My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of getting a tandem and then finally decided to get a new one rather then used. Neither of us had EVER sat on a tandem, much less ridden one. My husband went to a couple of bike shops and test road a different tandem at each one (without me on board). He just rode it around the parking lot (no problem). When we finally got our new tandem and decided to take it for the first ride down our street, I had NO idea what to expect. I knew that I would not be allowed to lean to either side to look around him, so I just planted my eyes at the back of his jersey and never moved a muscle (except my legs). When we first took off down the street, which is a very slight down hill, my husband suddenly discovered that with weight on the back it didn't handle the same as his test rides without me. We found ourselves weaving from one side of the street to the other, looking like we had to much to drink (at least the captain). Luckily no cars were coming, but of course we did have to see one of our neighbors who just happens to cycle. It seems like we were going at 100 mph.,I was so scared I wanted to scream, but knew I better not. By the time we got to the end of our street, my husband went to stop the bike, leaned to put his foot down and almost dropped the bike. I got off the bike and my legs were like noodles, I could hardly stand and they were shaking like a leaf. We just looked at each other and then he said to me "what do we do now???!!!" He was just as scared as I was. We got our composure back together and decided going back up the street had to be better. It was a little better. Then he decided we needed to practice so he told me we would go down to a empty church parking lot and practice there. I thought we would put the tandem in the truck and driver down there -- oh no, he wanted to ride it there. I told him if we could ride it there we won't need practice--I was NOT a happy camper by this time. Well all did turn out good, we managed to ride it down to the lot and practice riding around for about 1/2 hr. then we decided to do our usual route. By the time we got back home we were like old pros, I could even find the courage to look around without being to scared. Fast forward to 4 years later and we just love to ride the tandem, we take it on all our vacations when we can.
We must have looked pretty silly that first ride, but glad we decided to keep it.