My wife and I have been enjoying our Santana Arriva tandem for about three years. We've had our share of communications and control issues, but for the most part we're doing well. Unless we're both tired, or I miss a pothole, or ... Well you know.
One issue that comes up occasionally is that my wife, who is our stoker, thinks that the bike is leaning. She tells me that the bike is leaning to the left and wants me to stop that.
Not incidentally, this occurs on a well bermed road where there's a definite slope down to the shoulder (of the road) on the right. When this happens, the orientation of the bike seems fine to me.
It also tends to occur when we are getting tired on a long ride. I follow the cardinal rule that the stoker is always right. In this situation, however, I'm at a loss. If I try to lean the bike even slightly towards the right the bike starts turning to the right. I've tried it more than once to demonstrate the effect.
I can't imagine that the bike could be ridden while leaning at all, at least not in a straight line. I'll admit that I don't always ride perfectly straight, but when this occurs I can be riding along on top of the white line on the edge of the road. I've even had my stoker yank on the bars while we are riding, to signal me to "straighten up".
I'm trying to be open minded about this. Maybe there is something I'm doing to create this situation.
One possibility I thought of is that if we both moved our center of gravities off center, with me off to the left and her to the right, the bike would still be balanced. It might even be able to ride straight, while giving the impression to either rider that it is leaning.
I'm not observing that this is happening, but if it occurred slowly over time I might miss it. Does anyone know whether this happens sometimes? How do other tandem couples handle it?
Thanks for any advice. We've solved several problems so far, but this one has me stumped.