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This Love Story Has a Happy Beginning AND Ending on a Tandem…

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“A tandem bicycle is a marriage maker… or a marriage breaker”. Doc Mike – 2017

My wife and I have been through some struggles in our marriage. I haven’t written about many of them here until after we found solutions. I don’t do whining and complaining. We have found a solution to our problems, though. We’ve found a way to love each other so thoroughly and completely that my heart actually skips a beat when I see her. It’s a beautiful thing.

We started riding the tandem more regularly during the pandemic. Why not?! Technically, even though our police would never have enforced it (we asked, the official answer was “no way in hell”, we later tested that answer and it held), we were only supposed to ride with members of our immediate family. Well, why not on the tandem?

We learned to ride that bike together – one of the rare, pure instances where we had to learn to work as a team in our marriage. We tried the other way. Or, maybe I should say I tried the other way and my wife let me bash my head against that rock. I used to pedal through my wife something fierce. If she was laying down 100 watts, I was pushing 300. I’d, predictably, run out of gas after about 25 miles and would become agitated. I’d get snippy with my wife and she’d just sit back there doing her thing and let me struggle.

Then, we started communicating. I mean really talking about stuff when we began “Sunday Fundays”. Sunday Funday became a way of saying, “Hey, we’re going to take it easy and shoot for an average pace between 17 & 18-mph” and it was awesome. At that pace, I could relax a little bit and go with the flow. I learned to stop pedaling through my wife and to work with her. She helped a ton on the hills and we cemented ourselves as a tandem couple over the last four months of this year (2022). We developed a way of communicating on the bike that made riding enjoyable for both of us. It’s been so good, we actually choose the tandem over the single bikes on other days of the week. We’ve even had the tandem out on Tuesday night.

We’ve become so much a tandem couple, we decided to make a change with our bike as well. For our Silver Anniversary, we ordered a 2022 Co-Motion Kalapuya Tandem gravel bike with an extra set of Rolf Prima road wheels so we can instantly switch between road and gravel. It’s Co-Motion’s second to the top of the line; only the Macchiato is higher in their order – but the Macchiato is a pure road bike. We wanted something we could take anywhere. Our tandem will be custom fit and silver (for our anniversary), with black on black decals and our wedding date on the top tube. It’s going to have mechanical Ultegra shifting with top of the line disc brakes… and it’ll be my Venge lighter than our current tandem (for which we’ve already found a new home). It’s going to have a Gates synchronizing belt and a 50/34 double with an 11-40 cassette. In other words, that thing will climb like a goat.

We bought our Co-Motion Periscope as a family bike but now that my kids are grown and they don’t like riding… and as much as my wife and I ride tandem now, the new rig only made sense – and it’s the perfect 25th Anniversary gift for the two of us.

Unfortunately, this story isn’t without its sad side. Brent, buddy, I’m sorry, pal. No fat bikes this year. As I’m sure you can see, though, the new tandem is the best fit for us.

Oh, and ours will have a flat captain’s stem and will be a little more slammed at the front end… obviously.


3 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    Fabulous gift and well deserved. Many happy miles together.

  2. Brent says:

    Who am I to get in the way of a wonderful love story? Congratulations on doing the work to make your marriage such that you can become a successful tandem team. I have a great relationship with my partner and wouldn’t change a thing about her, but I know we would never make it on a tandem, no matter how much we try.

    I’m not giving up on getting you on a fat bike. Recent developments suggest that the way we in the fat bike conspiracy are going to get you might be on a tandem fat bike… Then you can ride together year-round!

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