JB and I have been talking about tandems a lot. We used to own one years ago, a weird thing called a “Love Bike” (I think they are also called “Buddy Bikes”). The problem is that you sit pretty close, and the captain in the back has his knees out around the posterior of the stoker. Trust me – a couple of miles like this and you feel like you’re grinding flour with your hips. Oh man, do you.

So we’ve been looking at tandems and don’t want to just buy again and find out it was a mistake. The problem with our two bikes is that I ride to work, three times a week, and JB rides when I talk her into it. With dissimilar speed profiles (i.e.. I’m faster and can go further) there was a lot of doubling back and gentle coaxing. And when the wind came up, it totally sandbagged her. We needed something else.

We figured a tandem would be great. I could ride as fast and far as I wanted, and JB could contribute whatever she chose to. I had hopes for this, since we also do canoes really well. Anyway, we rented a tandem from an outfit named “Bikes and Blades”, way out on the end of the West Orange trail. This way, we could see if we liked it and only commit a rental fee if it blew chunks.

Turns out to have been the best ride we’ve ever had.

The West Orange Trail is a very beautiful run (with only a few blighted spots and a couple of tasteless subdivisions). You even go through the middle of Winter Garden, a cute olde fashion Florida town. We started racking up the miles and eventually rode out fifteen (all the way out to the stables). We paused there and watched girls hop their ponies over low fences, then came back. Stopped in Winter Garden for lunch, and sat outside, all smelly and healthy and windblown and smiling. Before we cleared Winter Garden, a guy on a motor cycle pulled up next to us and told us how cool that bike was.

Yeah, I agree.

That was a fun way to spin out thirty miles. I think we’re going to have to get one of these.