Thursday, 14 August 2014

On riding tandem biycles

Screw work; I need a break!  And what better way to interrupt work than with a bicycle ride.

My friend Yiman always wanted to ride a tandem around Standey Park, but never completed this objective with her husband due apparently to differences about who gets to sit in front and steer.  So far I have no problem with being the backseat rider, but then I have never been on a tandem ;-)
The Opel brothers and their bike

It definitely looks easy enough!

We rent a tandem at one of the stores around Denman & West Georgia streets.  Despite the advice of the cute rental employee that the heavier person should ride in the front, we insisted that Yiman should take the helm and I would ride in the back.  After a while he found a seat extension long enough, so I would not suffer from skidmarks from the back wheel and off we went.

The pilot pushing the bike down the steepish hill
Already when we both got on the bike for the first time, we had a premonition that the rental guy probably knew what he was talking about.  That was only re-inforced when we tried to take the first corner and with four feet on the ground failed miserably.

Then we decided to let Yiman ride the bike on her own to get used to the handling and turning characteristics.   She's having fun going straight, but turning wasn't quite her thing on this big frame. When I tried it, I also felt the long frame's resistance to turning in tight circles. It's a very strange feeling leaning into a corner and the bike just doesn't seem to follow.  

Since my turning circles seemed to be more consistent than Yiman's, I took the front from here on and we managed to circumnavigate Stanely Park without hitting anyone or anything! (Quite a feat considering the HUGE number of SLOW tourists on rental bikes squeezing themselves through the often NARROW bike lane).

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