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Want a Tandem so bad!

Old 04-23-07, 11:06 AM
  #1  
Ginny
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Want a Tandem so bad!

I love to ride. My dh and I rode over 700 miles last summer in June July and August. For us that was a lot. We own two biz's and don't have that much time together.
The hard thing for me is that he gets in shape so much faster than I do. I'm 40, 5 kids under my tummy and I carry an extra 30 pounds. Getting up the hills kills my engery for the rest of the ride.
When we cycle together there are times that it's really more like 'at the same time', not together.
I do give him loads of credit. When I get frustrated he will let me lead and stay at the 15mph that I go but I know he wants 18-19mph so much that I feel gulity that I slow him down.
We work well together in life. We know what the other needs at the time they need it.
I KNOW that we would make a great tandem team!

This year will be harder to get out together to ride as things got even more complicated in our lives but when we do I want it to be really together, no more 'at the same time'.
Our goal is to do some touring this summer and then an epic ride around The Great Lake Erie next summer. When we go out together, or rather when we went out last year we did 20 to 50 and some 70 mile rides that took the day with lunch and butt breaks.
We did get trainers and rollers for the winter, but many of you know how that goes.

No question here, just wanted to put the words out there.
Anyone else like this?
Do you have more fun, get to go faster, laugh more in the few moments you get together?
Ginny in Denver
(lucky to have a brick and mortar tandem shop nearby)
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Old 04-23-07, 01:18 PM
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We got our tandem for the reasons you stated. On single bikes we could ride at the same time, but never together. On the tandem, we enjoy the ride together & that's the purpose of it! Sounds like it's time for you to head to the tandem shop.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:29 PM
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We've had the exact same experience of riding at the same time, but not together. The first ride we had our tandem together was probably about the first time we'd actually had a conversation while biking together. Granted, we haven't biked together very often but it got old very quickly with me asking her to speed up and her telling me to slow down. The tandem is a lot more enjoyable even though we haven't put many miles on it yet. I still get a pretty decent workout since we're pulling our daughter in a trailer at the same time.

Rick
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Old 04-23-07, 01:42 PM
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I think a tandem would be perfect based on your post. I'm pretty new at it, but it does seem that the tandem takes whatever power that each rider is able to give and uses it to get you down the road. Just look a the hudge difference in power that I have compaired to my 8 year old stoker.

Talking was a little difficult at first, then Santa brought us a Tandem-com for Christmas and that has made riding a tandem even more enjoyable.

You should try finding a shop to rent one, that'll get you good and hooked. Lots of info out there on the Net for new riders.

Good luck
Shayne
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Old 04-23-07, 03:13 PM
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Ginny, we got our tandem for the same reason; my wife and I love to ride, but I'm the one guilty of speeding ahead. It's as awesome as you think; we can have a great ride, and still be together. In fact, we love it so much we're going on our first tandem tour sometime this summer!

Riding a tandem is very different from riding two bikes; you do need a lot of verbal communication, and you'll also need a sense of humor, especially at first. On our first ride, we didn't manage to work as a team until 15 miles had gone by; sometimes, I felt like I was dragging her behind me! Fortunately, I had prepared mentally for this (and I'm a pretty mellow guy, anyway), but I can understand how a lot of couples put 10 miles on it and give up.

But once we got the kinks worked out, we flew, and we had such a great time.

If you haven't looked at them yet, SB's tandem articles are a must-read, and there are plenty of other resources floating around.
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Old 04-23-07, 03:46 PM
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Thanks to all.
I re-read my post and didn't realize how how much my need to see my husband came
through. Sorry about that. Our lives really are complicated and this summer will be
a hard one. Even if we pay $3k for a bike and only get 200 miles on it, it will be 200
miles we did together.
Thanks again,
Ginny
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Old 04-23-07, 04:11 PM
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My stoker is blind so for us the tandem was a no-brainer. Had she been sighted chances are good she would not have wanted to be on a tandem but in charge of her own bike! She is very fit and would have no trouble 'keeping up'. Captaining a tandem is not at all like riding a 'single'. I have never had a sighted person ride with me so I don't know if it is due to the fact that 'J' doesn't balance that well but I have a hard time up front and it takes constant concentration to keep us right side up. Do you know that your DH wants that added responsibility? I do suspect he would be less averse to the idea (since he gets to steer) than if the situation were the other way around and he was asking you to think about trying tandeming. Still, I think way more is made about the difference in power between men and women than is actually the case. I might be wrong but I think in an activity like cycling where the stress is primarily (should be) aerobic and the prime movers are the large muscles in the thigh that women have much more performance capability than they actually utilize. The reason women cyclists are so slow has much more to do with psychology than physiology. Harsh but largely true. I have seen hugely fit women cyclists crawl along at six mph squeezing the brakes every four feet with their boyfriends riding behind them. You are doing great at 15mph and I doubt that 'j' and I on our tandem 'average' much faster over distance on mixed terrain. 19mph? In his dreams, maybe for a short distance but averaged out the two of you are probably a lot closer in ability than you think, its just that he can't believe that and pulls ahead to keep his ego intact. Are you prepared to indulge him if he wants to hit 40mph on a runnout a time or few?? Just being the devils advocate.

H
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Old 04-23-07, 04:26 PM
  #8  
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Ginny:

The word is 'TWOgether!'
Been doing that for 32+ years and are now on our 5th tandem.

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 04-23-07, 06:52 PM
  #9  
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Ginny,

You are PERFECT for a tandem. Your "Captain" may need some training from the "STOKER". A gentle slap upside the head gets the CAPT attention really quick as does a cold hand down one's shorts! LOL!
Some of our best rides have been on our Tandem. This was the best money we ever spent and have had our since 1989. We don't care about speed because we arrive where ever we go at the same time.

Tandem riding is all about finding the "TEAMS" cadence and gearing is what does it. My wife is not a great cyclist, so I only ask her for extra power when we truly need it. Most times I pull a higher gear to keep the cadence down for her, and I can build my muscles up. This makes my spinning on my recumbent or MTB that much better.

I hope you can find a Club or a LHS that has Tandem riders. This is the best way to figure out if a Tandem is for you. I would highly recommend getting a Santana Tandem catolog and reading about tandems. I AM NOT SAYING TO BUY A SANTANA! They are wonderful bikes, but there are many out there that will fit you and work out much cheaper.

Good Luck!

Chris
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Old 04-23-07, 08:19 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
You are doing great at 15mph and I doubt that 'j' and I on our tandem 'average' much faster over distance on mixed terrain. 19mph? In his dreams, maybe for a short distance but averaged out the two of you are probably a lot closer in ability than you think, its just that he can't believe that and pulls ahead to keep his ego intact. Are you prepared to indulge him if he wants to hit 40mph on a runnout a time or few?? Just being the devils advocate.

H
Nope, it's true, 18-19mph for nice long stretches. We live about 18 miles from Elitch Gardens 6 Flags in Denver, most all on a bike trail. We've done that run in just under an hour once. I gave all I could for that hour and we made it. It was when I was in my best shape. Normally I do it in 1.25 hours.
Tom used to bike to work 3-4 times per week and that was 22 miles one-way. He's not a pro but he can get into shape really fast when he rides with purpose. He really does do 18-19mph on average if I let him.

And just as an aside, it was his idea to look into tandeming. I know he wants this to be a sport we can do together and that we both enjoy. He's a good man and I'm lucky. I'm just unlucky that I can't get into shape as fast as he. But I'm holding 30 extra pounds and he may only be holding 10 extra. I'm even going to go get stress tested by a sports med dr this year to make sure all is okay.

Ginny
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Old 04-23-07, 08:25 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ang1sgt
Ginny,

You are PERFECT for a tandem. Your "Captain" may need some training from the "STOKER". A gentle slap upside the head gets the CAPT attention really quick as does a cold hand down one's shorts! LOL!
Some of our best rides have been on our Tandem. This was the best money we ever spent and have had our since 1989. We don't care about speed because we arrive where ever we go at the same time.

Chris
Thanks Chris. The more I've thought about it and the more research I've done just today (I'm off today, thankfully) the more I think that this would really be good for us. We really do work well together in other things we do.

As for the training, I'm sure we'll train each other so we work well as a team. But I do like the idea of the cold hand down the shorts. He's going to bibs now so that will be harder, but that doesn't mean I can't try, .

Ginny
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Old 04-23-07, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
Ginny:

The word is 'TWOgether!'
Been doing that for 32+ years and are now on our 5th tandem.

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Ya'll are my new inspiration!
Got pics of you two for my fridge?

Ginny
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Old 04-23-07, 10:35 PM
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Ginny:

Inspiration? Make that perspiration too!
Ages 74/72 and 200,000+ (S)miles . . . TWOgether!
Photo was taken last month.

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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IR&K spring07.jpg (48.7 KB, 88 views)
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Old 04-24-07, 12:36 PM
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What a great photo!
You both look 20 years younger and like you've enjoyed your life and time
TWOgether!
Thanks Kay, this made my day!
Ginny
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Old 04-24-07, 12:41 PM
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Ginny,

I wish you luck. On thing to remember is that I've never met a nasty couple that rides Tandems. They have always been pleasant and fun to be with. Plus, there is a lot of personalization that goes on with the bike itself. I don't think I've ever seen a tandem without some special touch on it that says this is "OUR" tandem. On our Tandem it was having to find the brightest Pink water bottle mounts we could find. That looked so good with the Black paint of the frame.

Chris
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Old 04-25-07, 06:59 AM
  #16  
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When we cycle together there are times that it's really more like 'at the same time', not together.
Ginny, that's extremely well put. I've been an evangelical bikie for ever but could never persuade Kate to come touring with me, for exactly that reason. Once we bought the tandem - not very long ago - Kate almost immediately agreed to go away for a few days in June. I'd almost given up on the idea of ever being able to introduce her to the only way to go on holiday, only to find that there's a whole better way of cycling!

Am v excited, and can only say go on go on go on go on go on - get yerselves a tandem! You won't regret it!

Dave
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Old 04-25-07, 10:27 AM
  #17  
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Ginny - as you probably know, Tandem Cycle Works (in Denver) is one of the largest tandem retailers in the country. Pat & Lynn are very helpful and can give each of you a test ride - as a stoker on one of their bikes. Then, if you like it, they will likely let you take one for a spin around Washington Park. This will help you decide if you want to buy one.
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Old 04-26-07, 08:13 AM
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Echoing most all of the comments above, we've had our T1000 for a year now and ~3000 miles later we both agree it's the 'second' most fun thing we do together!! Wish we had gotten it years ago. I can't think of anything better for our health and overall relationship --although I can see if the relationship is rocky, the tandem might not be the best first step!

We occasionally ride singles but like everyone has mentioned, it's mostly 'at the same time, not together'. But you two sound ripe for one! Go for it.

Let us know the results.
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Old 04-30-07, 06:16 PM
  #19  
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Just in case you haven't heard this: a tandem will always change your relationship. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It's like making love to that special someone for hours at a time. If that sounds like fun, it will be. If not, not. Because it's just like that - you feel each other through the pedals continuously. You respond to each other. You communicate through the bicycle. It's very, very cool. Or not.
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Old 04-30-07, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Just in case you haven't heard this: a tandem will always change your relationship. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It's like making love to that special someone for hours at a time. If that sounds like fun, it will be. If not, not. Because it's just like that - you feel each other through the pedals continuously. You respond to each other. You communicate through the bicycle. It's very, very cool. Or not.
Very Shakespearian…
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Old 05-01-07, 08:16 AM
  #21  
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Ginny,

You sound a lot like my wonderful girlfriend. She is pushing 50 (don't say a word!) and is battling her weight. She is a noob cyclist whereas I have been riding and racing bikes for 20 years. When we ride single bikes, our average is about 10 MPH (on our rolling/hilly local roads) and I basically coast almost the whole time. When we ride the tandem, we average about 16 MPH on the same roads.

One thing that you may find is that you actually get a harder workout on your single. When you have to climb something all by yourself, you can't get lazy and depend on the motor in the front! So, even though my girl and I go faster on the tandem, we still ride singles too.....
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Old 05-01-07, 08:34 AM
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Hi Galen,
One thing I WILL NOT EVER do is depend on Tom to be my motor up the hills.
The fact that he even wants to ride a tandem with me means that I always need to pull my own weight.
I've no intention of ever not doing my share.
And though I may get a better workout on the solo, I'll actually lose weight on the tandem.
I ALWAYS work out of my target zone. WAY high into my maximum rate, and no where close to the zone to use the marshmellow around my tummy.
I rode 700+ miles in three months last year and didn't drop a pound. When I talked to a trainer, I was told that I was working TOO hard and my body held all the fat, just in case.
I've found with my new HRM that I only stay in the fat zon while on the trainer at home. I can't stay there on the real road. I'm into my max in about 3 miles. So this may help me to stay in the fat burnin' zone and take off some weight while still riding with Tom.

We did find a bike, BTW. It's a previously loved Burley Paso Doble. The current rider wants a racing tandem and so I get to take this off his hands. Lucky me! Or lucky US!

Ginny
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Old 05-01-07, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ginny
I rode 700+ miles in three months last year and didn't drop a pound. When I talked to a trainer, I was told that I was working TOO hard and my body held all the fat, just in case.

You did not loose a pound during your 700+ miles because you replaced all the calories you used cycling. Whoever told you you were working "TOO hard" well....let's just say that I would find anything that person says to be suspect.

Loosing weight is a simple addition/subtraction math equation. If you know your base metabolic rate (how many calories you use per day just to stay alive) and how many calories you use during exercise activities, all you have to do to loose weigh is take in less calories than you use. If you are minus 3500 calories per week you will loose one pound of fat that week. It's just that simple. If you replace all your calories you will stay at the same weight.
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Old 05-01-07, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ginny
Hi Galen,
One thing I WILL NOT EVER do is depend on Tom to be my motor up the hills.
The fact that he even wants to ride a tandem with me means that I always need to pull my own weight.
I've no intention of ever not doing my share.
And though I may get a better workout on the solo, I'll actually lose weight on the tandem.
I ALWAYS work out of my target zone. WAY high into my maximum rate, and no where close to the zone to use the marshmellow around my tummy.
I rode 700+ miles in three months last year and didn't drop a pound. When I talked to a trainer, I was told that I was working TOO hard and my body held all the fat, just in case.
I've found with my new HRM that I only stay in the fat zon while on the trainer at home. I can't stay there on the real road. I'm into my max in about 3 miles. So this may help me to stay in the fat burnin' zone and take off some weight while still riding with Tom.

We did find a bike, BTW. It's a previously loved Burley Paso Doble. The current rider wants a racing tandem and so I get to take this off his hands. Lucky me! Or lucky US!

Ginny
Check out this article...https://www.velogirls.com/resources/p...tions/base.htm

The Velogirls web site is a great resource and focuses on the needs of women.
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Old 05-01-07, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
One thing that you may find is that you actually get a harder workout on your single.
I disagree. Like many tandem teams, in ours the male is the stronger. But I have to tell my wife to back off on the tandem, especially on steep hills. She wants to muscle the thing up all by herself, like she does on her single. Backing off on the hills keeps her effort more even, more constant. She goes farther and actually has a much harder workout, because I help her even it out and enable her to go farther and climb steeper than she could on her single. Another thing I notice is that the tandem doesn't accelerate as quickly as a single. It doesn't "get out of the way" of a strong pedal stroke. That creates a sort of constant resistance training that is very beneficial. Climbing a long hill in a big gear really gets my thighs squawking.

Forget that trainer. He/she is completely full of it. Nonsense. Weight change in pounds is calories in minus calories out divided by 3500. The harder you ride, the more you'll lose - provided you don't eat it all back! You'll find you don't have to eat as much post ride as you might think.

And congrats on the Paso Doble! A fine bike.

Edit: Another thing kinda came to me. My wife and I are naturally within 3-4 beats of each other on the tandem. She can tell what I want by the feel of the pedals. Either that or we always just want the same thing! But if that doesn't come immediately, suggest both of you wear HRMs. Then either of you can call out the effort level: 148 on this long climb, or let's take this all the way to LT here, or long upwind now - let's even it out at 135.

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