We were out for a Friday evening ride and well, this is what happened.......
We were about 12 miles into our ride when we came to a fresh pavement side road going uphill to a new development. Things were going well and we decided to climb the hill and check out the new homes. After climbing to the top of the hill with about 400 foot of elevation gain we got warm fast and decided to shed our jackets as we checked out the great valley views down below. Before taking off my jacket I had removed my gloves so I could get my arms through my jacket sleeves (bad choice).
So there I was straddling the tandem half way through putting back on my first glove when I heard the specific noise clipless pedals make when they engage with a shoe. At 6"3" 225 lbs it usually doesn't take that much effort to hold up my 110 lb stoker, but one of my hands was halfway in a sweaty glove and the other was tugging on that same glove to get the fingers through. I never claimed to be quick and she was falling before I could react. We usually have some very specific communication before she clips in and in hindsight all she could remember was she was anxious to get going again and continue with a good time. It was a slow motion fall that resulted in a nasty bruise on her hip bloody knee, bloody elbow, and a sore wrist. I felt/feel horrible.
I think I straddled the tandem to free up both hands for putting back on my gloves. For whatever reason she thought I was ready to go. Next time I will figure out how to get the gloves on without straddling the bike. One lapse of communication led to a real bummer of a fall. This is the first fall I have ever experienced on the road with the tandem (tandem Mtn biking with my buddies doesn't count).
On the positive side she hit me up for a 30 mile ride Sunday afternoon. Outside of an uncomfortable wrist toward the end of the ride, she was fine. She got right back on the steed with no fear and unconditional trust of the Captain. I will try not to let her down.