Share the Love -- Tandem Style

Love is best on a tandem...

Share the Love in Sonoma County...
Tandem Style!

The air is fresh, the roads are clean. Spring is just around the corner. Money is tight. You're broke. You are in love. What are you going to do?
"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do,
I'm half crazy all for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage,
But you'd look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two."
- "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)", by Harry Dacre (1892)
Harry Dacre had the right idea back in 1892. Take your partner by the hand, put a helmet on him or her, and head for the open road... on a tandem! What better way to experience bicycling joy than riding with the one you love...on the same bike!
Yes my courting friends, today's tandem bicycles have elevated the joy of the sport by leaps and bounds since those grand bicycling days of the 19th century. Today's sleek machines are lighter, faster, better hill climbers, better stoppers (brakes are important!), and more comfortable than what the subjects of good-intentioned courtships were subjected to in 1892.
Yet the magic is the same. Legs pumping in unison. Bodies leaning to and fro, joined in a common effort. The breath in sync. The warm touch just a reach away. The harmonious squeals of joy, the moans of pain. After all, isn't that what it's all about? (That's as far we go with this article intended for general audiences.)
Tandeming could just be the ultimate test of a budding relationship.  What better way to see if you two are compatico than by clipping into the pedals of a single machine, and letting one (or the other) of you do the driving? A word of caution here: Many long-term committed couples have struggled with this perceived forced cooperation. If there is a marriage contract already in force, discretion is advised.
The Race Across America (RAAM) tandem team of Susan Notorangelo and Lon Haldeman are a pair. While setting their second trans-continental race record of 9 days in 1989, the duo employed a unique strategy: They wore each other’s heart monitors!  While one was captaining the tandem, the other -- the ‘stoker’ -- would monitor his partner’s pulse. When it dropped below a threshold, they would swap positions. I wonder what happened to Susan’s pulse when Lon expressed his love for her...
Geek Factoid #1: The first known example of computer speech synthesis took place in 1961 at Bell Labs when an IBM 704 computer sang ‘Daisy, Daisy’ to a rapt audience of computer programmers! Do you think they were in love?
Geoffrey Smith and his valentine Camille Armstrong own Bike Shop in Santa Rosa. They can often be seen pumping together on their Bike Friday folding tandem

Published February 1, 2015 in The Sonoma County Gazette,


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