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What's it like being a stoker?(5 posts)

What's it like being a stoker?PseuZQ
Apr 8, 2003 3:21 PM
Not that anyone's asked me to be one or anything. What's it like? Is it easier or harder than riding a single? What are the dynamics like with the captain? Does it take a certain personality? (I feel like I should already rule myself out from being one since I'm a type-A control freak who likes to spend way too much time alone.) Is riding a tandem like being in a special club?

re: What's it like being a stoker?CFBlue
Apr 8, 2003 3:59 PM
I am an avaid tandem rider and would love to be able to answer your question first hand, but I can't. I can give you two opinions, first from my wife who started riding road bikes after a couple thousand miles as stoker. "too much to do and you get to see too little, its a lot harder and slower" riding a single bike.

A regular roadie friend offers the second opinion, having about 1000 miles on his single, we teamed up to do a hard mountain run, just so he could keep in sight of me while on the road. "It is so easy, I get to see things I would have otherwise missed, the wind doesn't blow so hard in my face and we made far better time than I would have on my own" (note he is a slow but steady rider) I had a problem with him forgetting that all he could do is what I do, he stopped pedalling at bad moments, didn't really know how to follow a line around a turn and generally caused me havoc. Other than my wife, my favorite stokers are blind friends who like going fast....

I would love to be a stoker, but have yet to find anyone with a tandem that fits me in the stoker compartment.
see things you would have otherwise missed?AllUpHill
Apr 8, 2003 6:46 PM
If I'm reading your wife and friend's comments correctly, they're saying they get to see more riding as stoker than they would see riding a single? How does this work ... it seems to me they're facing the captain's backside the whole time! Perhaps because as stoker they don't have to concentrate on controlling the bike and gazing straight ahead, so they can more leisurely observe things passing by?
You got itMel Erickson
Apr 9, 2003 6:35 AM
My wife loves to look around and finds the tandem ideal for this. Just because you face the captain doesn't mean you have to always look at their back. She's always pointing out things to me that I would have otherwise missed. The stokers view forward is somewhat limited but they can still see over the captains shoulder.
Us too.Spoke Wrench
Apr 9, 2003 8:25 AM
My sweetie and I have been riding tandems together since 1976. I generally concentrate on a strip of roadway about 3' wide. My bride is always pointing out to me views that are unusually attractive on either the left or right. Our tandem rides are definitely not hammer fests. We just meander along and enjoy the scenery and each other's company. If I decide that I want to put my head down and go fast, I'll ride my Klein.

There are tandem bicycle groups in most large urban areas. Tandem riders tend to be couples who have long term committed relationships. There are also lots of trailer-tot aged kids. Tandem-only rides tend to be more social and family oriented than competitive.