Au contrare mon freres! I have been sponsoring vintage rides for at least 12 years and participate in rough stuff rides, centuries, brevettes, hill climbs and day tours and see many tandems out and about and on a regular basis. I would say just in the farwestMilano cycling club there are 10+ regular tandem riders. We ride Herse, Jack Taylor, Mercian, Cuevas, Medici, Hetchins, Baylis and other tandems on a regular basis. I have 5 tandems in my garage now (shhhh!) including 2 triplets.
I only started riding tandems consistently with my wife after several Taylors, Mercians and Schwinns didn't do the trick but a Brian Baylis did, It's the only tandem Brian has built. I found it a few years ago and managed to buy, ship & detail it in time to put it under the tree a few Christmases ago....it helps that it is red and very pretty. My wife says "MY BAYLIS!"
Two critical areas on a tandem-proper fit & communication. Don't mess around with bikes that don't fit well or can't be made to conform to your size/comfort needs. Your excitement isn't theirs if they aren't comfortable or feel like you are yelling at them a lot. Second is that patient, regular and clear communication is critical....it's like being in a 2 seat jet fighter, especially when John and Stacy go off the front. They're also great with the kiddies. I have a steel /friction shifting Landshark with a kiddy stoker on it.....infinitely better than a follow bike. My 11 year old son has come with me on monthly Vintage Steel rides at the Rose Bowl in Southern California. We had a follow bike on one of the triplets for the local 4th of July parade....handled like the Queen Mary!!
Heading out for a tandem spin with my son and then later with my wife in very sunny SoCal!!
Matt Gorski Milano Cycling Club Long Beach, California United States of America
On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 1:30 AM, alex m <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Looking through period photos and magazines, and as a Rene Herse Alex
> Singer etc collector, I notice that tandems were really popular in the 50s
> and 60s in France. Always husband in front, wife behind. Sometimes a little
> trailer behind for the offspring.
> Why is it you never see a tandem on the road nowadays?
> Something to do with people being more individualistic? Or women's
> liberation? The radical decrease in the number of tandems produced and
> ridden must say something about the history of social relations.
> Are there any tandem riders on the CR list? Peter (Weigle), have you ever
> made a tandem?
> Alexander March