Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Learning The Tandem Dance

Still making modifications to the tandem device.......
There is this thing called a tandem bicycle. I wanted one so that I could introduce my bicycle resistant daughter to the joys of cycling. She wasn't too thrilled about solo travel, but sitting behind Dad? She was okay with that idea after I sold her on the "you just have to sit there and pedal" deal. Trouble was, I didn't have a tandem.

That got solved last year when a very gracious and kind gentleman by the name of Bruce Brown stepped up and offered a Raleigh tandem to me on a "permanent loan" basis to further the cause of getting my daughter to the point that she could enjoy cycling with the family. So far, it has been a success story.

But we're still working on it.

There is a certain "dance" to tandem riding. Tandem owners all over that are reading this are probably all wagging their heads at my realization of this fact. You simply do not just "ride" a tandem. I can see the meme for that clearly! Anyway, it has been a revelatory experience for me. My daughter? She doesn't know anything else. For her, everything is "normal". Ha! If she only knew!

The first thing, as a "captain", that you need to do is to communicate. Yep. Got that right away. Shifting! Bump coming! Stopping! Coasting! Pedal! ......On and on. My daughter is really great at following my lead.

But I figured out something else just the other day. I was coming out of a tight corner with my daughter on the tandem while we were testing out a new saddle for her. The kind of slow speed corner that kills your momentum and might cause you to dab a foot type of thing. We were coasting. I thought, like a single rider, "Whoops! Too slow, too high a gear. Gonna be tough not to dab.....". Then I thought, "Pedal!". Oh yeah.....PEDAL! I called out the command. The "turbo boost" from my daughter righted the ship and we powered out of that corner like a motorcycle. That was fun.

I had us do it about six more times before calling it a night.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I always ask my son for "extra power" up hills and he throws it down for us! We got a Bike Friday and it has been a joy- the internal three-speed also makes last-second shifting easier.

Tandems are awesome.