Time for a change.
New Stoker/ pilot
My regular Pilot is laid up at present and will be for another Month. 2 months off the Tandem have already been too long. I have had the occasional road ride with anyone I can collar but it is not the same as going out and hitting a good few hills with clay and chalk under the wheels. Last week I forced one of my solo group to ride stoker but he did not enjoy it. Yesterday I made him come out with me again, but after 12 miles I let him have a go on the front. What a difference. His attitude changed almost immediately. We suddenly started to go for the hills, he was actually looking for the Quick route over the lumps instead of the easy one, and he actually admitted that it was better, faster and more enjoyable than his solo rides. Still got a lot to do with him though as he still rides like a solo rider, too low a cadence, not looking ahead, and too damn slow downhill.
Hopefully it will not be necessary to use him for too long though as with a bit of luck my regular pilot, Stuart, will be back and the one thing I have with him is trust. I know he is a downhill freak, but I have no objection to 50mph downhill over rough ground, with him in control. The new pilot is still nervous above 30. There is also a 5th sense that comes with 2 regular riders of a team that just works. It took about 6 months for me and Stuart to work together 100% and I would hate to have to do that again with someone else