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Reasons Tandem Bikes are Amazing for Touring
Whether you bike to get some exercise or if it’s a major component of your transportation plan, a tandem bike adds a bit of fun and connection at every turn of the pedal. At least two people are required to make a tandem bike work, so togetherness is an inherent part of every journey. According to Alek Asaduryan, founder of Yes Cycling, these five reasons make tandem bikes a fantastic touring choice.
Tandem bikes are 50% faster than a standard bike for the effort you put in. The total frame weight is lighter, and you have the power of four feet moving two pedals but only needing to turn two tires. Even if one of you can’t pedal terribly fast, you’re contributing to the total power of travel.
Another helpful benefit of having two folks on one bike is that only one of them needs to fight the wind resistance. This means the second rider will put all their power into moving the bike forward, rather than moving their body and bike forward.
A tandem bike can also be a great set of training wheels for an older rider just getting back on the bike, returning to cycling after an injury, or learning to ride. The front rider can steer and balance, while the back rider just adds horsepower and gets the feel of balancing.
Visibility and Stability
Tandem bikes catch the eye. First off, the riders are having a wonderful time, and smiles are always worth another look. Secondly, because tandems can hit incredible speeds on the downhills and flats, they’re leading the pack and easy to spot.
When tandem riders get synced up, they’re a beauty to behold. Two experienced riders will need to take care, however. Any bike can tip. An adult riding point for another adult who’s learning will have to work hard to hit any speed; staying slow and balanced is a better option until all riders have more confidence.
Finally, tandem bikes are outside the norm. Car drivers watching for cyclists will notice two riders on one bike and hopefully, do a better job of watching out for all the riders.
Tandem bikes are a wonderful way to travel with children. First of all, you don’t have to pull a trailer and worry about your child bouncing around or the trailer coming loose in any fashion. Your child can be between two adults, so the point rider can watch traffic, and the rear rider can watch the child.
A family tandem bike is also a great way to teach by example. The child in the middle will easily see what the point adult is doing, so they learn both the road rules and what to watch out for. The rear adult can give pointers and tips that the child can internalize for the day that they have their own bike.
Family travel on a tandem bike also lowers the chance that a child will fall behind, have a fall or come to harm in any other way. If everyone is on their own bike, it’s easy to get isolated and miss something. Adults also have to find ways to circle back and collect a child who’s fallen behind. Teaching another rider can be a challenge if you want to put some miles behind you, but with a family tandem setup, everyone can enjoy a great ride.
Tandem Bikes for Touring: Multiple Riders on One Frame
Tandem bikes are an excellent option for sight-seeing. The rails to trails trend and other wonderful biking path layouts mean that the view is part of the fun! If you’re on a tandem with another adult, consider switching at the trailhead before you ride back so the second rider can do a little nature-gawking and people watching.
When possible, put the bigger cyclist on the back seat if you have a tailwind. Two experienced cyclists on the flat or downhill with a good tailwind could enjoy some serious speed. Make sure the cyclist at the back is the one with the widest shoulders of the pair, and you have your own sail to make the trip even faster.
Communication is Much Simpler
Two folks on two different bicycles will have to figure out a way to get closer to have a conversation, and depending on terrain and conditions, that closeness could lead to a fall. On a tandem bike, the conversation is part of the fun.
Getting out together on a tandem bike gives both riders the chance to enjoy some fresh air, beat the stress of daily life, have an uninterrupted conversation, and enjoy the natural world together. Whether you’re going for high speed or just need some time together, your tandem bike could be a serious boost to any relationship.
Finally, make sure you get photos of your cycling environment. While taking pictures from a solo bike is a good way to risk both your health and your camera, cyclists on a tandem can slow down for photos and never lose sight of the road. The world is waiting. Find your captain for steering or stoker for power, be ready to switch places, and get out on a tandem!