So, you’re thinking about trying a tandem…wait, what IS a tandem anyway? It’s a bicycle built for two! Otherwise known as a two-person bicycle or a bike with two seats. Tandems are so much fun to ride! We like to say that tandems are the great equalizer: you and your favorite person can bike ride together and reach your destination at the same time — no matter the difference in ability level! Tandem bike riding isn’t hard; it’s just different. Which is why renting a tandem is a smart thing to do.
At Tandem Cycle Works, we rent tandems year-round. As long as the ground is dry and there’s no snow, ice, or mud (because we care about your safety), we’d love to get you out on one of our rentals. What’s the best tandem to rent? It’s the one that fits you best. Shop owner and experienced bike mechanic Kevin McCutcheon will suggest the appropriate tandem from our rental fleet, adjust the seats and handlebars for the best possible fit, and get your team pedaling! Heck, we’ll even loan you helmets if needed, at no extra charge!
Is Renting a Tandem Expensive?
Tandem Rentals are not expensive at Tandem Cycle Works! You can rent a tandem for as little as $40 of a half day, or $75 for a whole day. We suggest at least a 2-hour ride, to give you a good feel for riding a tandem bike. In Colorado, less than a half-mile from our store, is a bike trail that will give you experience riding across bridges, cornering, and riding in open space — all without the hassle of dealing with car traffic.
Tips for Tandem Rentals
- Learn the Tandem Lingo “Captain” and “Stoker”
- Communicate with your riding partner
- Have Fun!
If you’ve never ridden a tandem bicycle, there are some important things to know when getting started. Things like the larger/stronger/more experienced riders are in the front; they are called “captains.” The rider in the back is called the “stoker.” The captain is in command — this person steers, shifts, and brakes the bike. The stoker helps out with signaling turns and may provide navigation assistance. Otherwise, all the stoker is required to do is pedal. Now, gals, if this concerns you, consider this: not having to make any of the decisions while out for a joy-ride is very liberating! It may take some getting used to, but in the end, it frees you up to simply have fun. Together, the captain and stoker make up a tandem team.
Team communication is very important while tandeming. The captain will need to call out bumps in the road, so the stoker is ready for them. Other things like shifting, braking, and turning need to be communicated by the captain BEFORE doing so, to give the stoker time to adjust. For the stoker’s part, you’ll need to let your captain know when you need a break, want to stop pedaling, or need to get up off the seat. Over time, riding tandem will definitely improve your communication skills!
Reasons to Rent a Tandem Bike
There are a lot of reasons why riding a tandem bike together is so much fun. There’s the sense of accomplishment when two people ride one bike and reach their destination, whether that’s the top of a mountain or a cafe across town. Besides getting to the same place at the same time — and working as a team to do it! — you can enjoy the scenery and have adventures together. There are domestic tandem tours, as well as international ones. Imagine riding a tandem in an exotic locale or perhaps in a state you’ve never been in…tandem teams have cycled New England’s covered bridges, Oregon’s Crater Lake, the Erie Canal trail, and from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida, to mention only a few! If your team dreams of farther-flung travel, there are tandem tours that can take you on almost any continent. Once you get the hang of riding a tandem bike, there are many adventures that await your team.
Other reasons to try tandem riding? Perhaps you’re a family with a differently-abled child — wouldn’t it be great to bring your son or daughter along on a bike ride? We’ve helped families who deal with blindness, autism, or Down Syndrome, for example, be able to ride together. Maybe your favorite has had a stroke, or has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis. Tandems are a great way to continue to spend time together and share the great outdoors, if their medical condition allows.
The bottom line of all this? Whatever your situation, tandems are a great equalizer and allow teams to ride and have fun together. To get the hang of riding tandems, visit us at Tandem Cycle Works and we will provide everything you need to have a great first tandem bike experience. Once you get the feel of it, we think you’ll love it as much as thousands of other tandem teams!