Question: My wife and I just did our first tandem ride. She doesn’t normally ride, so I presume most of the wattage came from my legs. The climbs were tough and my heart rate reached over 85% of max. I slowed my cadence to 80 rpm to make it more comfortable for her. She had fun and I felt I had a good workout. Is this going to be an effective way for me to train? — Eric K.
Eric, your cycling has just changed for the better! It took you one ride to discover a super benefit of having a tandem: You got to ride with your wife at an effort level that was a great workout for you but enjoyable for her. We should have to pay for a deal like that!
You’ll discover that there are only advantages to a tandem, no drawbacks. Just be sure your tandem position closely approximates your single-bike position. Then the carryover should be right at 100%.
Of course, not every tandem ride needs to be a workout. When you need a break from training on your single and want to pedal easily for recovery, invite your wife for a spin. Cruise and chat. It’s a refreshing change.
And the more you take her out, the stronger she’ll become. That’s when being together on a tandem begins to expand what you can do together as a couple.