Sunday, July 22, 2007

My First Tandem

I had been into recumbents a couple of years when I decided to look at tandems. Both of my daughters had wedgie hybrids but never rode them because they was just too uncomfortable on rides of more than a few miles (I knew this to be true from my own experience). So in 2002 I bought the Screamer. I had no experience on tandems at all. This bike quickly introduced me to the fun of tandem riding. All of the comfort issues the girls had disappeared on the Screamer. The seats were soft and comfortable. The best thing about this tandem was our ability to talk while riding. On single bikes it's necessary to pull up along side someone to talk and then only while conditions permit. On the Screamer it was possible to easily converse at will in a normal voice.

The Screamer was fairly fast, stable and reliable. There were a couple of minor issues, like the timing chain derailing, but as I followed the Rans website and their suggested fixes, these issues disappeared one by one. Over time I added other features that made riding more fun (and safe) such as captain and stoker mirrors, a compass, stoker map case, bipod kickstand and the fairing. Riding into a stiff headwind on the Screamer we would often pull lines of wedgie riders behind us for miles.

Because tandem recumbents are fairly rare, the Screamer would always draw smiles and waves from the people we passed on the bike trails we usually ride in town.

The bike was long and transport presented some challenges which I will cover in a future post.

I sold the Screamer in April 2007 to help finance the purchase of my current tandem.