Michael- Don't be so judgmental about tandem teams and their dynamics. The vast majority of the teams that I know are married. In fact I would say just the opposite of your second to last sentence. It the rare team that isn't married (or parent and child). The working with that tandems need for long term partnerships is not often found outside of marriage. Now I do agree that not all couples that try tandeming are cut out for it.
I sold tandems for a number of years and watched couple's efforts begin on their initial test rides. Sometimes we could tell that we weren't going to get the sale (meaning the couple wouldn't invest in a tandem) from their test ride interaction. But most that considered tandeming would go forward and most of them worked out a method of getting along on the bike.
Additionally it was a tandem ride with a woman that convinced me we had a future together, twice. Andy.
<email@example.com> Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 4:13 PM Subject: [CR] Why are tandems relatively unpopular?
> There is a reason why they call tandems "Divorce Coaches"
> My wife and I have known several cycling couples have the worst fights on
> bike ride. They all sounded like this - Captain: "Work harder" Stoker:
> "I am working as hard as I can" Captain: "No you're not. This is not
> working, let's sell the tandem" Stoker: "Fine"
> When you see couples on a tandem that are smiling, you know they're not
> I think Paul & Rita Lee are the only two people that I know that ride a
> tandem and don't fight on a bike ride.
> My .02
> Michael D. Schmidt
> Millington, NJ
> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2011 09:30:00 +0000 (GMT)
> From: alex m <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: [CR] Why are tandems relatively unpopular?
> To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Message-ID: <email@example.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
> Looking through period photos and magazines, and as a Rene Herse Alex
> etc collector, I notice that tandems were really popular in the 50s and
> in France. Always husband in front, wife behind. Sometimes a little
> 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