but that I was so scared of the descents, I rode my brakes the whole way and never enjoyed the fun, gravity-induced ride. I also found that a great deal of my fear was caused by the wind noise in my ears. Things started to get better when I noticed that while I was only going 20 MPH (brakes heating my rims to a toasty temperature), the wind in my ears made things sound like I was going 50! It seemed, at least for me, that the wind noise upset me far more than the actual speed. For what it's worth, I found the same thing happens on motorcycles. When I first learned to ride, freeway speeds of 55 mph were all I could handle. Then I got used to the noise in my helmet at that speed and then 65 mph was attainable. Now I can comfortably ride at 85-90 mph and I realize that the bike is riding smoothly and in control. It may still be noisy, but for me, understanding that it's only the wind really helps.

    It may also help to have both you and your husband read a book on bicycle handling, especially when it comes to downhills. Learning to properly align the bike in the lane BEFORE the turn, get all of your braking done BEFORE the turn so that both parties are comfortable with the speed IN the turn, and riding the "outside-inside-outside" line while in the corner are all absolute MUSTS in being comfortable with speed in the corners.

    These are just a few rambling thoughts. Be patient and beleive me, if I can do it anyone can and I've ridden as fast as 62 mph on a bike. Once you gain a certain level of comfort, riding fast becomes more and more enjoyable.

    Keep smiling.

    Rgds,

    Steffan Marley
    Last edited by S. Marley; 11-28-03 at 10:39 PM.

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    It does take some getting used to. Eventhough I am not an experienced road biker. Usually mountain. I find myself as the stoker leaning away from the parked cars sometimes in our neck of the woods. I have made my captain (also my husband) get off of busy streets because of the fear of getting squished. Here in good old L. A. we try for the less traveled road but ..... Anyways I digress. I think you do become more comfortable with the speed and control issue and I do trust my captain 100%, sometimes I just grin and close my eyes and try to enjoy

  9. #9
    Junior Member Ren V.G.'s Avatar
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    I would suggest smaller rides on terrain that is flat if possible..My wife has just started stoking also. The biggest issue for the stoker is the feeling of not being in control. Take smaller rides to get used to eachothers communication, and rhythm. avoid big hills, traffic, high speeds. Just do a few lazy loops around the neighborhood. Also if your bike is a litespeed. like your name implies..some tandems have a little more "wiggle" on the back when the captian is peddling. I weigh over 200lbs and our Co Motion gets to really wiggling when Im cranking on the pedals..tell your captian to eas off the pedals a bit so you get used to the feel of the bike..

    soon you will be loving it..my wife now cant wait to ride and she was terrified at first..

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    scared

    Howdy from Tucson!
    Being scared as a stoker is not unusual at first. You have NO control back there.
    Also your view of a situation on the back seat is totally different than from the front. Peeking over or around the captain does not give you the same angle as how he sees things.
    Communication is the key to a successfull tandem duo. The dude up front MUST tell the nice person on the back what he is going to do next: he must voice OUT LOUD any mechanical or direction change so stoker is aware on what's happening. Like: shifting, braking. coasting, bump, etc.
    Requests by stoker should always be paid attention to as it's not as much fun pedalin' a tandem solo!
    Tip from my stoker, who has over 29 years of tandeming experience: "if he does not listen, get a hat pin and use it!"

  11. #11
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the great comments. My New Years resolution is to try and not be as scared and just relax and enjoy myself. My husband is a great bike rider and he is constantly telling me he wouldn't do anything to try and scare me on purpose. Since we are both very new to the tandem world I'm sure we will have a lot to learn. He is really good about telling me things that he is planning on doing, stopping, coasting etc. He has even ordered me a suspension seat post so he won't have to worry about coasting in places that he could ordinarilly keep pedaling in. Sometimes I would ask him why he quit pedaling and he would tell me it was because he didn't want me get bumped around to much. I won't be able to get back on the bike for another couple of weeks till my ribs heal but I am looking forward to it. I will keep you informed once I'm back on the bike. Hope everyone has a great New Year!

  12. #12
    SDS
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    "Bump coming up, 3,2,1, Bump.", or, "Bump coming up, stand up and coast, that's it (the bump), sit down and pedal.", or, "Bump coming up, stand up and pedal. Stand up, that's it (the bump), sit down and pedal."

    There's a lot of variation in application of the above depending on how stiff your frame is and how cast-iron your butts are and whether or not you need a break, and how well the stoker reads the captain, and how well the stoker and the captain tolerate standing up singly.

    So, if you have one of those concrete-stiff Cannondale 6061-T6 frames, as a captain you will call out bumps that you could skip on a steel flexi-flyer frame or a 7000-series aluminum frame, and of course these perceptions may in part be influenced by your weight. Steel is not bad stuff if you like the springy ride or if you don't weigh much.

    If your bottom is giving out, you stand up and pedal over bumps. If your bottom and your legs are giving out, then you stand up and coast over bumps, and maybe down the hills too.

    It's okay to do it Your Way and to not follow somebody else's book. A team, however, has to know what Their Way is, and to follow it. Both of you. You are a team. Yes, you are right at the beginning, but it is called "puppy training", and not "dog training", for a reason. Good habits start right now. He's your husband to train, but he should say when he wants to coast for a bump (you may not see that coming so he gets to tell you) or ask when he wants to coast to tighten his shoe strap (because that can usually be deferred). Nearly all tandems have shock-absorbing seatposts when they are sold as new because only a very few stokers prefer to do without.

    Normally if one member of the team wants to coast, they ask the other member. If there is a significant bump coming, the proper response by the captain is to make the stoker aware of the hazard and the intended action (including going around! captains who make unannounced beelines toward the centerline to avoid a pothole with oncoming traffic in the opposite lane do not inspire stoker confidence!) in a manner similar to the examples above, and only then to take action.

    Yes, when Bad Things are imminent I take action first and explain it and apologize later, and when that happens it is up to the stoker to follow me without question, but that is the rare exception and not the rule. A tandem Captain is Accommodating, Communicating, Accomplished, Resourceful, and Capable.

    Accommodating: whatever the stoker needs, she gets, with the exception of things that put the vehicle at hazard, in which case the captain says no and explains why, but only when it is safe to do so. The Captain runs the ship, but the Rear Admiral decides where it goes.

    Communicating: The Captain communicates to the stoker at the level she prefers. The stoker gets as much or little detail as she likes. If you don't want to know about a heron choking on an oversize fish in the ditch, I will know not to tell you after the first time. If you do want these details, you'll get them. The level of detail that spews forth from a captain tells you a lot about how alert he is right then (not much escapes the attention of somebody who notices herons with bulging eyes and wide spots in their throats), and THAT tells you whether or not he should be holding such a tight gap in a paceline. You won't hear much, though, at 180 bpm and 32 mph, except a lot of air going in and out. The experienced stoker, though, reads her captain like an open, large-print book. I think that is because we work so hard at being safe, and that makes us predictable, and then the stokers know all.

    Accomplished: anything the Captain tries on a tandem is successful, owing to a vast reservoir of experience. He only tries the things that will work. His reputation as a tandem Captain is unblemished by the merest hint of foolish daring. Do this for a decade or more, and you won't have to brag on your rep. Your stokers will do it for you, and it won't be bragging. I hate to say it, but relative size does matter. Big shoulders up high give you a lot of weight and leverage with which to move the bike and your (usually) smaller stoker around. The tandem is conservatively equipped with reliable equipment, including tires of adequate size with enough air in them, and the tandem is properly maintained. Ownership, equipage, and maintenance of the tandem are not necessarily the responsibility of the Captain, but if he is going to drive it, he must inspect it.

    Resourceful: the Captain has a simply amazing knowledge of geography, and can pull a clean restroom out of a rotten stump out in the woods (well, he knows where the nearest clean restroom is..). The tiny bag under the stoker seat has all the tools and spares to work on the tandem and most single bikes (and shoe cleats!), enough money (okay, credit card) to get a hotel room, a fine meal and a long-distance phone card with which to call for a friend to come pick up everybody. And the phone numbers. And the Captain can fix most anything likely to fail on a tandem.

    Capable: The tandem Captain has an extraordinary level of bike handling skill, but he never uses all of it. There is always something in reserve, because captaining a tandem exposes the riders to double the level of risk of a single (twice as many people get hurt if something goes wrong), and because at the limit, there is an involuntary element to the fate of the stoker, for there will be no time to share the decision at that point. That's why you expect van drivers to only undertake a reduced level of risk relative to the capability of the vehicle, compared with the more marginal maneuvers of single motorcycle riders.

    Why are tandem captains all of these things? So the stokers will believe in them.

  13. #13
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Here is a comment from Sheldon Brown's site...

    "If Pat is a speed demon and takes full advantage of the speed potential of a tandem right off the bat, Chris is likely to be terrified. Chris, remember, is not a serious cyclist, and has no experience in high-speed cycling even when in control of the bike. Traveling at high speeds, with no control of the bike, no forward visibility, and an inexperienced captain--this can be so traumatic that the first ride may be the last. "

    Overall when we started cycling together I tried hard to accomodate her for her lack of experience. Now she is a proficient single cyclist and we use the tandem on rides where we want to stay together.

    She still gets a little un-nerved, I think it comes with being a stoker, when we were in France going down some of the mountains in the Pyrenees... But here in the flats of Florida she has no problems with sprints at 34mph!

  14. #14
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    I'm almost completely mended, about 90%. This Saturday we are going to take our first tandem ride again (been six weeks). The roads where we live are really torn up because of resurfacing going on so we will haul the bike over to a flatter less traffic area. My husband and I are really excited about it, I did a short 1/2 hr. ride on my single on Sunday. I'm sure he will listen to me very carefully and be sure not to scare me, he doesn't want me to get tense, so we should have a good time. We may have to practice our communication on the trainer before Saturday just to make sure we do everything right again (calling out stopping, coasting etc). It's still not embedded in our brains yet since we have only ridden three times. Will let you know how it goes.

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    I HAVE BEEN THERE TOO!!!

    I am the stoker and the more timid between the two of us when it comes to both speed and cornering. My single bike experience is for exercise not speed records, so braking on the downhill and taking corners slow was my norm - oh and coasting when I wanted a drink of water. My hubby/captain was not this type of rider (to say the least)....

    PLEASE don't give up just yet - while I am in absolute complete agreement that the captain's job is your comfort and that he needs to be extremely patient, here are a couple things that helped me in the transition to a more confident bicyclist and stoker.

    1. When going down a hill, he (the captain) would sit up and I would hunker down. This got me more comfortable because I felt less of the wind and it felt less scary.

    2. Keep doing the same route for awhile, familarity helped breed confidence (knowing the hill was coming, that there is a bump at this corner and you had great experiences before so why not again). There might be some complaints of being bored but I doubt it because as a captain, he is learning new things/habits as well.

    3. Coast down the hill (no need to break speed records, right?) - when the captain is wanting a pedal stroke and you would rather "back pedal" (ie coast but mentally braking) - this really fouls up the rythm and your knees.

    4. You didn't mention cornering (this was a close tie to being scared down hills and longer to get used to), but after two seasons I think I have gotten much more confident on this issue. We now have a verbal command "leaning.. now" which tells me he is not going to brake through the corner and plans to lean the bike and gets me mentally prepared. Then at the "now" I shift my weight to the down foot (getting slightly off my seat) - what a difference compared to always keeping my butt & weight on the seat (it felt like I was going to tip over or the bike was going to catch - even though it never happened).

    5. Finally, communication is absolutely key - verbal commands and discussing what the captain plans to do. There are a couple intersections on our regular routes (nasty cross traffic) or new places where I get scared and/or don't want surprise bike shifting/leaning/wiggles/turning/etc. When I feel that I need that reassurance (even though we have done that intersection probably 200 times now), I'll say "talk to me" - which is our signal for "captain, step me through what you are planning on doing so I don't freak out" - I think that would help with downhills as well.

    I fully agree with the axiom that it takes about 150 miles to get comfortable as a tandem team. We have close to 1800 miles and I am sooooo glad we stuck with it - both of us are hooked (my captain does less single bike riding now because even though he can go faster and more aggressive - he gets bored!!!) GOOD LUCK!!
    Last edited by trevordog; 01-06-04 at 08:37 AM.

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    Thanks for the tips! One thing I notice that really does bother me when we ride fast is the wind in my ears. The sound makes it seem like I am going much faster then we really are. I would just wear one ear plug but unfortuately I am deaf in one ear, so I wouldn't be able to hear what my husband is telling me. I hate windy days too--they really terrify me, I'm afraid the bike is going to get blow over--any tips on that one? I won't ride my single in a really windy situation. I only weight 110 and my single bike weighs 18 pounds so I really feel like it is really going to blow over. I will get off and walk my single if I get to scared. I know the tandem is much more stable, but is there any chance it can blow over-we have a Co-Motion Speedster. Sometimes I think I'm just a hopeless case.

  17. #17
    Year-round cyclist
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    Getting blown over by the wind is next to impossible, unless you have disk wheels (i.e. full wheels) and other things like that. Still, the sidewind means you have to learn to correct your leaning/steering very rapidly.

    I remember leaning so much into the wind that I scratched my left pedal quite a few times, but that was on Newfoundland's West Coast where the wind is, to say the least, a legend. Let's say that's the only place I heard where trains were blown off the tracks.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  18. #18
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    tandems are very stable - and don't forget your captain has weight too. I would discourage the ear plug - as the stoker you have less wind noise than the captain and as result sometimes I can hear things before he sees it on his mirror. I would be very hesistant to give up this safety asset.

  19. #19
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Well we completed our tandem ride (35 miles) When we first got on it and starting rolling down a slight hill, I was very scared and bit my lip (I have a bruise to prove it). After that I only had a couple of small incidents where I got scared again, then it was pretty much smooth sailing. I grew more confident and just tried to remember that my husband is a VERY good bicyclist and can see what is in front of us for me. We even went up a hill (4 miles) that I had never been up before. I figured I could do what he wanted too, since he had been going slow for me. We made it to the top, rested then headed back down. My biggest worry was that I would freak out when we started down, but I didn't. I closed my eyes for a short ways then opened them when I realized he wasn't going very fast. Then I could enjoy the ride down and even help out calling "car back". After we got back, I told my husband I was sorry to see the ride come to an end. When we got home, we hopped on it again and went for another short 10 mile ride to the airport and back. I really think that closing my eyes when I thought I was going to be scared help me, I couldn't sense us actually going down hill. We will keep practicing every weekend and hopefully I will improve.

  20. #20
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    I think that is great!

    I wa afraid you were going to say "as long as I kept my eyes closed"...

    My wife tells me she too gets "roller-coaster syndrone" a bit on the back of the tandem but as we have logged so many miles and she has seen my ability to control the bike she has that trust in me to look around the bits that get her a tad frazzled and thus found now she enjoys the ride.

    I think it is wonderful that you found you can blink your eyes to get your mind cleared and could look around the act of going downhill to see the fun part of going down hill

  21. #21
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    As a now "accomplished" stoker, Don't you dare give up yet. I was an accomplished solo rider, and had everything under my control. Then came the tandem. Suddenly, the hill you used to be comfortable on at 35mph, suddenly feels like Mach 3, and you have NO control. And that is when the pilot is taking it steady.
    It took 3 months and about 400 miles before I stopped telling the pilot to slow down, hammerring on his back and threatening to jump off at any time. When I did that he stopped telling me about potholes after we had gone over them, and ducking under low lying bushes.
    Ok. it will take some tape across the mouth for a few months, but stick with it. If you want to get your own back, Take over as pilot for a few rides. Then you have the brakes, you have control and perhaps confidence will emerge.

  22. #22
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Yesterday was not my best day when it came to being on the tandem, I got scared about 5 times and that really disappointed me. I also worried about when a big downhill was suppose to come up--I knew it was out there somewhere. By the time we got to it and started down I think I did real well. We had to go through a lot of tight traffic between parked cars and moving cars. That didn't bother me to much until a van got a little to close for me.We also had two flats at the same time. One on the front just as we were heading back. Then when my husband had finished fixing that one, we discovered another thorn in the rear tire so he had to fix that. The day was very cold and I was freezing. By the time we got back to the truck I was miserable and couldn't wait to get home, I was cold and tired. The cold part was my own fault, just didn't layer up because I wanted us to wear our matching jerseys for the first time and honestly did not know it was going to be as cold as it was by the coast. Today was much much better. I layered up with my warmest jerseys and wore my arm and leg warmers. We only did 35 miles but the sun finally came out and warmed us up. I was a lot more confident and I even let my husband bump up the speed a little bit on level ground. I figure I will have good days and bad days, just hope the good days far out number the bad ones.

  23. #23
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    If you are patient then they will come. Keep it up sounds like you are getting to the next level.

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