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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-06-11, 06:07 PM   #1
Nachoman
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Do you and your stoker (or captain) like to climb?

I do. But she doesnít. So we donít.
What about you?
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Old 09-06-11, 06:27 PM   #2
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why doesnt she like to climb?
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Old 09-06-11, 07:34 PM   #3
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No, but we like to descend.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:28 PM   #4
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Ditto. I do, she doesn't. Funny thing is though, she's pretty d#@%$d good at it!
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Old 09-06-11, 08:34 PM   #5
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why doesnt she like to climb?
She can pedal 50 flat miles, at a pretty good clip, and enjoy the whole ride. But last weekend we did 35 miles, with only 1500 feet of climbing, and there was a lot of belly aching.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:46 PM   #6
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Pretty sure she does, problem is she thinks we are at the top about 200 feet before we actually crest. Then she gets upset I tell her don't stop now. Descending she is fine with up to a certain point. Luckily at speed the wind blocks some sounds. As church lady as my stoker is, I thought I heard some evil flying off her tongue.

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Old 09-07-11, 04:11 AM   #7
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I do and she indulges me from time to time, as the route dictates. I am sensible enough to avoid the major climbing challenges I relish solo, but some training hills have become part of our ride (we live on a hill so it takes a particular route to get home along the ridgeway!) and I remember a year or so back when she first made the climb cleanly as I coached her through it that there were quite a few whoops at the top!

Not sure if that counts as enjoying a climb, but she does take satisfaction from completing them with me and we were pretty pleased to pass a lot of walking solos on our recent 100k sponsored ride when we came to the major climb half way through!
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Old 09-07-11, 04:43 AM   #8
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Boy Paul, Pat and Jeanne are so much alike! You have described Pats feeling about climbing to a T. Pat likes climbing more than descending but is OK with it as long as she can't tell what speed we are going. We are both lucky to have such fun loving stokers!
Ed and Pat Gifford
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Old 09-07-11, 06:31 AM   #9
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No, but we like to descend.
+1 We hate climbing.
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Old 09-07-11, 06:36 AM   #10
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My kid stokers jabber away happily whether we're climbing or not... of course, they don't really put any effort into the climb...
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Old 09-07-11, 08:51 AM   #11
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Neither of us "like" to climb BUT, since we live in Colorado, we do it anyway, LOL! I'll admit, if we can find a way around a climb, not adding a lot of extra miles, we will "do it". We don't have a way cool, super lite tandem and neither of us are strong, single riders either so why beat ourselves up, just to prove we can? I know, were WIMPS, oh well, if the shoe fit's wear it with pride,
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Old 09-07-11, 10:19 AM   #12
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My kid stokers jabber away happily whether we're climbing or not... of course, they don't really put any effort into the climb...
+1

It can be like carrying luggage around sometimes. Of course my girls are only 4 so they have an excuse.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:07 AM   #13
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If there isn't a good amount of climbing I don't feel its even a bike ride.
Flat rides bore the heck out of me and I don't have the power to go fast on flats like some bigger riders do.
My wife can tolerate a little bit of climbing on her single and is much slower than I am.
On the tandem we do much more climbing but avoid the extreme stuff I do on my single.
Our uphill speed is slow but steady and we both enjoy it.
It may be your stoker needs to gradually become conditioned to climbing.
Using lower gears and not pushing too hard may also make it more enjoyable for her.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:41 AM   #14
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We are not any good at it but we do enjoy climbing, particularly the part when we get to the top.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:59 AM   #15
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We are not any good at it but we do enjoy climbing, particularly the part when we get to the top.
+1

The first couple of times that we rode a local route with some hills we had to use the smallest of three rings up front and the biggest of eight sprockets in back. (In other words, the lowest gear on our bike.) On our most recent ride on the same route, we didn't use the small ring up front at all. We were able to climb using the middle ring. We were quite proud of ourselves, especially when we passed most of the solo riders!

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Old 09-07-11, 12:36 PM   #16
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Here's a more philosophical response...

If you want to enjoy riding a tandem, you need to very carefully accommodate whatever it is that your stoker wants to get out of riding. Otherwise, you'll end up riding by yourself!

If your stoker likes to challenge themselves physically and gets a thrill out accomplishing something they have not done before, you may be able to turn climbing into a challenge. Do something like timing yourselves whenever you go up a particular climb, and work with your stoker to improve your times. Reward yourselves with a beverage of your choice or something else you both enjoy if you beat your previous effort or get to the top without walking.

On the other hand, if your stoker looks at riding as a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery while also partaking in a little physical activity, you're just going to frustrate both of yourselves by climbing. Instead, go to the beach or lake or whatever scenic route you have nearby, and just enjoy the ride.
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Old 09-07-11, 07:10 PM   #17
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We both like to climb. I am fortunate.

I guess the whole climbing (mostly descending) thing is why we got a tandem in the first place. My wife likes to climb, but her ideal ride on her own bike, would be to climb to the top and then get a ride back down. She just does not feel comfortable descending.

The strange thing is that we now do most of our riding (including lots of climbing as well) on the mtb tandem. The singletrack just makes it more interesting. If you think you get a lot of comments and looks on the road tandem, try offroad, people look at you like you are from another planet!
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Old 09-07-11, 11:03 PM   #18
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She likes climbing more than the flats. If we get in 700'/10 miles, she thinks it was a good ride. 1000'/10 miles is pushing it. She loves to descend too.
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Old 09-08-11, 11:33 PM   #19
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Have you got a cadence computer. It really helps Try to spin 60-100 rpms especially when climbing hills
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Old 09-09-11, 02:48 AM   #20
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We both like to climb. I am fortunate.

I guess the whole climbing (mostly descending) thing is why we got a tandem in the first place. My wife likes to climb, but her ideal ride on her own bike, would be to climb to the top and then get a ride back down. She just does not feel comfortable descending.

The strange thing is that we now do most of our riding (including lots of climbing as well) on the mtb tandem. The singletrack just makes it more interesting. If you think you get a lot of comments and looks on the road tandem, try offroad, people look at you like you are from another planet!
No lie there.

FWIW, like Colotandem, we too, accomplish most of our training off-road. The grades are more intense for our location, and no appreciable momentum. If we know an upcoming road tandem ride will involve climbing or short duration big efforts, we train specifically off-road with climbing. This makes the road bike sometimes have a feel of much less effort to ride faster.

Regardless, of if dirt or paved, the stoker still believes that the climb is completed before cresting over the top.

PK
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Old 09-09-11, 05:36 AM   #21
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Both love to climb. Both love to descend. But what we particularly love is scampering over rises in the road.
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Old 09-09-11, 04:06 PM   #22
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Both love to climb. Both love to descend. But what we particularly love is scampering over rises in the road.
^^^This.

Surfing the rollers is a blast. Makes me feel like I'm 10 yrs. old again.
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Old 09-09-11, 04:22 PM   #23
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We do now! Before we bought the new bike when my stoker saw a hill she would say s**t, but with the new bike her whole attitude has changed she actually enjoys hammering through the few hills we have here in Central Illinois. We rode the Tulsa Tough back in the spring on the nťw bike and she found out that with the new lighter bike climbing is no longer the chore it was on the old bike.

Some say that a lighter bike does not make that much difference, you can believe that if you want.

Wayne
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Old 09-09-11, 05:42 PM   #24
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On her single, she's done 2300 feet within 8 miles about 15 times, 3000 feet within 14 miles about 5 times and 5000 feet in 21 miles. Says she doesn't like it but she has a choice to stay home but she chooses to ride.

On the tandem, we've done a century with maybe 5000 feet of climbing. Done some steep sections of road like the base of Baldy Rd a few times. Says she doesn't like to climb on the tandem because she feels she makes it harder on me. But I've got this urge to do GMR (2300 ft in 8 miles). I'm just not happy about tandem descending on winding roads.

3000 ft


The day she did 5,000 ft with some forum members...if we ever do GMR, I'll be sure to get a picture on the tandem. Should be a pretty clear picture because we won't be moving very fast.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:54 PM   #25
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Surfing the rollers is a blast.
YES! Roller Surfing R Us!! We love this, and our half bike pals love that we love this! The ones who are tuned in to our riding will grab us when they see it coming and go for the ride. We even get the occasional "Yeeee Haaaaah" from them. Stoker loves 'em and starts planning in advance of the known ones, prodding captain to get to the outside so we're not trapped. She is unbearable if we have to brake inside a pack on good rollers, so captain has incentive to think ahead, too.
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