My wife and I took the tandem out with our friend, Diane yesterday just before noon (I can ignore the cell phone during lunch without guilt). Usually she’s riding with Adam on their tandem so we’re sucking their wheel so it was awesome to finally be able to return the favor!
Diane, an excellent cyclist, had no problem hanging with our 20-21 miles per hour… though I could hear her breathing heavy quite often. Just a few miles shy of our destination she announced that she was going to cut it short and head home. My wife and I decided to turn with her to drop her at her house. We figured we could get our extra in after we dropped her off.
With a tailwind, we set an easy 22 mph pace and just enjoyed the ride.
We dropped Diane off at her road, said our good-byes and headed up the road. Mrs. Bgddy wasn’t feeling it and asked if we could just head home. I agreed and said I could head out again later if I felt like more miles.
We pulled into the driveway with just shy of 25 miles.
Later, after quite a bit of work and cutting the grass, I decided I would ride over to the bike shop to talk to the owner about the front derailleur which isn’t working well.
As I was dressing, my eldest daughter asked through the closed door, “Hey, do you want to take the tandem?”
Dude. My barely teenage daughter wants to go for a ride on the tandem with her dear old dad? I put my bike away instantly and prepped the tandem, putting platform pedals on it for her.
My daughter had doubts and expressed them but I cajoled her until she relented and we rolled. We started out slow and shaky but quickly built up a good head of steam. We comfortably rolled, passing 16 mph, then 17… and 18. We settled in between 19 and 20 mph! Friends, our top speed, on flat ground was 22. We didn’t hold it long, but c’mon, man. That rocks for a kid.
We stopped into the shop, Matt and I had our discussion and a new left shifter was ordered.
We said our good-byes and rolled. Same speed on the way home. My daughter was definitely shaky in the stoker’s saddle and keeping the bike tracking straight was like wrestling bull dog. Doable, but it wasn’t at all easy.
We pulled into the driveway with a solid 18 mph average over 10-1/2 miles.
35-1/4 miles for the day and I got to roll into town with my daughter on the tandem with me. That ride was priceless.
Doesn’t get much better than that.