Why we got started: Shaun and Janet were at such different riding levels. Shaun thought that if he got Janet to agree to a tandem, it would allow her to increase her experience and ride road/trails that on her single bike would have not been possible for some time and even possibly dangerous. Being the “Stoker” would allow her to learn more rapidly. More importantly, Shaun wanted her to ride with him so this would allow them to be together doing something really fun.
How we got started: We started with a used road tandem (Burley) we bought off Craigslist in 2010. We swapped out components as we got better and things started to break. In one year, we rode over 2000 miles. Shaun came home one afternoon with a YouTube video of a MTB Tandem and told Janet he had found a used Full Suspension MTB Ventana that two guys from the LA area were selling. The next day we bought it (2012). The Ventana – El Conquistador weighed 58lbs with 26 inch wheels. We came up to Big Bear and raced the US Cup Kenda series – we were hooked! We quickly realized the bike was too heavy and started to search for a lighter (carbon) tandem. We were still learning, but having a blast! We had early success and started riding more difficult trails within the California, Colorado and Utah.
Tandem biking – Captain/Stoker
Role of the Captain: The Captain manages the steering, breaking and guiding of the bike. This is the front seated person. Many years of motorcycling helped Shaun learn quickly how to guide and steer the longer wheel base.
Role of the Stoker: The stoker is “Power,” balance, provides traction when needed at the back and is all about anticipating what’s to come. On long trail rides/races acts as the key person to monitor hydration, provide fuel and most importantly keep the Captain calm. No, the Stoker is not allowed to put their feet up, or “Not peddle.”
Our Bike: We purchased a custom Calfee – Carbon Tetra 29’r / Hard Tail. The build took approximately 5 months and we were able to custom all components. It weighs 34lbs.
Visit their Face Book page here: www.facebook.com/tandemoniumbikes/?fref=ts