4 Tips For Riding A Tandem Bike

Posted on: 24 May 2019

If you've ever seen two people riding a tandem bike, you're unlikely to forget it. Tandem bikes are distinctive and immediately recognizable. They present a fun challenge, as well as a new way to spend time with your loved one. If you'd like to try a tandem bike for yourself, here are four tips that can help you on your first ride:

1. Always wear helmets.

You should always wear a helmet any time you're on a bike, and this is especially true when riding tandem. You might be hesitant to don a helmet due to concerns about looking foolish, but it's better to be safe. If you're willing to make the investment, you can find attractive bike helmets in a wide array of colors and styles. Never purchase a bike helmet secondhand, since you don't know what kind of damage it sustained before you owned it.

2. Practice on easy terrain first.

Riding a tandem bike can feel very different from riding an ordinary bike at first, so give yourself plenty of time to practice. For your first ride, choose somewhere flat with a lot of open space. Avoid the street or anywhere with a lot of pedestrians and cars. You can always go for more difficult rides later, but for now, just focus on learning the basics.

3. Pedal at the same time.

Both riders power the bike by pedaling, but they need to do it at the same time. If one person pedals faster than the other, it can lead to disaster. Remember that riding a tandem bike is an experience of cooperation, not competition. You're not trying to out-pedal your partner — but to match them.

4. Trust each other.

By design, tandem bikes require both riders to trust each other. Each person on the bike has their own job to do. The person in front is called the captain, and they will steer the bike and brake whenever necessary. The person riding behind the captain will need to lean into the turns to keep the bike stable. When starting out, it's helpful to call out "left" and "right" before making turns. You can stop doing this once you're able to read one another's body language.

When you're ready to start riding tandem, you don't need to purchase a whole new bike. A tandem bike attachment can transform a bicycle you already own into a tandem bike. Just follow these four helpful tips, and you and your loved one will be on the road in no time.