Bicycle Built For Two ~

I had never seen a bicycle built for four until a week or so ago when we stumbled upon a whole herd of them.   I’m not sure exactly what you call a whole bunch of cyclists on bicycles built for two, or three, or even four riders – whole families riding in unison on the same bike!  And everyone was smiling.  And no one was arguing or complaining.   They were happy – at least 100 of them.  It was a beautiful sight to behold.  A few even stopped a minute so I could take a picture, others just whizzed on by so I had a lot of pics of rear tires and rear ends.

Of course, this prompted the conversation “We could/should do this.”  Really?  Are you nuts?   We’re a team, a pretty good team, but not one that always works in tandem.  We each dance to our own music.  Hubs is  “Meatloaf – Life’s a Lemon and I Want My Money Back” 70’s and 80’s rock and roll and I’m all Norah Jones.  You should see us dance!  It takes a considerable amount of alcohol to smooth out the differences.  And, I have that unfortunate tendency to lead.  That’s probably not going to change any time soon.  Now, picture those very same people on a tandem bike.  Scary thought.

Apparently there are names for each position.  The person in the front is the pilot and the person in back is called the stoker.   If we were to ever consider such a crazy thing, I’m calling dibs on pilot (it sounds easier and I get to be in charge, ie. lead, which we already know I have experience with).   Hubs can be the muscle in the back.I found some very helpful information from a couple who took a 3 1/2 month tour of Europe on a bicycle built-for-two pretty much on a whim and with no experience.  Sounds like a “Why Not?” to me.  Since their tips for keeping the peace in your relationship while riding tandem pretty much work for relationships in general, I thought I’d pass them along.

Pilot – Do not spit.
Stoker –  Do not be a backseat driver.
Pilot – Do not question the Stoker’s pedaling efforts.
Stoker – Do not lean.
Pilot – Communicate – do not expect the Stoker to be a mind reader.
Stoker – Do not suddenly stop pedaling
Pilot/Stoker – Do not walk away from the tandem and assume that the other person is holding it upright.

So maybe you’ll see us on the road someday.  If I don’t waive, it’s because I’m holding on for dear life with both hands.

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6 thoughts on “Bicycle Built For Two ~

  1. Great post, Nancy! Mr. Maurer and I have had conversations about this very topic. He refuses to even consider getting on a tandem with me. He’s just sure that I’d be on the back coasting while he killed himself hauling the two of us from Point A to Point B. Of course, he does have a bit of historical data to support his theory… there was this one time that we took a boat down a river. And I might have been guilty of lounging in the back of the boat with a cold beer while he did most (all) of the paddling. Relinquishing the lead does have its privileges… I’m just saying!

    • Thanks Andrea. Good points all. I need to seriously work on letting go of being the leader and relax. What can be bad about lounging in the back with a beer? Nothing.

    • True for sure when my kids were “kids”. It would have literally been hell on wheels. These folks looked genuinely happy to be doing this – even the kids.

  2. i’m sad to say our family won’t be doing this any time soon. i, the pilot, would have to have my seat backwards so that i could make sure everyone is listening and following my directions. 🙂

    • Yes, but you could be wearing one of those really cool crowns. What a vision. Thanks for stopping by my blog Bev.

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