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  1. #1
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    Ground control to Major Tom...

    Rather, what are some of your key words in your communication dictionary that convey what is going on from the front seat, or as I like to say, the "hot" seat? As a new team, we are still trying to get on the same page with what words accurately and precisely communicate what the H.E.L.L. is about to happen in front of us. For instance:

    Lift: unweight the seat and put your weight back a bit
    Stroke: If standing, sit and stroke 4-5 pedal strokes to maintain momentum before standing back up
    HOLD-ON: steep downhill, drops, etc.
    Easy: soft-pedal
    Power: pedal hard

    We have a couple of big rides planned for this long weekend, so we're hoping to pick up on some nuances from the more experienced teams.

    Thanks,
    Michael and Carin
    Team Bump-n-Grind

  2. #2
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    We had a thread about this at one point, but for the life of me (or, for the last 15 minutes) I have not been able to find it.

    Bump: Bump coming up stoker needs to brace for
    Slow: Slow pedal cadence, no power, used so I can switch around gears
    Down: Changing down a chainring (I don't indicate cassette shifts)
    Easy: Less stoker power requested
    Switch: Switchback coming up, stoker puts out half power until clear
    Steep: Steep climb coming up, stoker moves weight back on the seat while pedaling
    Stoker pinches my side: Someone is coming up behind, so now we're racing
    Pedal: Stoker rotates pedals to captain's preferred starting orientation. Captain also gets his legs out of the way
    Coast: One or both can stand, no pedaling, for a break from sitting. Also spoken when we spin out of gears (no standing), coming up on other trail users, etc.

    Most of the above is spoken about every ride. Most of the rest is learned after riding a while.

  3. #3
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    Ground control to Major Tom...

    That's a great list Mr. Fine. Thank you...

    I particularly like the pinch the side so now we are racing!

  4. #4
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    I get the pinch when I question the stoker output power by asking if we're getting a flat!

    strow

  5. #5
    PMK
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    We use similar terms.

    Hang On.

    Don't spin the tire

    Power followed by NOW when I expect it.

    Relax

    Spin

    You are riding tight

    Are your elbows locked?

    Sit Back

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  6. #6
    ALM
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    I get the pinch also but it is when I FART! : D

  7. #7
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    I have also found situations where the word DUCK has been beneficial.

    strow

  8. #8
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    We also use "left/right pedal up" for getting correct pedal clearance on trailside obstacles or in sharp turns.

  9. #9
    MTB Tandem Nut
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    I'm extremely lucky to have a stoker who most of the time can sense what's happening by my movements on the bike. She unweights the saddle when I do, leans forward when I do, and cranks when I do. I think she does it by watching me, but by also sensing what I'm doing with the cranks. When I read these sort of threads, I realize how spoiled I am to ride with Kim.
    Of course, we use "bump, rock, root, drop-off, hang on, and of course UH-OH!" but she knows our local trails so well, much of it is not necessary.
    MTB Tandems Inc.
    678-445-0711
    www.MTBTandems.com

  10. #10
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    All great communications! I'll call out "bump" or "bump up" "bump down" for the larger obstacles. Another one is "coast" for when we just need a break on a slight down. "Duck" does come in handy. Also, "sorry" for when I brush her into a bush, tree etc.

    If we really cranking it, I'll call out "shift up" or "shift down" just to unload the pedals for a second during the shift.

    As some have said before, we also communicate via the pedals. I will put her pedals where I want them in tight obstacles. Also try to get the pedals at 9 & 3 when I call out a large obstacle, so that she can get out of the sadddle most easily.

    You just need time on the bike together and you will get it figured out!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ds2199 View Post
    Also, "sorry" for when I brush her into a bush, tree etc.
    I forgot the most important one!

    I hinted at what TandemNut ended up saying. Lots of stuff will become second-nature after you've ridden for a while. Most of what you'll end up communicating is stuff the stoker can't see but needs to know (for various reasons). Even that reduces as you both become familiar with trails, doing the same things at the same points.

  12. #12
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    Been riding together so long it is down to a fairly short list. Sometimes I even fail to use these.

    "Bump" usually reserved for just the BIG bumps / holes etc so she can stand.
    "Low bridge" for low branches so she can duck. Tandems are tall!
    "dig, dig, dig" for a burst of extra power when needed.

    You will develop what works for you. Some folks share a lot of words on the bike. Some not so much. It is all good and it evolves with time.

  13. #13
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    These are all really great comments - thanks for adding yours. As I guessed, the biggest key is to ride as much as possible!

  14. #14
    PMK
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    I know you ride Blankets Creek since it is a local trail.

    Until the other day, we had never ridden there.

    These were some call outs during the ride.

    FWIW, that jump section on the Dwellings Loop at Blankets Creek had me tell her to hang on for the drop offs. Approaching it I called out not to back off.

    I'm suspecting the entire bike was airborn for both drop offs. The second drop came up pretty quick so it was a simple hang on.

    The few climbs were wet that day, so telling her not to spin the tire was important. Also the winding, climbing turns often had me call out when to apply serious power...after the bike had been turned.

    Being a new trail, her typical first time around has Jeanne ride pretty tight / less relaxed. She denies it, but the feel through the bars is different then when she rides relaxed. There was a few times when the bike was hopping around a bit and tough to get a good line on the front tire, the rear end was all over the place. While not instinctive or deemed best advice from the captain, I tell her to loosen her grip and not lock her arms. The bike works much better floating beneath both of us, than trying to pull and tug the bike and stoker when quick direction changes are needed.

    You are 100% correct, ride and learn. Just always remember to ride and have fun.

    Being honest, we have great rides where both of us feel invincible, other times, we don't always agree and bicker at each other for a portion of the ride. In the end though, it is two way communication whether we believe it or not.

    You can ask all you want, but if the girls don't have confidence or are riding bruised from crashes, they seem less enthused.

    Have fun and let's see if we can roll your tires on some Florida trails.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  15. #15
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    And for what it's worth, my stoker will call out "smooth" for me to be smoother with the pedals, and she'll also call out if she wants a gear change. Usually I know what she wants for gears, but every now and then I'll start spinning and she likes bigger gears.

    Most of the rest of the time she's giggling, or pointing out something really cool in the canyons that I can't look at since I'm, you know, steering the bike and stuff.

  16. #16
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    Re: Ground control to Major Tom...

    Well, we made some good progress with our communication this weekend while riding the JackRabbit trail system. After the first lap of 13 miles, my stoker made the following comment, "let's see what happens if you only speak when you think there is something that I need to know."

    Now I'm not sure if that was because she was tired of listening to me, or she was truly ready to take a big lap forward in how we communicate. Either way, it worked really well. I found that we rode faster because I could focus without having to describe what we were facing and my stoker was forced to ride looser on the bike.

    Thus, the second lap was smoother and faster with less talking - it was great!

    So, the answer to my original question truly is to just ride more. We now have well over 100 single-track miles together in just a couple of weeks and they are only getting better!

    A couple pics from the weekend at JackRabbit.



    Ground control to Major Tom...-uploadfromtaptalk1369748336504.jpg

    Ground control to Major Tom...-uploadfromtaptalk1369748361105.jpg

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ground control to Major Tom...-uploadfromtaptalk1369748378773.jpg  


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