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Why so few tandems?

Mark Silver2018-06-01 11:26:32
 
I’ve pondered for a long time why tandems seem so rare, so out of fashion. This last weekend, we took out old faithful for a morning spin, perhaps 35 -40 miles. We must have seen perhaps 100 cyclists, and unusually, we did actually see another tandem. Normally on such runs, we see none.
Yet so many of these other cyclists are pairs, with the stronger rider (usually the man) cruising up ahead, and the weaker rider (usually the woman) trailing behind. Occasionally we engage such folk in conversation about this, and suggest that on a tandem together they would probably go the speed on the faster rider. But rarely does ‘the penny drop’: it seems that most couples are determined to remain wed to their solos .
I gain the impression that in earlier days (before my time), tandems were relatively more common.
Certainly the machines from the pre and post war period that I’m especially fond of, remain in greater abundance relative to solos than I see on the road these days, though I’d be sure other factors are also involved in this.
 I wonder why our machines are now so uncommon?
Peter West2018-06-16 10:44:31

I am having trouble finding someone to share a tandem with me, a Hase Pino Steps. i have seen the same problems, once in France seeing a pair of riders, the faster complaining over coffee that the slower one was holding him back while the slower one, once he arrived, complained that the faster one would not wait - he had the luggage trailer! A tandem seems the perfect solution, particularly on the wide, well-surfaced bike trails of Europe. Peter West