Friday 18 May 2012

Collecting the Beast of Bridgwater

Public Announcement:
Judy and Mike are pleased to announce the arrival of a male twin. “The Beast of Bridgwater” arrived safely at SJS Cycles, one cold afternoon in May. Weight excessive but both mother and twin well, thanks to maternity staff. Father daunted.

He’s a he, not a she, nor some gender neutral kind of hermaphrodite. We know this because Steve, the cycle mechanic who brought our tandem into this world kept referring to him as a “he”. Who were we to argue?

Steve makes final adjustments as we take delivery
And after a few days the Beast is revealing he has a tough, almost brutish, maleness about him that we don’t like. He’s not for the faint hearted  as he fishtails his way along the road, threatening  to toss us both over the handlebars at a moment’s notice. These traits – apparently not unusual in heavily laden tandems – have come as a surprise to us. While we did our best to research tandems on the internet our actual experience is close to zip.

Disarray as we fled to a public park
 in Bridgwater to lighten our load and rearrange it.
Better but not great.
The worst moments are when starting off, or pedalling hard in a low gear – say up a hill. The steel frame of our bike flexes, causing us to wobble alarmingly. It quickly becomes a fight for control with us winning – so far.

Judy the Stoker says ….

The view from the back seat is surprisingly pleasant.  Shielded from the wind and with not a jot to do other than pedal and ease pressure when changing gear, surveying the surroundings has been fantastic. Arm stretching, calisthenics is all par for the course – so far, so good.

With Judy's nephew Richard and his fiancee Sarah in London


  1. Yo Man,"Stoker" I like that! At last a look at the Beast mark 11, and what a fine looking lad he is! Wonderful to hear all is going well and to see you enjoying a beer or two. Big smiles all round. p.s. lovely photos of jack

  2. 'The Beast of Bridgewater'-great name-is there a nick name yet? What an amazing bike! You've each won $20 in Bonus Bonds...will that help the travel funds? Judy - The it! Just stay attached as you swing fishtailingly. Love the pic of you both in London with Sarah and Richard. Hope you're having a great time, meeting good people, enjoying the food and wine and that the weather is kind! xx

  3. What a bike! May we have a short try when we'll meet?


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