Tea for Tandem

I found something fun at the Bike Works warehouse sale last weekend!!! Something way fun. On our way there I told Elyse I was having fantasies/delusions about finding a tandem at the sale. Well, find a tandem bicycle I did not. I found the next best thing…a tandem frame.

Behold…it’s okay if you cry a little, I do every time.

Frame de Tandem

I’ve done a basic cleaning and everything looks to be in good shape. Now I just have to learn about tandems. I was really hoping Sheldon Brown would have more mechanical articles about tandem, however, that being said the info he did have was invaluable. I learned all sorts of things about the tandem team. The person riding in front is most commonly called the ‘captain’. The captain does the driving and sets the cadence. The person sitting directly behind the captain is primarily known as the ‘stoker‘. The stoker is the engine of the team – the idea being that without needing to use energy for steering and balance (captain’s doing that stuff) the stoker has more energy to put towards the engine. At least that’s as best I understand it now… Elyse has chosen to use another term in place for stoker. Elyse has decided she’s to be the Rear Admiral.

Gonna let that one just settle for a moment here…

The frame came with a fork intact. After a bit of antagonistic wrasseling I was able to separate the two…fork and frame, that is. I wasn’t expecting much different than what I found. However, I didn’t expect it to be so pretty…

There's a Fork in my BUCKet.

This is the beginning of an exciting journey! I don’t yet fully understand the mechanics of the tandem bicycle, but it’s only a matter of time. I don’t know what components are different from a bicycle, or which ones are the same. Again, it’s only a matter of time. I’m a little intimidated about building a tandem bicycle. But that’s all part of the fun, right? You’re damn right it is. This is going to be quite the adventure.

The goal is to get her roadworthy by May. Get her on the road and slap on the trailer…then, to quote a favorite film, “What, are you kiddin’? We got us a family here!”

I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

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3 responses to “Tea for Tandem

  1. Laughed out oud through the whole thing. It really is very pretty. Can’t wait to see you and the Rear Admiral with the Purser in tow. Yep, kid, you got a family there.

  2. Would that make Marti the mid-shipman? Steve and I went on a tweed ride back in November, and there were several vintage tandems and one tridem? A three-seater, I don’t know what to call it. It was awesome, and every time they had to stop and start there was a “ready? yep. one, two, threeeeee!”

    • I think I remember those pictures…they were kick ass. I can’t wait until I get this thing built so we can ride. The Seattle Bike Swap is this weekend, and from what I hear there could be ripe pickens! Just how I like it. As for Marti…I don’t know. I’m gonna have to look into it…and I’m stumped on a joke.

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