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Posted on the [T@H] Listserve 12/23/02

The question:

Hi all, I need some help.

I have just won a KHS Milano tandem in the Recumbent & Tandem Rider magazine sweepstakes!

My question is whether I should keep it or sell it.

The response about says it all:

 I would dump it.

If you don't, one of your kids might love it and then you might get stuck riding with them for thousands of miles throughout their teenage years. That would cause you to have a closer relationship with them than you might prefer and you might miss out on some of the natural teenage rebellion that most families endure. Worse still, their interest in cycling might spill into their adult years and they might become your friend as much as your child and you might get stuck riding with them as an adult.

Chuck, been there done that Harmon


December 25, 2002 - A note from Mark:

Chuck purchased his Burley Duet when his daughter was 11 and has shared more than 10,000 miles with her on a tandem. His daughter, now 22, has enjoyed bicycle road racing for four years with some cross and mountain riding as well. She is on a college cycling team.

It never ceases to amaze me that folks that enjoy riding will not make the time to share their passion with their loved ones, especially their children.  I have heard numerous repeated excuses ranging from “my kid would never do that”, “it costs too much”, “my time on the bike is mine”, etc.  I have yet to find a single child that does not like to ride a tandem with their parents or someone else and if such a child exists, I would bet that the problem is not the child but the so called adult as they are doing something terribly wrong as a captain.  Bill McCready’s #1 rule  “The stoker makes no mistakes” is of paramount importance without regard to the size or age of ANY stoker.  IT WORKS!

So… some will refuse to invest in their relationship and their children and no doubt save the money for a future use.  And what are the chances of needing that money for expenses incurred that may have been avoided had the child been afforded the opportunity to have a better relationship with their parents?  Hmmm….. food for thought.  I for one will invest in my kids first… especially relationship building opportunities, tandem or otherwise.  And what is the real cost?  Really.  Think about it.  The dollar value spread over a period of years is minuscule (read dirt cheap) and generally much lower than just about everyone spends on some other hobby or sport that does not afford the same benefits of relationship building offered by spending time on a tandem together.

My hope is that my two precious daughters and  I will experience the same benefits as those received by Chuck Harmon and his daughter.  We are off to a great start!

Thanks for posting such a great perspective Chuck!

 Off my soap box now!

Mark Johnson


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