Monday, March 23, 2015
Mountain Bike Monday - On being the "stoker"
We headed out over the weekend to take Dreamwork (the tandem) on its first serious ride at the Battlefield. This was the true first test. Things started out great when the bike actually fit on the rack on the jeep! Hooray! First obstacle complete!
When we arrived we decided to start out on some of the smooth gravel paths just practicing terminology with one another and getting the initial feel for riding together and the bike itself! We eventually popped out onto the main park tour road and decided to try some road riding.
Keep in mind that pictures will be from a new perspective with this bike! And, speaking of perspective I think it's a great time to talk about being the stoker. In last week's post I talked about my job as simply providing the pedal power. That's the truth. My job as stoker is to pedal. If my captain is pedaling then I'm pedaling. There's no free ride here. We have to work together on the right gearing at the right time, when to stand on a climb, when to stop, how to start, and every other aspect of riding that you usually only think of subconsciously when you ride your own bike alone. After riding your own bike you don't have to give as much thought to the gear shifting, standing, stopping, etc. You just know how and when to do it. Your brain just remembers it I guess. Now, we have to re-train our brains and muscles to ride a little differently. We have to work in sync. As a team.
And, I think we did pretty good! The key was to be patient with one another. We each have to communicate with the other about our needs and concerns. Every movement I make in the back affects the balance of the bike and Dynamo's steering.
All I see is what's to my left and right. I had to lean around to snap the above pic. Riding a tandem is all about trust. I have to have complete trust in Dynamo. And, I do. We have ridden together over the years and he has patiently waited for me and supported me. He never left my side always encouraging me and wanting to help me do my best. So, we are pretty comfortable being together on the ride except now we will be on the same bike.
The way I see things is that two are better than one. In any aspect of life. Wouldn't you agree? I'm a better biker with Dynamo by my side. He makes me better every single day. We are two peas in a pod.
We had a great ride! A little over 20 miles. We were feeling great! We aren't breaking any speed records, but it was a nice steady ride. We got to stop and watch the water ripple and observe the squiggly line in the sand...
And, we stopped and smelled the daffodils...
And, looked at the beautiful trees...
Spring is on its way!!
I'm looking forward to many more adventures on Dreamwork! We make a great team!