New Year's Day

New Year's DayOn 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!

IMG_0970The 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!

5 thoughts on “New Year's Day

  1. Jeff, riding tandem with kids is hard work. I’ve got an 11 year old with Down Syndrome who loves to go. We went out in Indian Hills on Sunday. We took a digger in some soft sand. He thought it was funny. What tandem do you have? We’ve got a KHS from Big Dan a few years ago. How do I send you a picture?

  2. I can see how crashing could happen for sure! It seems that the perfect seat height for me also means I can barely touch the ground. I had some difficulty in a slow sandy turn. My son is just over 40 lbs, so I imagine the difficulty just goes up as they get heavier.

    We bought ours used from a guy in Reno. It’s powder coated, but I believe it’s a KHS underneath the paint.

    I sent you an email regarding the picture…

  3. Tandems are cool. I can’t wait until my daughter can stoke for me. Ours is a roadie, but I’d love to pick up an mtb tandem in a few years.

    BTW, the snow is on the way!

  4. Thanks for the snow! We started today’s lunch ride under blue skies. On the way back the wind picked up and the clouds were rolling in. I can hear the wind howling outside my door! We got off the mountain just in time I think.

    Huge temperature change today too. It was 18 degrees on the morning commute, but 50 degrees at the beginning of the lunch ride. The wind chill is up now since the winds picked up.

  5. Jeff, your tandem is a KHS Tandemania Sport.

    “I felt like I was pedaling hard, but everyone around me seemed to be going pretty slow.”

    I thought that’s how you always felt on the lunch rides.

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