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We’re on a downhill section now, and this is where having two riders together on one bike comes into its own. We are flying. Trees whip past as we careen down the trail, barely in control. I’m relieved that we’re on the Forest of Dean’s cycling trails, well away from traffic.

After all, stick two people together on the same bike and there are going to be teething problems. Both sets of pedals are linked, so the two riders have to pedal (or not) at exactly the same time. For the stoker, it’s tempting to lean into corners, a no-no for balance, while the pilot’s job is steering. We’ve already fallen off once, thanks to a wobbly start, followed by me pulling my feet off the pedals in panic. I reckon we’ve (largely) got it sussed now, though, and the signposted paths winding through the dense verdure of this royal forest are huge amounts of fun.

There’s something really sociable about sharing a bike. Instead of having to yell at each other as the wind tears our voices away, we’re cocooned in our own intimate bubble where chatting is easy. On the back, it’s a bit of a magical mystery tour; I can see to my sides, but that’s pretty much it, while, up front, my mate is having to do all the steering (and, truth be told, most of the pedalling work).

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Tandem biking in the Forest of Dean
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