I’ll ride my bike and you can walk your bike or lets get a tandem
Yesterday out riding I seemed to pass an abnormally high number of couples out riding on the trails. Maybe it was the good weather and longer daylight. The scenario I saw was that the guys were riding or waiting and the women were walking what appeared to be nice new bikes.Maybe they were demo bikes? It need not be the guys, I have seen plenty of strong women riders, in fact, I ran across several solo women riding really strong, hard to keep up with strong, yesterday. I guess they dropped there partner. These were not difficult trails, and they were in for a long walk if what I saw was any indication. This, of course, brings up the “tandems are divorce machines” meme.
I better come clean and say that Lisa has her own nice mountain bike, I just don’t ride much with her. I applaud and encourage her to get better, ride with other women, get coaching, whatever she needs and wants, just not with or from me. If I do ride with Lisa on our single bikes, I make sure to have our dog or some other significant handicap with us. I am not sure what Lisa thinks we are doing but I am going on a dog run, not mountain biking, so its ok.
This brings me back the couples I saw today. Of course, I am looking at these couples through my colored lens of knowing what I can do on a tandem. Of course, I think they would be way better off on an MTB tandem also. I wish I had a tandem to loan out for demos (MTB Tandems, Inc, Ventana?). It would be a challenge and learning experience for both. Sure this does not make it perfect, I and I am sure most of us have each gotten frustrated on our MTB tandems and that’s fine, it happens because we care, I think ;-). I see these couples and think, “Wow, I wonder how long this is going to last, If only they knew what you could do on an MTB tandem”. When I go on a team ride and Lisa is not working we always ride our tandem. Sure I am not as fast as I would be by myself, but we are not holding anyone up either. We keep up just fine and there are fast riders on our team. I did a quick google search for tandem bicycle marriage her is a quote from an old article. “You’re strong enough to be a good cyclist,” he said, “and I have the road skills. Maybe with a tandem bike, we could spend more time together and exercise, too.” Now I am not about to advocate riding a road tandem, I don’t care for that at all, my “road” tandem has flat bars. Or how about this more recent article on a marriage counseling website, “Bike riding, downtown, on the canal…this is gonna be a cool date!” Then we hopped on that tandem bike. All those nice feelings went away…quickly!” They should try riding separate mountain bikes, that is way harder.
I am sure this won’t be my last post on the topic. My point to to say, if you have a significant difference in riding ability, riding a mountain bike tandem can be a great challenge for both, you can ride with your buddies, and much friendlier on the relationship then 1/2 bikes.
I better go get some training in, Lisa and I are racing the Whiskey Off-Road in about 1 month and that is a hard race, I would rather not be the weak link on the team.