Chilliwack tandem bike ride offers twice the fun

Chilliwack bike shop Pedal Sport has organized a tandem bike ride for Sunday June 10 in recognition of 20 years selling tandem bikes.

While gran fondo cycling events have become quite prevalent in B.C. over the last few years, Dan Douglas has been promoting what he likes to call tand fondos for 20 years.

What’s good with two feet is even better with four, says the owner of Pedal Sport.

This Sunday, Chilliwack residents will be able to witness a smorgasbord of tandem cyclists riding Chilliwack streets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In recognition of the bike shop’s 20th anniversary selling tandem bikes, Pedal Sport has organized a Tand Fondo.

“There’s a lot of bike rides out there, but there’s no other ride organized for tandem cyclists only,” said Douglas.

The fondo features a 75 km loop and a 100 km loop that will start at Coast Hotels and go through Yarrow, Arnold, a stop at Birchwood Dairy and then back to Coast Hotels for a post-ride barbecue.

With 25 tandems, 50 cyclists registered, it is sure to be quite the spectacle.

Douglas, who’s been riding tandems with his wife for well over 20 years, noted that tandem cycling is quite different from road riding.

While solo cycling can often be quite solitary, especially for slower riders, tandem cycling is a team sport with two cyclists having to do the work. It’s more social, more friendly, and even garners more respect from the vehicular crowd.

“Cars hold back when they see us because it’s a bigger bike,” said Douglas.

Tandem bikes also open up the world of cycling for many who otherwise wouldn’t be able to ride – including those afflicted by arthritis, balance issues, Parkinson’s, even blindness.

And for any roadie who might snub their nose up at tandems, you might want to change that tune.

“These bikes are the weight of two super light road bikes, but they also have the horse power of two cyclists in an aerodynamic package,” said Douglas. “They can be faster if you ride them hard.”

So, if you see the tandems on the roads Sunday, make sure to give them a hearty wave and a few hip-hip-hoorays too.