2012: The Year of the Tandem
Do you want to know what's cool? Tandem bikes.
Specifically, tandem ROAD bikes.
Everett Query has been trying to get me to ride one of his sweet tandems for awhile now, but for various reasons (busy schedule, thinking tandems aren't awesome, etc.), I hadn't taken him up on the offers.
THEN...Ren and I said yes, and borrowed one of his tandems to take on a short trip to Conneaut for a mini-vacation. Believe me, I had my doubts/apprehension, etc. about embarking on a 150-mile roundtrip on a tandem. But it was a great decision.
If you've ever been on one before, you're aware of the weirdness caused by the person in the rear being unable to contribute to steering. Because our natural instinct is to want to steer, it takes a bit of wobbling and shaky riding to realize that the best (and only) thing to do in the back is just to relax, and be as flexible as possible. That was me, the “little motor”, riding on the back.
It was a fantastic ride. We were able to talk to each other the whole time. As the back rider, I could look all around me, no longer tied to watching only the road directly ahead. I've done the ride from Cleveland to Conneaut a few times on my road bike, but I can't explain how different it is to be able to view the scenery I was able to this time.
Ohio is beautiful. It's diverse, it's interesting, it can surprise you in ways you may not be aware of. On top of learning that I really enjoyed the tandem, I gained even more appreciation for where I live. I hope everyone gets that great excited feeling that gives you chills when you think of how lucky we are to live here.
It's also fun to connect with cycling in a new way. When you're doing it every day, especially as a commuter, it can get a bit tedious. It's wonderful to get out and see different scenery, and extra wonderful to do it on a new kind of vehicle.
Basically, I've become a pusher. A tandem pusher. They're cool. Go for a ride on one.