How to Ride a Tandem Bicycle

How to Ride a Tandem Bicycle
Seeing pairs of people enjoying themselves as they ride tandem bicycles can make others want to try it, too. Tandem riding is not quite as simple as two people just hopping on and taking off. The bike is heavier and much more difficult to get started and control at low speeds. There also is a cooperation and trust factor that must be developed between the two riders to get the most out of the ride.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tandem bike
Step 1
Know the primary responsibilities of the two riders. The front rider is known as the captain and should generally be the more experienced rider as well as have good upper body strength. He should also be considerate and be willing to keep the rear rider happy. The rear rider is known as the stoker. She should be willing to provide power, be trusting of the captain and not attempt to steer the bike.
Step 2
Get set to start the tandem bike by having the captain stand astride of the bike with both feet on the ground. Set one pedal so that it is at about a 45-degree angle in front of and above your feet. Hold the brakes locked. The stoker should be seated. Their weights should be centered on the bike as best as possible and their feet on the pedals ready to go.
Step 3
Have the captain place one foot on the pedal set at the 45-degree angle, and then all at once step up and press down hard on the pedal. The captain uses this motion to also lift the other foot off the ground and get seated. While the captain is executing this first, hard pedal push, the stoker should be pedaling hard to get the bike up to speed, where it will be much easier to control.
Step 4
Use a cadence, or the rate at which you pedal, which both the captain and the stoker can both comfortably handle. The captain should announce when he is changing gears and when a bump is coming up, so that the stoker is ready. The stoker should stay well balanced, lean into the turns slightly, and not surprise the captain with any shift in weight.
Step 5
Stop the bike by slowing down to a speed that will require the captain to put his feet down. The captain then uses both feet astride the bike again as well as his upper body strength to hold the bike steady for the stoker, who remains seated and well balanced. The stoker then dismounts when the captain gives notice that he has the bike held secure.

Article Written By Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith began writing for Demand Studios in May of 2009 and has since written over 1400 articles for them. He also writes for "The College Baseball Newsletter." He attended the University of New Mexico, and has more than 25 years of experience in the business world.

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