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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 10-24-05, 11:32 AM   #1
Time for a change.
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Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
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Nice to be wanted.

I am 17 years older than my pilot. Getting on a bit and not as fit as I used to be and definitely not as strong. I do sometimes wonder if I am not putting in enough power to keep my 180lb muscle bound pilot from feeling that something is lacking on the Tandem. Mainly "Is he carrying too much Dead weight"?

Yesterday he went out on his solo offroad for the first time in about 12 months. Remember he is an accomplished rider- Ultra fit and plenty of stamina. He phoned me up after his ride to let me know that he does not like Solo's anymore. The front wheel would not go where he wanted it to go- it bounced around off every flint, would not climb out of ruts, and seemed bent on destructing itself at every lump he hit. Uphills, where I always felt our tandem team lacked, he could not keep momentum, and at each muddy section the bike slowed and the amount of wheelspin he got was annoying. Then he gave me the biggest compliment going. He felt that he was definitely lacking in power to get over the obstacles and through tricky sections. The secondary engine was not there.

Both of us have felt for sometime that solo riding lacks something, but I think that we have actually got that Tandem so set up that it works. The suspension he understands and knows how to hit things so that it goes through it. The ruts are not a problem as the weight on the front wheel pulls the rest of the bike out of them, and as for wheelspin- That extra weight does give us traction. As for power uphill, That is where I have to work and I realise it. Then there are silly little things like balance, and weight distribution. A stoker has to work on this thing to keep it upright and even in the right direction.

Glad to know that I was missed yesterday, and that I have a few more years aggressive riding in me before I become surplus to requirements. For any other stokers out there that wonder if you are any use on the tandem, get your pilot to take out a solo and see if he enjoys it. Mine didn't.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

Spike Milligan
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Old 10-24-05, 07:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
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Way to go stoker!
My stoker is 'only' 70 and she'll outdo most other stokers! Experience counts!
While we are nowhere near as fast or feisty or daring than we were 30 years ago we're still doing it!
Growing old is not for sissies!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 10-25-05, 04:43 AM   #3
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I put out most of the power when tandeming: I'm an experienced international bike racer, recently retired, and my stoker is a small former marathon runner with a knee injury. She's not along for the torque. We don't match up well in a race with other teams, but as we're both retired from successful racing carers that's not why we're doing this. It's fun for both of us, no matter the power dsitribution.
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Old 10-25-05, 09:16 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Southern Indiana
Bikes: Trek 5200 | Cannondale Six13 TeamOne | Cannondale Road Tandem | Cannondale Prophet 3 "Lefty"
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Way to go stapfam! That is wonderful news I'm sure to hear as a stoker.

I have to admit ... I love riding my single. However, I had an experienced young lady of only 28yrs as stoker a couple weeks ago and it was SO NICE to have someone with some stamina, strength, and experience as a stoker with me ... she literally TORE UP the uphills. It was so gratifying to have someone on the bike who pushed up the hills as hard as I do. Her experience as a cyclist and experienced stoker showed thru in all areas ... especially when the tempo went up.

I know what it is like to appreciate the stoker's efforts!

Way to go!
15' Wabi Special Single-Speed Road
06' Cannondale Six13 TeamOne
06' Cannondale Prophet 3 "Lefty"
92' Trek 5200
05' Cannondale Road Tandem
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