As a popular way to make friends, cycling is a sociable manner to be close with other people. You can ride with your family, your friends, even the strangers on two bikes or more. But there is a great way that can be more interesting to ride with your companion. A tandem bicycle is a form of bicycle designed to be ridden by more than one person and what I say is the term tandem, which is the seating arrangement---fore to after, not side by side.
There is lots of fun to ride on the tandems, but you should spend times to learn how to ride such a large beast. Here is some suggestion about how to choose the tandem bicycle you need and how to start.
How To Choose
Considering which tandem you should buy, you can concern frame material as your first need. The carbon fiber can be a good choice because of carbon’s inherent qualities, which shows the most desirable performance characteristics of any of the frame-building materials so far. It exhibits the laterally stiff which can be still light under the heavy pedaling. It is durable and not influent from the fatigue failures but remain strong to stand up to unexpected impacts and torsion forces. The carb fiber frame can help attractive finishing and resist corrosion or attack by the elements. Also, it can be formed in an attractive, functional way that will make it move through air resistance easily. So it’s stronger, lighter, stiffer, more fatigue resistant and more comfortable than a steel or aluminum bicycle and you can purchase a carb fiber frame tandem bicycle to be used in your tour.
How to ride
The first thing you should do is to start out easy. If it is your first time to ride the tandem bicycle, don’t ride for a so much long time. Make sure you can get along very well with your new friend. Riding a tandem bike means the togetherness and it takes the time to become a team. After all, it is hard to say you will tandem well with together in the beginning. Trust is the important thing for two people who ride on a tandem together. It requires much more communication than riding on the single bikes.
The first miles for tandem riders may be difficult because the tandem seems to swerve around the road, even two experienced tandem riders will need 500 miles to work together as a team. The team leader may take 50 miles to get used to handling the big bike even without other riders. An experienced rider should modify the style to accommodate a less experienced partner.
Tandems are not like riding on the singles. You can't change direction or speed suddenly in the last second. So try to be steady and predictable. If you sit behind your captain, you can lean slightly to try to see around the captain. You should be careful about your little body movement on the bike when you first start riding a tandem until you can handle in control. This takes time and practice, so be patient.
Attention, tandems can be quite fast on the downhill, even coasting. Because of their longer wheelbase, tandems are more stable at higher speeds than singles. Rim brake can be a problem on a severe downhill, so the drum brake is used for. You can brake aggressively on a Tandem without the fear of endos due to the weight of the rider sitting behind ‘out back’.
Ride as careful as possible until you get to know the bike and your companion's cycling style. Don't ride as close to cars and barriers unless you really want to give your companion a heart attack. If you’re going to climb the hill, both of you need coordination to take the pressure off the pedals, which can take longer to do.
Be especially careful when stopped or when coming to an emergency stop or it will become your last tandem tour. When you stop with only one foot down, it is common for new tandem rides to falls to the other direction, especially if they are not used to clipless pedals or toe clips.
Communicate with your companion as you need. Remember that safety requires both of you to decide about starting, stopping, steering and standing with communication. As a new rider, you should communicate every shift with your captain, extending to detail such as cadence. Be patient!
Please remember to change your hand position regularly. On the tandems, you will not be shifting or braking if you sit behind and you will forget to move your hands around. The result is sore elbows and shoulders, and numb thumbs and fingers.
Make sure your shoelaces into the tops of your shoes or tape them down. If not, Tandems will eat shoelaces, causing some dangerous situation. You can prepare the tools that fit all the odd sized nuts and bolts before you start so that you can deal with an emergency
The captain is responsible for the other riders’ comfort and safety, such as calling bumps. Because they can’t control and can’t see directly to the front anyway, the captain must remind the coming cars or wallows. If the captain doesn't notice the behind rider, you're better off on two singles. The captain should stop when the companion wants to stop, shift when the rider behind wants to shift, walk when they want to walk. Take some breaks regularly.
The rear tire is about half as long as the front. When the rear wears out, you can shift the front one to the rear and install the new one on the front. Generally, you always want the best and thickest tread up front as the front flats are not fun at speed.
Don’t pay attention to when a pedestrian says: “She's not pedaling back there!" Try to think of witty (but not snide) comebacks. Enjoy the kids' reactions to the Tandem - they really love the pleasure on the tandem bicycle with you!