Writer, Artist and Seafarer. Examples of my art are moored at www.bradlay.com.
Published May 26th 2012
It's a bright sunny day, not too hot, not too windy, and you're looking for a different way to experience the Adelaide metropolitan coastline with a special companion.
Why not hire a tandem bike?
It's fun for two (no, not that much fun, but pretty fun nonetheless), and a great way to experience the coastal and riverside bike track network of Adelaide. A good place to start is Glenelg Bicycle Hire. They're located at 71 Broadway, Glenelg South, and are part of the Norfolk Motel: $50 will get you a tandem bike for between 2-4 hours. Shorter hire periods are also available.
You'd be surprised at how easy it is to ride one of these things. After a short practice ride around the car park you'll both be ready to hit the road. Here's a few tips to get you started:
Wear covered shoes. If you wear thongs, you won't be covered by Glenelg Bicycle Hire's insurance. Though this is a far from dangerous activity, it's an insurance clause that actually makes sense.
Please wear the bike helmets provided. It is mandatory to do so whilst riding a bike in South Australia.
Most tandem bikes require you to pedal in sync. This means that if one person decides to slow down or speed up, the other person needs to follow suit - or protest.
It helps if the control freak in the front seat provides a running commentary as to what is going to happen next, ie "changing gears now" or "left turn coming up", as they are responsible for steering, braking and gear selection.
The couple that leans together, turns together. It's a beautiful feeling when you both lean into a turn. If you're in the back seat, help the control freak by leaning into turns. It's all about cooperation and synchronicity.
Remember that your turning circle will be wider than on a conventional bike.
Give walkers a tinkle on your bell to let them know that you're passing.
There's an excellent network of bike tracks running along the Adelaide metropolitan coastline, and along both sides of the picturesque River Torrens Linear Park. Apparently Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame called this one of the best bike tracks in the world (we love it when famous people say good things about Adelaide). I can't vouch for his authority in this area, although it's certainly a beautiful ride. Maybe he says this about every local bike track when he's on tour...
You'll notice when you're riding a tandem bike that people tend to go a bit slack-jawed as you pass them. Sometimes they'll smile a toothless smile, or drop their meat pie in amazement. That's because tandem bikes are cool. Really cool. My wonderful companion and I are already pretty cool, but once on a tandem bike we felt like the coolest 30 plus kids in Adelaide. You too could be this cool, at least for a few hours. A tandem bike is the answer.