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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 05-20-12, 06:05 PM   #1
jimmuller 
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What not to do as captain

Had a new experience yesterday. We were riding the Minuteman Bike Path on our way home, maybe 12 miles to go on what amounted to 45 miles. At one point there is a short dogleg recently built into the bike path to prevent cyclists from dashing out into traffic without at least having to slow. We crossed the road and were making the sharp turn back onto the path when another cyclist rather oblivious to her surroundings drifted over onto our side of the path. I had no choice but to run off the right shoulder and brake hard to avoid hitting a fence. We stopped safely, I took a deep breath, and said to my sweetie "Here we go."

Once back on the path the back of the bike felt a bit loose so I asked her "You okay?" No answer. I asked again, no answer. I checked in my mirror and she wasn't there. She was 100 yards back walking up the trail! She'd hopped off the bike when we'd stopped, never said anything. At least she was laughing, said she'd tried waving her arms and yelling so I'd notice.

Rule #2: Do not ride off and leave your stoker behind.
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Old 05-20-12, 07:10 PM   #2
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OMG! Hilarious...
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Old 05-20-12, 08:49 PM   #3
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Sounds like NCIS and Gibbs' rules...
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Old 05-20-12, 09:13 PM   #4
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That's crazy. We both got a good laugh out of that one.
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Old 05-21-12, 12:20 AM   #5
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After climbing to the top of the Gottard Pass (central Swiss Alps, over 2000 metres altitude) on our tandem with some single-bike friends, we took photos at the Pass sign, and then got ready to do the descent. Everyone was ready to go, so I started to push off when my wife shouted to me that she might want to go down the mountain with me as well as up. Ooops! I decided that she made a good point, and stopped to let her get back on. I haven't been able to live that one down yet, and frequently get reminded of it.

So the lesson is: Don't almost leave your stoker on top of an Alp, because your forgetfulness might get you into big trouble.

Last edited by Chris_W; 05-22-12 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 05-21-12, 08:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the great story! My stoker/bride and I got a good laugh, after some vicarious cussing about the oblivious OTHER cyclist.

I was working at the San Diego Century last Saturday and had occasion to chat with several tandem teams. I was amazed that a few of them had never heard of Rule Number One!
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Old 05-21-12, 09:51 AM   #7
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We were on a group ride last night, and had to stop at the bottom of an uphill about a block prior to the group's destination. She didn't feel we could get up the hill together (new tandem riders and not a very strong stoker), so she walked the hill. I rolled in saying "Is she gone again? I knew I shouldn't have ridden past that shoe store!"
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Old 05-21-12, 10:33 AM   #8
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.... not a very strong stoker), so she walked the hill. I rolled in saying "Is she gone again? I knew I shouldn't have ridden past that shoe store!"
You must have a great relationship, 'cause that's dangerous territory.

On yesterday's ride up an early hill I suggested walking might be faster. Bad move on my part; my wife does not like to walk up hills and the truth is I can climb the tandem solo faster than two-up and I can walk the tandem uphill faster than my wife can walk, but it's a team kind of thing. Climbing is especially tough when you don't know the course, you think you're almost there and, bingo, more climbing around the next corner.
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Old 05-21-12, 11:37 AM   #9
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"Is she gone again? I knew I shouldn't have ridden past that shoe store!"
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You must have a great relationship, 'cause that's dangerous territory.
I was there and heard him say it, and I thought exactly the same thing!
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-21-12, 01:07 PM   #10
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You must have a great relationship, 'cause that's dangerous territory.
She's got a thick skin and she'll be the first to admit she's not strong or fast right now. Also, it was her idea to walk up. Besides, she's not on this forum. Yet.

Or was it the shoe store comment you were referring to?
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Old 05-21-12, 01:41 PM   #11
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A missed opportunity for a face-saving comeback: "You're so light I didn't know you were missing".
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Old 05-21-12, 05:30 PM   #12
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Finally "She's not pedalling!" was a valid comment. ;-)

I can tell you that another thing not to do is to get a flat, and then discover your tube doesn't have a long enough valve stem for your rims so you both have to walk home.
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Old 05-22-12, 02:43 PM   #13
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And here I am thinking that I'll hear about it if I miss a bump- or railroad crossing call.
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