Learning How To Ride Tandem Bicycles
To Ride A Tandem Bike ...
Once your Captain is happy with how he/she is coping then it is time to put it all together.
Teamwork and skill are the names of the game when riding
tandem bicycles .
Getting into the habit of using the correct techniques is far more important with tandem cycling than with a regular bicycle. So be vigilant about it and don't get sloppy.
Mount the tandem in the proper manner or you could end up hurting yourself or your partner.
Mounting A Tandem Bicycle
Techniques for Correctly Mounting Tandem Bicycles
Straddle your bicycle frame ensuring both feet are firmly on the ground.
Spin the pedals around so that your weaker foot is resting on the pedal at a 45 degree angle from the ground.
Place your stronger foot on the other elevated pedal and using your strength push down as hard as you can. From here you will be able to mount the saddle easily and gather enough momentum to get the bicycle moving.
Your Captain really needs to master mounting the tandem before you set off as a pair.
Mounting A Tandem Bicycle - As A Team
Techniques for Correctly Mounting A Tandem In Partnership
The Captain needs to place the bicycle frame upright between his/her legs and ensure that both feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Make sure your legs are spread far enough apart so that the pedals can spin freely without hitting you.
Also brace the top tandem bar against your inner thigh to give the bicycle added support and stability.
To steady the tandem and prevent it moving forward as the Stoker mounts, the Captain will need to hold on the brakes.
The Stoker needs to correctly mount the tandem bicycle (see above) although obviously you would simply rest your foot on the upper pedal and not try to set the bicycle in motion just yet!
Before the Captain mounts the bike the Stoker needs to clip in their shoes and make any necessary adjustments so that they are all organized and ready to pedal.
It is important that the Stoker keeps his/her weight centred over the bike as much as possible.
Once the Captain has been given the all clear by the Stoker they can then mount the tandem (using the correct technique described above). You need to pedal hard and really get the momenteum of the bicycle going before worring about clipping in your footwear. Wait until you are at manuvering speed before your Captain cruises and makes any adjustments.
It is imperative you work together to get up to speed as quickly as you can.To properly manouver the tandem you will intially need to be going at a good pace. Only when you are more experienced will you be able to go slowly and still maintain steady control.
Remember ... practice, practice, practice makes for a perfect start.
Now, STOPPING is another matter altogether ...
Mounting Techniques to Avoid
The Shuffle Mount
The Shuffle Mount involves putting your weight on the pedal closest to the ground and using your other foot to propel the tandem forward.
You will never get the tandem up to speed using this non-technique.
The Cowboy Mount
The Cowboy Mount is aptly named for it involves trying to mount the tandem bicycle while it is in motion by putting one foot on the lower pedal and then throwing your leg over the seat.
Many a Captain has given the Stoker a good kick to the skull using this non-technique.
So if you want to build a beautiful partnership with your tandem buddy then don't try either of these!
Dismounting A Tandem Bicycle As A Team
To dismount your tandem you must do everything above in REVERSE.
Just to recap quickly that means ...
Your Captain should dismount FIRST
He / she will:
- Unclip his / her shoes.
- Slow the bike down to a stop. Remember that the Captain has the brakes up front so they need to communicate well with the Stoker and let them know well in advance when they are going to brake.
- Straddle the frame, keeping it upright, have legs spread widely and feet firmly on the ground.
- Support the weight of the Stoker as they dismount and ensure the tandem doesn't lose balance and lean like the Tower of Pisa!
Your Stoker should dismount SECOND
He / she will:
- Remain balanced and centred on the tandem with no unexpected movements until the Captain has stopped and is safely in position ready for the Stoker to dismount.
- Take their feet from the pedals when given the go-ahead by the Captain.
- Dismount as smoothly as possible.