Tired of riding solo? Think the journey would be a breeze on a bicycle-built-for-two?
It’s not as easy as it looks.
For my guy and me, morning worship is the apex of our Sabbath. This past Sunday afternoon sloped off like any ordinary day until a scheduled meeting was postponed, and suddenly the time previously spoken for broke open like a geode.
Blessed with a gift of hours, we recalled a gift certificate to a local cyclery gathering dust in the bureau drawer.
“Are you open today?” Yes-until-four. “On our way!”
When we arrived, the unusually fine November day had claimed most of the rental bikes, and the only one left sat under an invisible sign, “Safe for Seniors.”
But hey, if anything’s easier than peddling a two-wheeler it’s doing it with four legs, right? So with a tire inflated here and a seat adjusted there, we hopped on and set off.
It’s harder than it looks.
So if you’re fixing to try riding tandem, let me tell you what we’ve learned.
It’s natural to wobble a bit at first. You’re working as a team now, remember? It takes time and practice to learn the rhythms of grace of riding with a partner.
Lean into the curves. Life throws them at you. If you’re bending one way and your spouse insists on the other, slow down and get your signals straight.
Prepare properly before you set out. We’re grownups, right? People have been riding bikes since like forever, so who needs counsel? We did. “You won’t get far with a chain like that,” the technician observed. We listened, made some adjustments and were better for it.
Riding tandem gets easier with practice. Gosh, tell us something new, please. But it’s true. Farther down the path we were starting to peddle in sync.
So yeah, you can go faster alone maybe, but you can travel further together.
(And about those riding partners who bail out or push you off? It happens and it stinks. But know what? The journey’s not over.)
“So how did it go?” the technician asked when we returned, laughing and a bit out of breath. “Worth the ride or wish you’d gone solo?”
We’ve been riding tandem for nearly 40 years, Mr. Bike Man. And yes, it’s been worth the ride.
Every mile and every minute.
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