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Daisy, Daisy: Bikes built for two

by Jerry Vance

Have you ever tried a bicycle built for two? There’s a long, warm summer ahead eventually and lots of time to try your legs on a double bike. They’re not just for kids, you know! Big kids enjoy the challenge. too.

You can learn a lot about yourself when you take on a double bike, for instance, who has weak legs, who likes to drive – and who has a temper.

I’ve seen a lot of tandem bikes this spring trudging up the canyon roads. Bicyclists come in two flavors: the avid everyday bike rider and the casual outdoor-enjoyment type.

I haven’t seen too many tandem bikes on the Markleeville Death Ride, so the casual bike riders have the edges when it comes to riding double.

I have noticed some interesting tandem bikes around town lately. Some have a smaller back bike for short people and a bigger bike in front for the longer legs. That style is good for kids too, I’ll bet.

If you want your kids to work out on their own bicycle built for two, it may cost a bit more than for adults. The adapters for bikes to make them fit kids are expensive. Maybe you should consider single bikes for them and let the adults do the tandem thing.

If you want to be serious about your double-bike game, there are special races just for “twos.” And there is a difference between “rides” and “races.” Rides are open to anyone on any type of bicycle, and races are usually restricted to one style of pedaling equipment. Cost? Depends on whether you live and breathe bicycle racing or just intend to play.

All tandem-bike styles come with speed gears, anywhere from one to 21. You can imagine the discussion that goes on between a husband and wife over which gear to get into and when to shift.

I think tandem biking is a great idea with or without kids, and it just might cement a relationship with whomever you take as a partner, whether it’s for racing or fun. Maybe those who bike together stay together?

n Jerry Vance is owner of The Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Senior Center.