Tandem touring in Brittany
Have a Real Tandem Adventure...
We are one of the few companies offering tandem holidays in France. We modify our hire tandems specially for our own use and they are perfect for either our camping, fixed-centre or hotel holidays. They are faster than solos, and allow riders of different abilities to stick together - they are also great fun:-) For those people who own a tandem but don't wish to cart it all the way to Brittany you don't need me to explain the pros and cons, but for the uninitiated please see our quick guide article below. The cost for the use of a tandem is exactly the same as if you hire two solo bikes so the only consideration is whether a tandem is for you...
In our fleet we use two different sorts of tandem, both made by Dawes Cycles – Britain's largest tandem manufacturer. Both are modified and upgraded for our own use. The first is the Dawes Duet – this we use only for parents with small children as it is the only tandem that goes small enough for 7-8 year-olds.
Otherwise our tandems are upgraded versions of the Dawes Discovery – chosen because they are very easy to ride and able to cope with cyclepath surfaces as easily as tarmac.
A tandem inevitably has a little less carrying capacity than two solos. We fit tandems with front and rear panniers, and for most people, especially on hotel tours, this is plenty of space, but for campers it can get marginal. In this case we simply attach a BoB trailer to the back which gives more than enough carrying capacity and still leaves the Tandem as a rapid combination...
Currently we have 10 tandems in the fleet and sizing is a little more critical than on a solo so please get in touch to see if we have your size in stock.
Why Choose to Hire a Tandem for Your Cycling Holiday?
Or - 'Will Riding a Tandem Cause a Divorce?
Tandems are very special. Those that have tried them know what I mean, for the rest I'll try to explain...
The thing that people always say about riding a tandem is that it evens up two riders with different capabilities and this is undoubtably true. If one of you is a regular and strong cyclist it becomes difficult to keep together with the worse case being the classic – 'I'll wait for you at the top of the hill' scenario where the slower cyclist grinds to the top – knackered – where their partner has been waiting 5 minutes and immediately rides off!
The tandem overcomes all this – inevitably you have to stick together and so a couple, a parent and child, or pair of friends who would otherwise be separated can ride together.
But this is far from the only advantage. Even when two riders are evenly matched it's rare that you cycle really close together and so your conversations tend to be of the 'shouted' variety... On a tandem you are really close and so can chat quite comfortably, and over a week this makes a huge difference.
As you get used to the tandem (and it really takes only an hour or so to be perfectly at ease) you relax and the act of working together begins to become entirely natural – contrary to what you might think, the stoker (the person on the back) almost automatically starts and stops pedalling when the 'captain' does – it's quite uncanny but always seems to happen.
One thing people worry about is that the stoker will spend all their time looking at the back of the rider in front and being bored. Au contraire! What happens is that the stoker – after a bit of acclimatisation - will find themselves looking around and seeing far more than the captain – rather likes a passenger in a car tends to see far more than the driver. With a bit of practice the stoker soon starts taking pictures as they go along and has a rather different, but just as good experience as the person on the front.
But a tandem holiday isn't for everyone – it is a co-operative enterprise, if either of you needs to be 'in charge' all the time then you may end up fighting – likewise if you don't trust your partner things may get a bit fraught. For that reason if someone comes on one of our holidays and after a quick 'test-ride' find that divorce or worse will result, we offer the option to revert to solo bikes and continue their holiday – simple;-)
Tandems are quicker than solos. Having two people pedalling a bike with only the frontal area of a solo means they are far more aerodynamic per rider and so a mixed group of riders – some on solos and others on tandems will have the solos working harder to keep up. This is worth considering if Mum and Dad are worried about keeping up with a bunch of fit, lively teenagers!