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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 07-07-09, 04:28 PM   #1
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I'll be spending 4 days with a Parkinsons patient next week. I am looking for suggestions to get her started stoking. She's not in good shape, hasn't biked for years, and has lower back problems.
1) Seat height - should I set it for an almost straight extended leg or should the seat go lower? She will be on a big fat cushy seat.
2) Cadence - I want to get our cadence up to 90 with her contributing. Can we progress to this level in 4 days? How should I start with her training? I will have her feet strapped onto the pedals.
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Old 07-07-09, 04:46 PM   #2
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lower seat would be more comfortable if the seat is big
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Old 07-09-09, 07:32 AM   #3
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Based on my experiences with a grandfather who had Parkinsons, I would start with the bike securely fastened to a trainer. Depending on how her mobility is, she may have difficulty balancing. I know Grandpa did.....
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Old 07-09-09, 01:46 PM   #4
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I'd pm asu_gt. He was doing a study on Parkinsons with tandems.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:56 PM   #5
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90 RPM is a bit much. This is not your typical athlete in training.
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Old 07-09-09, 03:52 PM   #6
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Something to consider....since this is a new experience for both parties and clearly you want her to enjoy the stoker experience, I would offer that you reconsider your specific cadence goals for now and increase the attention you are already giving to her comfort. Specifically ignor your speed/cadence desires and totally focus on paying close attention to reading just how much she can do physically and do whatever it takes to insure she continues smiling right from the first pedal strokes. If anything, under-perform compared to what you might like to do, particularly on day one. If you can get her off the bike happy and comfortable that first day and have her sincerely looking forward to getting on the tandem the next will be a real hero.
Consider that if someone hasn't ridden in a long while, facing four days of riding a tanden just may be be a bit intimidating, not to mention a bit demanding physically.... and that is aside from any medical challenges someone might also be dealing with.
Constantly communicate with her about what you are doing or what you are about to do so she gets no surprises and starts to feel confident in what is coming at her...frequently asking if she wants more or less speed...cadence up/down...or whatever. Seeking that feedback from her sure can't hurt until you are dailed into what she can handle and enjoy. Error on the side of going too easy...having her tell you to 'step it up a bit' or her telling you to 'butt out because she's fine. so quit asking' ...would be a very good thing.
Wishing you and her the best of time.

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