34 New Things: Ride a Tandem Bicycle

Each year, I make a list of new things I want to try. Some are hard, some are easy, some will make you want to stop reading my blog and question my ability to function as an adult because they’re so mundane. You can read about previous shenanigans here

Question: How does one elicit stares/grins/waves from just about everyone, ever?
Answer: Ride around on a tandem bike with your cute friend (Or ride a Segway. Anywhere.)

Tandem bikes are so sweetly old fashioned (and, well, weird) that everyone who saw us got that same “I’m pretending not to look at you but I can’t NOT look at you and now I’m trying to stifle a grin” look on their face.

I’m sure this was exacerbated by my insistence on making eye contact with everyone while smiling in a way that said “Try not to be jealous that we’re so deeply awesome, okay?”While I’m no stranger to cycling, I was a little bit leary about riding an old tandem around the pot-holed streets of Uptown, Minneapolis. Thankfully, my friend Hayley has been introducing people to the wonders of tandem cycling for ages and talked me through the whole process. She gave running commentary of what she was doing as we rode, “Okay, we’re going to coast now.” “I’m going to brake and then we’re going to turn to the right.” “We’re going to hang out at this stop sign so Joe can take a cute photo of us looking all sporty.”

In summary, she did everything and I just didn’t screw it up or make us fall over.


And it was super fun!  It takes a bit of getting used to and I’d certainly recommend doing it with an experienced tandem-er, but it was lovely and easy and completely hilarious. If we’d worn vintage dresses and added a wicker basket with a puppy, we’d have been the Modcloth website, come to life.Have you ever ridden a tandem bike?  How’d it go?  Bonus question: what’s the most embarrassing thing to ride?  My vote goes for Razor Scooter.  Auuuuugggghh!  They look so fun but you’d have to pay me $10 to ride one in public!

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  1. Claire

    I was just talking to someone about bringing back the Razor scooters! I have a quarter-mile walk to work from where I park each morning … and I fully believe life would be all the more awesome if I started each day cruising to work on a Razor … I'll let you know how that goes ;0)

    • Lisa

      My sister already does that! She works for a patent attorney firm in London and scoots to work every day, including going across Tower Bridge. It's so convenient.

  2. pennpalrunner

    I actually know several people at my college who use razor scooters to get to class, haha 🙂 Our campus isn't very large (sort of a 1 mile x 1/2 mile rectangle) so it seems to work well. Plus they fold up conveniently so the people can just bring them into class and not risk getting something like a bike stolen (it's Philadelphia, so entirely possible… actually practically guaranteed).

  3. Laura I.

    Laughed out loud about your Modcloth comment!

  4. Sarah M

    I have secretly always wanted to try riding a tandem, mostly because I see old couples on them and they look so.freaking.cute. My son just got a razor scooter for his birthday–actually it's an electric one so he can really zoom on it. Being as he's six, he looks completely normal on it. 🙂
    Sarah M

  5. Leslie

    We have several people at school trying to introduce interesting modes of transportation. I've seen skateboards, roller blades, and yes, a Razor scooter.

  6. Maria

    Ah! I'd like to ride a tandem bicycle someday as well. It looks like fun but I can see how you might be a bit hesitant 😀 (Also lol @ people riding Segways)

  7. LynnieBee

    YES!!!! My grandfather has an old tandem bike, my brothers and I used to ride it all the time when we were kids!!! It was The. Most. Fun. I should go through my grandfather's garage and see if he still has it and take my husband for a ride 🙂

  8. tianna @ the spark

    haha … this is awesome … I've always wanted to try out one of these things… I feel slightly, too uncoordinated to have it go smoothly, though. 🙂 .

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