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  1. #1
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    Riding a tandem solo

    My stoker and I volunteer with a local mountain bike patrol group. Yesterday we found ourselves administering First Aid to a MTBer who went OTB and broke his collarbone. He was riding with his father and a friend. After the helicopter took him to the hospital we were left with our patrol group, two other riders (father and friend) and their three bikes.

    The tandem team comes up trumps! My stoker rode the son's bike out of the back country while I rode the tandem solo.

    For obvious reasons it's not really recommended. No rear traction under power or braking, and getting used to the weird wiggle took a few miles. We also have to climb out of the park - .75 miles and 750 feet of gain. At least it's on asphalt, but all the riders gapped me as I chugged up on near 50lb of bike with just me doing the pushing. I got my stoker back soon after, but not before various hikers and bikers made comments about my ghost rider.

  2. #2
    PMK
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    With your stoker off in the distance...you could have been a wise guy and say you were trying to pickup hiker or trail runner hotties.

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

  3. #3
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    Gee whiz, must have been a bad CB break to be flown out! Do know the the strange feeling of captaining a bike without a stoker. When we lived in Rogue valley in southern Oregon my spouse worked in Ashland which was about 17 miles up the valley. We occasionally rode together via tandem and I'd return by myself. This was all road with just modest hills but it still took care.

    Thanks for being a trail volunteer!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    you could have been a wise guy and say you were trying to pickup hiker or trail runner hotties.
    Darn it! I tried to think of something like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by arly View Post
    Gee whiz, must have been a bad CB break to be flown out!
    It wasn't bad, just inaccessible to vehicles. The helo comes out often, they like flying and it shows

    Quote Originally Posted by arly View Post
    We occasionally rode together via tandem and I'd return by myself. This was all road with just modest hills but it still took care.

    Thanks for being a trail volunteer!!
    Rode our road tandem once without my stoker (picking her up at work). Somehow managed 1mph faster over the same distance without her. Different days, probably different wind, but interesting nontheless.

    After volunteering for a while, it's not so much the giving back (which was a big point at the beginning), but of having access to the radio to talk to the rangers/help.

  5. #5
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    Collarbone guy couldn't walk out? He needs to HTFU.

    I've found myself riding the tandem and hauling the trail-a-bike solo many times shuttling various hikers and children back and forth. It looks kinda goofy, and my ready response is always "I thought it was pretty quiet back there".

    I've never had any success picking up tired female runners...

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    I've done the solo ride to pick up kids at practice or school. People give you odd looks for sure, one lady pointed to the empty seat, with a look of shock, and I looked back (instinctually) and quipped "Oh crap!", the look of shear terror on her face was priceless, I did explain, I was riding solo to pick up my kiddo.
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  7. #7
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    I'm still new to tandems, but I've done quite a few solo rides in the past few weeks as test rides after swapping parts, making adjustments, etc. Just neighborhood roads and a nearby park with some nice hills. Really tough trying to hammer up a steep bumpy hill when the back end is bouncing. It's possible my first singletrack ride may be solo just to see how the long wheelbase reacts to some tight switchbacks and steep-sided gullies before exposing my reluctant stoker to it.

    So who's tried to ride solo from the stoker position? I have. Not successfully though, but I'll try again.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    It's possible my first singletrack ride may be solo just to see how the long wheelbase reacts to some tight switchbacks and steep-sided gullies before exposing my reluctant stoker to it.
    The bike is going to be/feel so totally different without a stoker that your test ride won't reveal much useful info. And, with things like switchbacks, you NEED your stoker to help get the bike around. If your stoker is reluctant, stick with the fire roads and green-circle single track until you build her confidence, else you might not get a second chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    So who's tried to ride solo from the stoker position? I have. Not successfully though, but I'll try again.
    There are pictures in this forum of just that - guy on a black ECdM/Testigo mix.

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