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Reply To: RAGBRAI with kids?

“Bicycle Bill”, February 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Jboz said: HH – indeed I do enjoy an occasional glass or two of red wine.  In fact, one of the distinct advantages of going the RV route is that I can bring along a few fine bottles to enjoy after a long day’s ride.  But I also like me good some bareley/hops juice from time to time.

All, thanks for the reassurance on the kid idea.  JWSKNK, we are probably going to ride our own bikes, but since new to this maybe we should consider a tandem.  A friend has a tandem recumbant that he is willing to let us borrow…but I would like to hear what the wise ones on this forum have to say about it.  52 year old and a 12 year old – better to join forces on a tandem, or better to each ride free?  Pros and cons?


If you’re going to use a recumbent tandem, start riding it and getting used to it as soon as possible.  Riding a recumbent requires learning a whole new style of riding, since you can’t stand up on the pedals to assist you in going uphill, for example; you must learn to use your gears to their fullest.  And you can’t “rock” the bike over bumps, railroad crossings, etc, so you need to be constantly aware of what’s on the road ahead of you.

Even if you’ve ridden ‘bents before, a tandem is a whole new breed of cat, based on sheer vehicle length along.  It’s like running a stretch limo amidst a flock of go-karts: it can be done, but it will require the captain to know what he’s doing at all times, and the stoker must learn to trust the captain implicitly.

A practiced, well-coordinated tandem team is truly an impressive sight to see; but a couple of rookies out for their first couple of tries is guaranteed to make the highlight reel of “World’s Funniest Home Videos”.


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