Travel

Exploring Chennai on a double cycle

Ryan and Heidi on their cycle Tandem. Photo: R. Ravindran  

For their 22 wedding anniversary recently, Ryan Sager planned a major surprise for his wife Heidi. He emailed his students – at the American International School, Tharamani, where the couple teach – to hand over roses to his wife before class and wish her personally.

It was a surprise that Heidi loved. They followed it up with an exciting anniversary weekend – riding their unique ‘double bicyle’ all the way till Mahabalipuram.

“Locals call it a super cycle,” Heidi says excitedly, as we catch up with her for breakfast at the ECR on a sunny Saturday morning, “We get a lot of attention wherever we go.”

There’s little doubt they would – for the cycle, called Tandem, is literally two people pedalling at the same time in a bid to move forward. Imported from the US three years ago, the couple take the cycle out for a ride every weekend; from their Neelankarai house to Mahabalipuram. “We’ve been cycling for a long while and wanted a good cycle that would be custom made for us. We then got Tandem custom-built for us; the manufacturers measured our bodies and built the cycle accordingly.”

When they hit the road in Chennai, a city they’ve been in for the last five years, the Sagers get a lot of attention. Their Tandem, quite a rarity in the city, can not just seat them but also hold five bags of travel equipment, including clothes, sleeping bags and electronics. “For longer trips, we also take cooking vessels and rain jackets in it. We treat it more like a motor home.”

The “home” is something that has to be pedalled in tandem – and that requires some solid coordination skills. “We’ve been married for a long while (22 years) and over time, we learn the other person’s tendencies,” chips in Ryan, “I even know when she takes her hand off the cycle bar.”

They are planning a dream trip soon – to ride down the Pacific coast, from Seattle to California, their hometown. “We’re so looking forward to that,” smiles Heidi. Won’t that be tiring? “Oh, Tandem is like a Ferrari. Only that it’s a cycle.”

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 7:46:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/travel/in-tandem-with-each-other/article8183865.ece

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