- Author: Kasia Michalik
- Category: Health & Fitness
- Issue: Feb 2012
They say that couples who play together stay together. Also: Those who pedal together fight weight-gain and joint disease together. It doesn’t rhyme as well, but it’s just as true.
Long stigmatized as the bike-nerd equivalent of matching dinner outfits, tandem biking is gaining stature as a cool, cooperative activity for fitness-minded couples. Somewhat more technically challenging than one-crank bicycling, tandem biking allows the “captain” (front rider) and “stoker” (back rider) to enjoy a conversation as well as a great scenic ride.
“People start riding tandems because it’s something fun to do as a couple, to spend time together, enjoy the outdoors together, exercise together, meet other tandem couples with the same interests,” says Maxine Ohlsen, a 10-year member of the Arizona Bike Club. “It’s a great way to build companionship with your spouse.”
Every first and third Sunday of the month, the all-tandem “Coyotes” chapter of the ABC meets for a 20- to 30-mile breakfast ride at different locations around the Valley. Hours vary depending on the season, but all rides start between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Membership in ABC costs $25 but is not required to join the Coyotes for a morning ride. To join or get more information on the Coyotes tandem bikers, visit azbikeclub.com.
More Action à Deux
Rock Star Boot Camp:
Every college student has heard of the “freshman 15.” But what about the “newlywed 30”? Sadly, the fitness imperative tends to wane when we find Mr. or Mrs. Right. Shed those happiness-pounds together with trainer Curtis Hoekstra, whose high-energy unisex fitness classes are designed to “shut down fat-storing hormones” and restore your pre-couplehood physique. Two Phoenix locations. 480-981-6877, rockstarbootcamp.net
Kiwanis Tennis Center:
Want to build teamwork skills with your significant other? Smooth out your ground strokes by taking up mixed-doubles tennis. The Kiwanis Tennis Center in Tempe offers both adult tennis lessons and a mixed-doubles tennis league in the spring – perfect for couples who want to try a little “swinging.” 480-350-5725, tempe.gov/tennis
Dance FX Studios:
If you doubt the fitness benefits of swing dancing, just check out the quads on the instructors and advanced students at this Chandler social-dancing studio. Ripped, baby! Get into shape with your amour while taking pleasure in the fact that the two of you will wow the gallery at the next family wedding, holiday party or dance-floor-equipped social event. 480-968-6177, dancefxstudios.com