Picture a cycle-fanatic (me) and her bike-ambivalent husband. Can we make a tandem work for us? Or is it a recipe for disaster? Here's where we're at:
-basically hugely bike-obsessed... I zoom around at top speed, I race, tour, I'm car-free, and cover about 10000 miles a year. However, I also love sharing the joys of cycling with less ambitious cyclists, so I do have it in me to be patient.
-will use clipless on the trainer, not in traffic
-has fantastic balance
-has decent cadence (I'd estimate 70-80, mine is about 95)
-needs to develop his fitness (I'm a lot faster than he is, and I'm often happily chatting away at what feels like a low effort until I realize he's he's panting and feeling the burn)
-needs to become more comfortable with bike speeds over 30 km/h (he worries he'll crash). Oh, the good hills and tailwinds he has missed!
-is good about biking in traffic
-likes to coast. I only like to coast if I'm spun out on a good hill.
-is interested in becoming more fit, and is usually easily convinced to do short errands by bike
-thinks 5 miles (round trip) is a long bike ride, but has been motivated enough to go as far as 20 miles non-stop.
-will only wear bike shorts if he wears cargo shorts over top.
I've been thinking about a tandem for a long time, since it would let us travel closer to the speeds and distances I like, while allowing the level of effort (for him) that he likes, thus expanding our cycling world. I assume it's also easier to have a conversation on a tandem? We're about the same height, and I'm very strong, so I don't mind being the captain. I would forsee using it to extend the range of the bike errands we run (visiting friends up to 10 miles away, for example) and for occasional leisure rides. He's not interested enough in cycling (yet?) that it would be used for club rides or touring.
Would a tandem work for us, or would it be better to hold off until our skills are a little more closely aligned? Is a tandem (with clipless pedals) practical in stop-go situations if the stoker is still learning how to use clipless?