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Once a skeptic

At first I was very skeptical, but after riding a tandem for two years, I can honestly say that our blue Santana Noventa is the best investment we ever made.

At every ride we are asked, by young and old alike, if we enjoy riding the tandem. We say it’s terrific and recommend they give it a try. We always take a few minutes to talk just in case they are skeptics like we were; we wouldn’t want them to miss out on all the fun.

Laurie Boggess, Richardson, TX

Piece of cake

Transitioning from single riders to captain and stoker progressed with much less difficulty than either of us anticipated. Two really can ride more easily than one!

We are looking forward to attending one of your ’97 rallies.

Wayne Hachey, El Paso, TX

Stronger bonds

My son and I have been riding partners for 21 years. Until three years ago it was always on two singles. Our Santana gives us the opportunity to talk to each other and participate in a sport as equals. This commonality gives us a greater bond.

I am certain that if more parents experienced the pleasure of riding “with” their children, there would be much more family harmony and mutual respect.

Robert S. Daniels, Pittsburgh, PA

She’s too fast

Because of my knee surgery and my wife’s strong riding skills, she was always ahead of me going up the mountains, decreasing our companionship and my enjoyment of the ride. While I was able to catch up on the way down, I spent most of my downhills braking to stay alongside her.

We borrowed a Brand-X tandem but its tremendous rear-end flex seemed quite dangerous at high speeds (it lacked oversize tubing). This was not a serious problem at the time since my wife and I were only averaging 12 – 13 mph on 20 – 25 mile rides.

After a long search for the perfect tandem, we purchased a Visa. Our dealer rigged a Bike Tight into the back of our minivan, and our Visa slipped down in the middle, perfectly fitting between the two captain’s chairs.

With our Visa we love pulling single bikers in pacelines, and riding with other tandems when we go out of town. We have been exceptionally impressed with the components, and because the bike is so rock-solid, it was easy for us to justify staying with it when we upgraded to clipless pedals and ergo shifters. Because our Visa has such superb workmanship and strong, oversized frame tubes, I am sure it will continue to satisfy for years to come.

John and Paula Parrish, Statesboro, GA

Smooth and solid

I am one of those strange wives who loves to read all the promotional materials companies can dish out. I scooped up all info from the major companies: Santana, Ibis, Trek, Cannondale, Burley, etc. and read and read.

We then test rode several tandems. We found the claims made by Santana to be true, particularly in regard to frame strength. Most of the others fish-tailed like crazy under our combined weight. The Santana felt smooth and solid from the word “go,” even to inexperienced tandem riders like us.

Heatherly and Mike Bucher, Syracuse, UT

Young again

We just became grandparents and used to ride with folks our own age. However, with our tandem we can ride with an entirely different group of riders. Now we ride with racers in their 20s and 30s. Those racers don’t know what to think when Grandma and Grandpa take pulls in their paceline!

Bruce L. Johnson, Sioux City, IA

Family car

We do not own a car. We bike and walk to get around. We started tandem riding on a department store bike, which we killed. After that experience we sought a quality tandem that would last us a lifetime.

We purchased the Rio to get around pulling a trailer with our son in it. Since then our son has grown and we purchased a Triplet so we now have room for more groceries in the trailer.

Bob and Patty Richard, Hamburg, NY

Buying “fun”

We had so much fun on that old Schwinn Twinn that we decided to buy a real tandem. Our Santana is better in all ways, and is a lot more fun to ride.

Our kids and parents thought we were crazy, but, on a fun-per-dollar basis, it’s clearly the best investment we ever made. Don’t think of it as buying hardware-you’re actually buying fun!

Alan M. Stuhlsatz, Chesterfield, MO

The lawn can wait

Basically a homebody (but a healthy one), I would garden on Saturday while my husband would ride 60 or 80 miles, get home, and collapse into a dehydrated gray-green lump, too tired to mow.

In January of this year we bought our blue Cilantro. It did the impossible; blending his frenetic energy with my avoidance of exercise. Now we do together what he once did alone. I ride with the guys and hear of their wives. It means I share the Saturday, collapsing in the chair, the lawn unmowed-who cares? We’re proud to have invested in a quality machine that brings us together to so many nice places, and it’s so fun getting there.

Janet Sheerin, Canoga Park, CA

Faster than cars?

With the purchase of our Santana tandem in 1990, our lives changed for the better. We are a closer couple. We have met many terrific people who share our enthusiasm for tandem cycling. Now our vacations almost always are centered around a tandem tour. For the past two summers, we enjoyed a special benefit not available to drivers. We were able to board every ferry boat in the San Juan Islands and on the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket without the usual summer delays of several hours.

Lauren M. Wasserman, Carlsbad, CA

Nothing is better

My wife and I have been riding our Santana for ten years. It’s a tradition that we take our early-morning ride every Saturday and Sunday. We ride towards the beautiful mountains around Tucson. The road is surrounded by tall saguaro cacti. We bring home breakfast from the French bakery. What could be better?

Dr. Frank I. Marcus, Tucson, AZ

Italy can wait

On our 10th wedding anniversary, I asked Donna if she wanted a tandem or a trip to Italy. I was pleasantly surprised when she chose the tandem. While looking, I wondered “how do you buy a bike that costs as much as my first car?” Well we did it. Italy can wait. For now, we’ve got a vacation every weekend.

We joined a club and enjoy all the camaraderie of other tandem riders. The bottom line for us was quality. If you think you’ll have to upgrade in a few years when you become experienced riders, you’re probably buying the wrong bike. We looked at it as a long-term investment in our health and happiness, not a product purchase. The fun will stay with us forever.

Clyde and Donna Weiss, Alexandria, VA

New life

When we are tandeming, it’s just us. We are enjoying the countryside together, sharing every moment, every vista, every thrilling descent. We have been biking for 24 years. We got our tandem two years ago and have not ridden our singles since. Tandeming has brought a new level of enjoyment. It’s so comfortable, it’s as though we and the bike are one.

Norm and Barbara Happ, Reston, VA

The gift of sharing

Our engagement present to each other was a Sovereign. Our baby shower gift to each other was a trailer. We love tandeming as a family!

Lisa and David Bessen, Media, PA

Time for more seats

In the seven years we have owned our Arriva, the only constant has been me as captain. During the first three years my wife rode with me when she could. In 1994 I made the jump to riding with child stokers. At present either my 4- or 6-year-old can ride. If both want to ride, I hook up our Adams Trail-A-Bike. If everyone wants to ride, we use the above setup with our 2-year-old in the Burley trailer behind it all. We don’t go too far, but we have a bunch of fun. We have a fourth child due in November and have run out of seats. A triplet, quad, or a couple more tandems is in order. We’ll be in touch.

William G. Roundley, Jr., Fort Wayne, IN

The right stuff

Our 1980 Santana is Old Number 71. We’ve been on scores of club rides, invitationals, rallies and around the big island of Hawaii. More recently we learned to ride on the other side of the road in Australia. Without some of Bill McCready’s personal encouragement, we might have been afraid to put our tandem in a box and go.

The bike is made of the right stuff. It’s solid as a rock on 55 mph descents, and its paint and decals still look like new. We’re sure glad we didn’t settle for some Brand-X entry-level bike when we were looking.

Team Dudley, Peoria, IL

Instant fun

I usually don’t write letters to companies, but the response my wife and I had to our first ride on our new aluminum tandem was just too wonderful not to share.

I am a very avid and competitive cyclist, while my wife is a bit more sensitive to the twists and bumps in the roads in the Santa Cruz mountains (not to mention the inclines). After our first hour-plus training ride, she was not only hooked, but happy and ready to go again.

The bike is responsive without being stiff or jarring. We were both shocked at how quickly we climbed. The shock absorbing seat post is another home run. I thank you for making such a wonderful performer, while Hilary thanks you for making such a beautiful, thoughtful and fun bike to ride. People smile when they see us on the road, and now we both smile.

Jack and Hilary May, Santa Cruz, CA

Time to talk

In this day and age it is important to know where your kids are. Jennifer, my 15-year-old daughter, and I have pedaled many back roads through North Georgia. Conversation is a big part of our tandeming. We have entered into many discussions that would not have been possible if we were not riding together on our tandem. These memories and hopefully more to come will last a lifetime for the both of us.

Michael Poley, Cartersville, GA

Control issues

Four years ago my husband asked if we should get a tandem. I wanted no part of it! Why give up control, when I felt I was as strong a rider as he – I didn’t need him to help me on a bike. I logged thousands more miles, and felt insulted.

Then I began to think a little deeper. What caused me to give my reluctant okay to this tandem deal was his promise of a bike vacation that year, and he told me I could get the best tandem (a Santana) in my favorite color (purple). Since then I have become the biggest advocate of tandems. We have taken a major bike trip every year. This summer, we wondered how we could attend both of our 20th High School reunions (mine in Pennsylvania and his in New Hampshire) and still get in a bike trip. Well, we flew to mine and tandemed to his! Though we grew up on the East coast, this trip was the first time we really saw it. In all our years and miles we’ve never had a mechanical problem – just our normal one flat per trip – usually a mile from the end on the last day. The Santana is awesome.

Beth A. Scott, Anchorage, AK