Larry – I started tandeming about 25 years ago. I knew less than nothing about quality bikes in general and tandem bikes in particular. Our first tandem was a well used J.C. Penney one speed with a coaster brake. We paid $100 for it and my wife was not pleased, remarking she could think of a thousand things she would rather have for a $100.
But the bike grew on her. It was just a neighborhood cruiser. It went to the ice cream store many times as well as other local fun places. We had a great time on that bike. We soon agreed we wanted a better bike that would go a little faster and take us a little farther. A lifetime passion was born. Before long we were members of the local bicycle club and making lots of new, lifetime, bike friends.
We did our first tour on the KATY more than 20 years ago. I thought the KATY was a big deal, but now know it was great fun but no big deal. Since the KATY, there have been probably 15 tours ranging from Utah to N.Y. to Vancouver to Nova Scotia to France and the list goes on. We’ll probably never top THE BIG RIDE for length or duration, but that’s okay. There are lots of great tours out there to be had that won’t take all summer to do.
When I was brand new to tandeming, someone gave me a copy of John Schubert’s The Tandem Scoop. The book is still in print and contains a wealth of information specific to tandeming. I reread it several times before passing it on to another newbie team. Schubert talked about the Three C’s of Tandeming. Cooperation. Coordination. And Companionship. True words and each a must for happy tandeming. In all my years of tandeming, I’ve never had a cross word with any of my stokers.
That probably has something to do with Schubert’s Rules of Tandeming. Captain’s Rule: Never scare your stoker. Stoker’s Rule: Trust your captain. Overall Rule: The stoker’s always right.
So, if you will be always mindful of the Three C’s and obey the Tandem Rules, you’ll be able to have a wonderful time with your special someone for eleven weeks on a bicycle built for two. I read somewhere that whichever way your relationship with your significant other was going, a tandem bicycle would accelerate the process. We are each really excited at the quality time with each other that we’re going to enjoy. In the hectic workaday world, quality time is sometimes hard to come by.
I have known a few couples, each strong cyclists in their own right, who acquired and then quickly sold a tandem for the sake of preserving their marriage. It happens. But Martha and I have always known our bike to be just like that song – ‘A Love Machine’.
We fly in two weeks. Start pedaling on June 4. It’s here.
Not us, but the bike is a lot like my first tandem
Maybe us - after a couple of glasses of wine