Beyond Awesome… In So Many Respects (16″ wheeled Kids Tandem)

This was just posted by a new member of BikeForums.net — Robert H. — who I believe hails from Michigan.  Robert appears to be a highly skilled machinist — perhaps even an engineer for a major auto maker — and an equally awesome dad and cycling/tandem enthusiast. When you combine all of those things you get something that is truly “Beyond Awesome”.

There’s something for the gear-heads and bike geeks in his video, as well as for the moms, dads and anyone else who loves to see parents who know how to nurture their children.

So, without further a due, and with Robert’s permission, here is his original posting followed by his video:

Thought some of you may find this interesting and entertaining. I built a tandem for my four year old and six year old boys. I have a tandem that my wife and I enjoy and thought my boys would enjoy that same. Needless to say, they love it. I get a kick out of seeing how much fun they have riding it. I figure it would help reinforce working together as a team. They get noticed from both other little kids and parents seeing them ride it. 

So far it’s been a total blast. They learned much more quickly than I could have imagined that they can go much faster as a team. Before I was barely poking around to keep up, now I have to move it along and make an effort. Basically their top speed is limited to their pedal RPM as they can easily push that gear. 

Having both boys on one bike has also been great at physically keeping them together. When they ride on their own bikes it sometimes becomes a challenge when one boy zooms ahead while the other is poking along behind. Do I speed up and leave the slow one behind or do I slow down loosing sight of the one in front. This is no longer an issue. 

Here is a video of the process on how I made the bike. 

Enjoy

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Health & Fitness, Tandem Folks, Technology & Equip., Whimsical Or Entertaining. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Beyond Awesome… In So Many Respects (16″ wheeled Kids Tandem)

  1. Kevin Vinson says:

    Mark,

    Thank you for sharing this story. Would you mind if I forwarded this onto the DATES members? This is such a neat story and the video showing the process of building the 16″ tandem is very interesting. Wonderful story! You and Debbie take care and have a great weekend.

    Regards,
    Kevin & Linda
    The Colony, TX

  2. Eric says:

    Great video and foresight into building that Tandem from those donor bikes. That is one incredible array of tools at his disposal, quite envious…Imagine what those kids are going to be able to do when they grow up after being in that enviroment.

  3. Chris Merz says:

    Very nice job on the bike and thanks for sharing the video with the Dallas Dates tandem club!

  4. Rob H. says:

    Thanks guys. Not a machinist but i am an engineer. The project was great at showing my boys how things are done. At first it was yucky girl colored bikes. Over the course of the build they started to catch on. After the paint and flames, they were amazed and completely sold. I wish I could have captures some of those reactions of them seeing the transformation. Next project I suppose.

    • TG says:

      Again, just an awesome job all the way around Rob, especially from a parenting perspective. It’s the love for your boys and investing time & energy in teaching them both how to do things and how to parent that will pay huge dividend throughout the rest of your lives.

      I was using “machinist” more as a functional noun than a formal noun… your skills and the vast array of equipment as your disposal is impressive. I have only one friend and just a few acquaintances via motorcycle discussion forums who have personal CNC machines in their home shop: nice YCM-40 you got there, never mind the very nice Clausing Colchester engine lathe.

      • Robert H. says:

        Thanks for the kudos. I believe in exposing my kids to as much as I can when they are still young and brains are eager to learn. A fun project helps make the learning easier.

        My basement shop has been a work in progress over the last 12 years. The CNC mill and Colchester lathe came apart, moved through my front door, down a flight of stairs, cleaned, repaired, painted, reassembled and aligned. Their move is a topic on another forum. I know these machines inside and out and taught myself how to use them efficiently. With the machines in place, tackling projects such as this one is enjoyable.
        I’m glad I was able to finish the bike with some summer left. Looking forward to fall biking in Michigan including cycling trips to the cider mill.

  5. Peter Leiss says:

    That is a great video of how to get things done!! Thanks well done.

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