Talking to a friend after the Assenmacher 100 who has been trying to get his wife to stoke his tandem for years, he put it simply why cycling with your soul’smate is the pinnacle of cycling… and I’ll let the suspense build and get to the punchline in a minute.
The photo above was taken after six years of working together on the tandem. You cannot fake two smiles like that on married people. It simply can’t be done.
Let’s try another. Nope. Can’t fake it. How about a selfie from my wife?
Folks, that’s pure happiness on two wheels. In fact, I get a little weepy looking through selfie photos my wife takes on the tandem. I’ve spent a lot of years trying my damnedest to help her to a place where she was that comfortable… and to see it now, knowing I’ve done my part (as small as that is – happiness will always be an inside job), well let’s just say it’s fantastic.
And that leads us to the crux of this post. My wife and I have put in a ton of work on working together on the bike (and even more off). We’ve been riding tandem, on and off, for six years but all of the work we did on us culminated in a bumper 2022 where we’ve both put in more miles on the tandem than we have our single bikes combined. For me, for my personal part in this, the biggest advance in our enjoyment of tandem riding was my willingness to cease being an aggressive, go fast all the time cyclist. Letting go of that made it safe for my wife to have fun where there was always a worry I’d blow up if I thought she was under-performing.
When my wife was safe to have fun, we had fun… and riding tandem turned into having a date with my soulmate. On a bike.
Friends, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
Thank you, God.
Your posts on tandems are very insightful. I can’t quite see my wife & I on a tandem just yet though!
I hope you get there