Initial Impressions: Tandem Bicycle Touring

Happy Face 🙂

+ It's MUCH faster on the flat and downhill (50% faster on the flat, we travel 30km/h instead of 20km/h)

+ It's marginally faster up hills (10-20% faster depending on gradient, or: 6-7km/h @ 11%; 7-9km/h @ 8%; 9-10km/h @ 5%; and 11-15km/h @ 3%)

+ No more shouting to be heard or having to ask the other to repeat what they just said (sometimes four times!)

+ We accommodate each other's rest periods, cancelling out the lag of a normal rest period

+ Every second car beeps to us to say 'hi'

+ If we're waiting at the traffic lights, we are the first to leave because everybody else is too busy staring at us and not the green traffic light.

+ Conversation starter, attention grabber

Sad Face 🙁

– More difficult to manoeuvre through tight spaces. We think of it more like a semi-trailer truck than a bike. 3- point turns sometimes a necessity.

– Much harder to park and take up and down curbs and steps.

– Riding below 8km/h (or 8%+ gradient) is MUCH more difficult for Alex to balance the tandem, focussing less energy into his legs. Alex sees this as a problem on steep, off road sections of our trip, but hopefully will adapted by then.

– We are often riding uphill in a much heavier gear than Kat is used to.


1 comment
  1. Hi Alex and Kat , just came across your blog, it makes interesting reading. Did a tandem cycle trip pretty similar to yours 18 months ago including six weeks in Iran. If you need any advice or contacts then please contact us, we look forward to hearing from you!  iangkeyworth@hotmail.com.

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