There is much joy to simplicity. Add a twist to simplicity and what do you get? Joy with added delight! This is the feeling I get when riding a bike and I find it especially fun when the weather and setting is right. Now consider the twist; a twist to your bicycle. Add another seat and another rider! Yes, a bicycle built for two! If you have ever experienced a tandem bicycle before, I am sure that you have stories to tell as I do now!
Riding tandem is serious fun and requires some skills in coordinating your ride with another. Similar to a relationship, each person contributes something important. The person in the front, known as the captain, must announce any hazards ahead as well as control the steering, shifting and braking. The person in the rear, known as the stoker, must pedal in unison with the captain and help to maintain balance. Just like anything else in life, communication is key to ensuring a positive experience, free of spills and filled with endless thrills!
Communicating verbally and non-verbally are essential for an enjoyable ride. If you are the stoker, as I was, it is extremely important to be aware of the shenanigans your captain may engage in. If you notice ‘him’ steering towards a slalom course, hold on! If you notice him gearing up with immense speed, hold on! If you notice him riding hands-free, HOLD ON!!! Now this doesn’t mean that you are at the mercy of your captain. No, not at all. The stoker has some advantages as well.
The word ‘stoker’ originates from the mid-17th century Dutch, meaning to push or poke. Stokers are generally known as the people who tend to the fire and that is where the balance in power lies. The stoker can talk mercilessly into the ear of the captain and command the ride from behind! The stoker can also secretly enjoy free uphill rides and engage in picture-taking in motion. Most of all, the stoker can poke and prod the captain from behind, just like the real stokers on steamships! You see, it all balances out!
Life is measured by the moments that take your breath away. Make life’s moments count and seek meaningful experiences with others that bring joy and memories for a lifetime. Live your life with no regrets and commit to making the most out of each day!