Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions regarding tandem riding.  The answers are a compilation of opinions given by some of the PTC members as well as a few club policy FAQs.

General Tandem FAQs

  • Where can I get a box for my tandem?

The club has a hard shell case that can be borrowed.  Click here for more details.  Also there are rumors Santana is having a cardboard box designed for tandems, so you may try contacting them.
  • Can I take my tandem on an airplane?

We asked our club members if they have taken their tandems on an airplane.  A little more than half have.  Of those have, 4 had coupled tandems and 5 didn't.  Only one said they wouldn't do it again and two said they would only do it again with a tandem with couplings that allow it to be broken down.  You can find the survey details here.
  • Where can I buy a tandem in the Portland area?

Here are few places to buy a tandem mentioned by PTC club members (We're sure there are others in town).  They are listed in order of number of recommendations received.

  • West End Bikes
  • Bike Gallery
  • River City Bicycles
Also, if you are looking to save money, you can regularly find tandem bikes for sale on craigslist.

  • Where can I rent a tandem in the Portland area?

Waterfront Bicycle is one place we have heard of that rents tandem bicycles in Portland.  If you are thinking about buying a tandem, many bike shops will let you go for a fairly extended test ride.  If you know of other places that rent tandems, let us know.

One more place to try is Spinlister, which is a bike sharing website.  There are several tandems listed.  We have no affiliation with them and do not know anything more than what we found on their web site.  If you do rent a tandem using Spinlister, please send us a review of how it went.

  • Where is a good place to get my tandem repaired?

We sent a short survey to our club members and compiled the results.  We asked for bike shops and if there was a specific mechanic they recommended.  Here are the results:
 Shop    # of votes
 Beaverton Bike Gallery 4 2 votes for Michael, 1 for Tim
 River City Bicycles 3 1 vote for Brandon
 West End Bikes
 Portland Bike Gallery  1 
 Sellwood Cycle Repair 1 
 Gateway Bicycles 1 (note: They were one of the better tandem shop a long time ago, but I think they are out of business now.

  • Are tandems easier to ride than a single bike?

Some riders say yes and some say no.  However, tandem bikes are a great equalizer when one rider is stronger than the other.  Some couples have trouble riding single bikes together because one wants to ride faster.  That's not a problem on a tandem.  You each put in as much effort as you want.  If you're not moving, it's probably a sign a tandem is not right for you :-).  One wife commented to her daughter, "We rode for 18 miles and I kept up with your dad the whole way!"

  • Are tandems good for a relationship?

They can be, however it depends on the couple.  Many of the Portland Tandem Club members have found tandem riding to be a great activity they can do together.  But a tandem will probably not improve an already rocky relationship.  Here's another quote:  "Wherever your relationship is heading, it'll get there faster on a tandem!"

Club Policies and HowTos FAQs

  • We want to sell our tandem.  Will you put an ad or a link to an ad on your website?

Sorry, but we have decided that posting ads for Tandems is something we would rather not do.

  • I have a product I think your members would be interested in.  Will you add a link to it on your website?

No.  We have received email messages in the past asking us to post links or forward email messages to club members.  The club has decided not to post links for products.  There are other ways for you to contact bicycle enthusiasts, so please use them instead.

  • I'm not a member of the club, but can I go on one of your rides anyway?

Yes.  However we do expect you to be a self-sufficient rider.  Please look at the Ride Waiver and Sign-in List you will need to sign if you attend one of our rides:  Ride Waiver.


Other FAQs

  • I'd like to go on one of the Monday Morning rides.  Where is a good place to park?

OMSI charges $5 to park in their lot, but it is reserved for OMSI visitors only.  On slow days they have been known to wave this restriction.  Check inside OMSI first.  

There is on street parking along Water Avenue and under the bridges, but there is a two hour limit.

There is no time limit on streets east of 10th Avenue.  Also, there is one 4 hour limit parking spot on SE 6th just south of Clay Street.

 The rides usually last about 3 hours.