We’ve been busy this spring getting ready for our Pacific Coast bike tour in July (even though we’d love to do the whole thing, we only have time for Seattle to SFO). We’re buying light weight camping gear, planning our route, getting the bikes set up and doing lots of tandem riding on the weekends. The whole family goes for at least one long ride every week – usually between 20 and 35 miles. We’ll slowly build up to 50 miles by the time we’re ready to roll out-of-town in July.
It’s all about the stoker:
Tim rides with our 11-year-old daughter as the stoker position on his giant tandem just fits her. And mine is set up with the kidback to fit her shorter brother. Tim plans to swap the kidback over to his bike for the tour to even out the power a bit. But for now, I’m
stuck paired with the younger (and more distracted stoker).
And I just have one teeny tiny problem with my stoker: he tends to get distracted and forgets to pedal. Even though it’s hard to see him back there, I can definitely feel when he’s not putting any muscle into his pedal strokes (especially on hills). When I
ask demand that he pedal, he usually screams, “I am pedaling” and then proceeds to stand up, give me 150% power for @ 10 seconds violently shaking the bike.
I’m sure we’ll get it all sorted out in the coming weeks – that’s why we train, right? We talk a lot about inertia and momentum: he’s into science so it helps to speak in terms he can relate to. But if anyone has some tips for getting a nine-year-old boy to pedal, I’d love to hear them!