A great way to respond to any comments people make about the tandem as we are riding past is to give them a toot of your horn! It makes everyone happy, especially my stoker. Another bonus is that it works equally well in any country/language region.
We recently upgraded from a plastic model that a friend gave us for free to a fancy metal one that I picked up for about US$5 at a department store, which makes an awesome noise:
It may weigh a few hundred grams and it doesn't really help our aerodynamics, but it's more than worth it for all the smiles that it brings. My stoker now honks at anyone she sees who is even standing there staring at the bike as we ride by. Again, lots more smiles
Another interesting cultural difference is that here in Europe, people we don't know have never asked us about the value of the bike. Friends who are serious cyclists have asked, and they are the type who actually understand the value and costs involved, so I don't think twice about discussing it with them, and I try to encourage them to join the tandem crowd. But other types of people just haven't asked, despite often showing interest in the bike. I think people in Europe don't discuss financial matters as openly as N. Americans.
Last edited by Chris_W; 11-07-10 at 01:03 AM.
Asking how much someone paid for something is rude. It is common in the US. I ignore it or tell them, depending upon the situation.
Rawland Drakkar 650B love it with 38mm Soma tires
2009 Specialized Roubaix Ultegra
Santana Fusion Tandem
2010 Specialized TriCross
Challenge Concept Trike
One knee scoped so far.
Homophobia is so gay.
Besides the direct comments to us "She's not pedaling", the one we hear a lot is usually from other couples riding on singles, "That's what we need, you can pedal me around..."
The "She's not pedaling" really starts to pee me off after a while, along with "oh it's easier on a tandem".
But the best quote I heard recently, was young guy leaned out a car window and said "thats the best f***ing thing I've ever seen!" Who am I to argue?!
The sight of a tandem just seems to make people smile! Some make comments, but most just smile!
Before we bought my solo bike (thanks honey!) I often rode our tandem by myself. Now that gets everyone's attention!
"I think you're missing something!"
"Where's your partner?"
Often the person asking is driving alone in a two ton, eight seat SUV.
A couple of teeny-boppers in the front seat of a four-door sedan pulled up next to me at a red light. The silly-girl driver called out "where's your passenger?" I answered "In the back seat with your other passengers." She actually turned around, looked, saw the empty seat, and then with a horrified look on her face cried "That's not funny!"
Last edited by mwandaw; 11-08-10 at 09:26 AM. Reason: I never get it right on the first try!
We were in the mountains, fully loaded + a monowheel trailer. I ask a local people about the road. He take a long look at the tandem and ask "This is a bike???"
A few times I heard "Look, a bike whit 2 pedals". I said "All bikes have 2 pedals". "Oh, I mean 4 pedals!!!"
And my favorite is "Look, a bike whit 4 wheels" )
Often get the comment- "He's Not pedalling" (All male offroad Team)
I just say that if the pilot started steering- then I would pedal.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.
We've gotten a few "She's not pedalling", a couple of "Nice bike" and some others that I don't remember. Once while on a club ride with other tandems we had to go through a construction zone and the flagger called ahead on his radio "Limousine bikes coming through!"
Every once in a while when we're at a stop someone will come up and appear to be examining our bike. Invariably they will zero in on the drum brake and either ask what it is or comment on us having 3 brakes. If someone asks "How much does a thing like that cost?" I answer by saying that a cheap one of these is just over $1000 but ours was custom-built and cost a lot more. I am not offended if someone asks, but I try to evade the question by giving a vague answer (besides, I honestly don't know exactly how much it cost.)
Last edited by swc7916; 11-08-10 at 02:14 PM.
2011 Rodriguez Rohloff tandem
2008 Rodriguez Rainier Lite sport/touring
The best comment I have heard was when I was riding my single behind my roommates who were riding my tandem. A girl on the sidewalk said to my roommates, "Aww...you guys are so cute." Made me laugh for the rest of the ride because they both turned bright red.
The cake is a lie...
We heard a new one today as we were riding our bike through Colonial Williamsburg. A four year old boy shouted out: "Look, twins!"
We often get the typical "not pedaling" comments also, however this weekend while attending an MTB festival, the tandem was the focus of some attention during lunch or pre-ride organizing. The event was 350 riders 345 on single mtb's, 4 on all terrain unicycles, and us on the tandem.
Fiver comments we never heard until this weekend were.
This from a single rider stopped at the top of a technical climb..." this is embarrassing, I've been passed by a tandem"
While riding in a fast group on tight technical singletrack trail I rubbed the rider in front of us, our front tire "buzzed" his rear tire. Without looking back initially, he asks "who is that", I say nothing but his buddy behind us immediately says "you're going too slow", he turns to say something to his friend as we round a corner, sees the tandem and decides he better speed it up. His eyes were the size of silver dollars.
While bench racing around the campfire, stories are flying from various riders about the feats of the day...Ralph, who decided he had to see to believe followed us for a while during the rides that day proclaims to the other riders, "whatever you rode was easy, watching a tandem ride that stuff is unbelievable, and they make it through and don't go slow".
The last was from a ride guide..."we're not going to ride that section because the tandem can't ride it"...after voicing our opinion of don't let us stop you, (we had already ridden the section clean once earlier), our guide took us on another trail, with caution belching from his mouth we and several singles entered and rode the section. As luck would have it, the ride guide couldn't make one climb, I yelled make a hole. He too had wide eyes as the tandem roosted him heading upward over the hack. He was quiet as a church mouse after that.
Also proclaimed by the event photographer..." if you can ride that, I'll kiss your ass", he is now indebted to us.
Yes it was good weekend for us, especially the girl that rides on the back, I'm super proud of her and excited to let others know.
Our stokers all deserve a lot of credit for putting up with us at times.
Personal soapbox being dismantled now.
Last edited by PMK; 11-14-10 at 07:34 PM.
2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
Some single bikes and a couple of KTM's
And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)
"Oh look, a handicapped bike" We ride a recumbent tandem
Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem
Finally heard a new one (for us)..."Be careful. She is following you way too close".
Most awkward was when some teenagers in a rural village in the Czech Republic asked. Given their likely standard of living at the time, I made up some low price in euros (like 800 euros or something) and left it at that. Even that price seemed to amaze them.
What I jokingly used to say to roadies on our normal route, when they would pass us on one particular hill: "There's no glory in passing a tandem with a baby trailer going uphill!"
I used to do a ride before I got the Tandem on a solo. 100 miles offroad and 10,000ft of climbing. Probably the hardest 1 day ride offroad in the UK. Then in 2003 we did it on the Tandem. It was pointed out by the organisor that although many Tandems had started in previous years- no tandem had ever completed the ride. Nothing like boosting your confidence. And we did finish the ride by the way- First Tandem to complete the organised 100 miler.
But that first year and on the second to last climb-We caught a group of riders going up. They looked shattered but the pilot started talking to the last rider as he drew along side him. The other rider was moaning that it was about time he gave up these long rides- he was getting too old. Then he mentioned- Did you see those old riders on the tandem. They have no chance of finishing so he could not see why they entered. He reckoned the two riders were over 40 and the old one on the back must have been 50 at least. I then piped up that the Tandem was still going and the stoker was 55. He then realised another rider was there and looked back to see the Tandem. Red faced did not come into it--but we could not stop laughing.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.
We were climbing Glendora Mountain Road in southern California shortly after a mountain lion sighting in the local news.
Another rider in the group joked about how excited a mountain lion must get when it sees a tandem... "Shish kebob!"