Out to have new experiences.

Riding bikes seems to be a forever evolving thing.  You start by learning to ride, then try to acquire some skills to improve your riding experience.  With each skill mastered, comes the need to try to do something harder, more challenging.  Well, how about trying to ride a bicycle built for two?

A few weeks back Ogre and I were allowed to borrow a friend’s mountain tandem to see if we would enjoy the experience.  We had played with the idea of getting one for a while, but I was nervous about the discrepancy in our ride levels.  I had heard that matching your cadence is really important in riding a tandem.  We ended our demo ride with big smiles and a decision that a tandem would be a great addition to our bikes.  Over the following weeks we began looking through ads and discussing what features we thought would be the most important to have on our tandem.  I personally wanted a rear suspension.  The demo bike had a Thudbuster seatpost, but I felt like more suspension would be a better option.  We talked about the tandem for a couple more days and finally decided to plan to get one for our anniversary in July.

Then this past week he comes home with the news that another friend has a mountain tandem that he’s getting ready to put up for sale.  Want to try it out, he asks.  Why not.  He makes the arrangements, we get up Saturday morning, load our gear, and head out.  Morgan has the garage open and is setting up the bike so we can try it as we pull up.  He lives close to Joaquin Miller Park and has an idea of a route we can use to demo the bike.  He rode along with us giving us hints and preparing us for anything tricky up ahead.  The funniest part was him telling us how he rides this section or that one with his son so we should be ok.  We manage to complete the route without any carnage and return to his house again wearing big smiles.  What a blast!

Ogre turns to me with one question, so we doing this?  Oh, yeah!  So now we have our own tandem mountain bike to hit the trails.  It’s going to take a little while to learn how to ride the tandem together.  Other tandem riders we’ve spoken to have given us lots of great advice.  The one thing that keeps coming up is that the captain and stoker must learn some commands.   Everything from which foot to start pedaling with to when to coast have to be communicated back and forth.  It’s going to be interesting learning all new skills, but I definitely think I’m up to the challenge.

One thought on “Out to have new experiences.”

  1. Don’t sell the Thudbuster short. It rocks.

    My husband and I have one on our road tandem and he feels the bumps far more than I do. We were told he’d have to call out all the bumps but we don’t even bother anymore.


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