Riding a tandem bike: how?

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Tandem bikes have two seats, pedals, and handlebars. The captain controls the direction and speed while the stoker provides extra power. Starting and stopping require coordination. Tandems are similar to single bikes but require practice.

Tandem bicycles are built specifically for two riders and include two seats, two sets of pedals, and two handlebars. The more experienced tandem rider, or the one with greater upper body strength, is better suited to pedaling in the
front seat as “captain” of the bicycle. The captain is responsible for
control the direction and speed of the motorcycle while alerting the rider from the rear seat
of impending obstacles, bumps and gear changes.

The rear rider or “hotbed” is primarily a source of extra cruising power for the bike. Stokers must be very careful to keep their weight balanced centrally while cruising and lean to one side only when turning. A stoker who is not well balanced could tip the whole tandem.

Initially, the captain would have to drive a tandem himself to get a general
feel for the bike’s performance. Starting with a burst of speed is
important for riding the bicycle in a straight line; captains should
be sure to practice the following steps before riding with a stoker:

Start by straddling the frame with both feet on the ground and the brakes locked.
Rotate the pedals so that one pedal is almost in its highest position.
Release the brakes, place one foot on the topmost pedal and push down
strong, lifting the lower body high enough to mount.

Starting with a rear rider is a similar process, except the captain
start with an extra wide stance on the frame and lean the bike against
a thigh so the stoker can safely mount and rotate the pedals. Once
the stoker has warned the captain that he is mounted and ready, the
the process continues as above, with both riders pedaling quickly as soon as the
the captain walked away. A brisk speed is recommended to ride the bike
in a straight line and reducing knee fatigue.

Standard tandems require both riders to pedal at the same time or
it costs. When slowing to a stop, stokers need to be sure to keep their weight
balanced in the center of the frame and not take your feet off the
pedal until the captain signals to do so. The stoker dismounts first.

Tandem bikes are similar to a single rider bike, but require a little more practice. If you enjoy cycling, but have only ridden solo, tandems may be an option worth pursuing!

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