On New Year’s Day, we bundled up the family and headed out for a ride on the tandem. We bought the tandem several months ago, but have only had a chance for road rides on it. New Year’s Day was the first taste of off-road and singletrack.
I’m not sure how much my tandem weighs, but I know it’s heavy. I felt like I was pedaling hard, but everyone around me seemed to be going pretty slow. I wanted my son to have a good time, so I didn’t push him to pedal all the time. When I really needed him though, I’d yell out, “Pedal!”, and I could feel the turbo boost kick in from my stoker. We made it up some pretty steep hills when in turbo mode!
The last hill climb of the day was pretty brutal. My knees and legs still hurt two days later! I was sweating and could barely breathe, but my stoker seemed to be holding a conversation quite easily. Again, I wanted him to have a good time, so I took 99% of the engine duties.
The final downhill of the day was a blast. We took the Jackrabbit Trail, a twisty single track that snakes through a small canyon. It was fun trying to keep the tandem on the trail. Most everything you know about mountain bike handling skills doesn’t apply on the tandem. There are no wheelies or stuffing the front end down into corners. With the long length, it reminded me of the days when I use to haul my travel trailer with my big truck! I had to make sure I took corners wide, and didn’t run my son through the bushes.
We were all frozen to the bone by the time we got home, but my son had a great time, and we both look forward to the next ride!