On the 12th day of Christmas

……….her true love said to her: “Why not go for a tandem ride after lunch?”.

There is a lengthy pause…..grinding mechanical noises suggest that the thought processes are in motion. A face slowly lifts from the breakfast porridge, eye contact is made……..I expect “no” for an answer, but to my surprise the suggestion gets the affirmative nod. We will be off for our first twosome of 2013! And that’s in the first week of the year.


Swineshead Church

Lunch is eaten hastily because the afternoon light disappears fast at this time of the year. As you can see from the photo, we dressed so as not to be missed by distracted drivers, but cared naught about being arrested by the fashion police.

The rained mizzled lightly, the mist came down, the light faded quickly…….but then brightened up again. We climbed a couple of steep hills, passed the scene of my cycling accident 4 years ago (where I fractured my femur), and arrived back home unscathed and feeling the better for it.

I suppose that was our little present from the Three Kings ;0)



About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 6, 2013, in Cycling UK and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Glad you (and the relationship) survived, Frank. They don’t call them ‘divorce machines’ for nothing.

    • Ha, ha….that is funny, Richard….;0) The so-called ‘divorce scenario’ has to be this: two very unequal riders, on solo machines, miles apart………and making no attempt to reunite!

  2. Nice!!!! And I guess I have been a cyclist too long… but what will the fashion police have to say? You seem perfectly dressed to me! Lucky you to be out riding. We have been blessed with more white stuff. Glad to be out snow shoeing and not driving. Viva le weekend!

    • Good question Anita……..we find that a lot of tandeming couples either wear complementary colours, or frequently the same kit. But I’m a bloke……do high-viz yellow and pink go together? Anyway, who cares?
      Enjoy the snow. What about snow studs on your mountain bike?

  3. LOVELY!

  4. Karon and I managed our first outing on the Pino this year, but only as far as a local pub. She’s going to take a long time to recover from her spell in hospital so I don’t see us doing any marathons in the near future. All the same, it was good for her to get out and the Pino is well suited to having a poorly stoker.

    • Bob, that is so good to hear. Next time we coincide at a Rally or some other tandeming event, we’d really like to hear you both talking about your experiences with the Pino.

  5. Frank, whenever a tandem is mentioned I recall an incident at the end of the Vatternrundan ride in Sweden a few years ago. Having finished the ride, a friend and I were enjoying a beer and watching other participants arrive. A couple came in on a tandem and the local radio reporter asked, “How was it on the tandem?”, to which the woman back seat rider’s reply was simply, “The tandem is for sale!”

    • That is soooo funny Bob! At least the wife didn’t say: “My husband is for sale”!
      Tandeming enthusiasts would probably sing the praises of ‘staying together, sharing the views, chatting, having a laugh……’, but the cynic (who has never ridden a tandem, or doesn’t get on with his partner)) might comment: ‘inevitably together, can’t get away from each other, listening to the same old jokes, always blocking the view……..”.
      Jenny is fed up of hearing from the kerbside: “Hey, she’s not pedaling on the back!”. One day, someone shouted at Jenny: “Hey, he’s not pedaling on the front!”. Now, that was original and made us laugh…;0)

  6. Looks like fun! I’ve always to try the tandem bikes 🙂

  7. Frank, Happy New Year! Good for you and your Fair Lady. When we were in NZ we saw a few people on tandems and shuddered at the thought. Now that I think about it, it might have been a good idea…I could have sat on the rear seat and pretended to pedal throughout the whole ordeal, all the while eating Pringles and drinking beer without her knowing.

    When do you leave for NZ?


    • Drew, now that’s an original idea……man sits on the back ‘stoking’ and the lady pilots. Except in our case, the lady can’t ride two wheels solo, so I suspect that ‘piloting’ wouldn’t be one of her USPs (ie unique selling points).

  8. Did you break the speed limit going downhill? 😉

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