More than ;; years ago, George and Linda Wells decided that bicycling together would be a
perfect way to exercise and enjoy the
rolling Morris County countryside near
their home in Dover. They bought a pair
of used bicycles. That was their first
George is a shade under ; feet tall;
Linda is at least a foot shorter.
“I couldn’t stay up with him,” says
Linda. “She wasn’t having a good time,”
It’s a common problem with a fairly
simple solution: a tandem bicycle.
George and Linda tested a few tandems, bought one, and together plunged
into their new activity. They began joining other couples for excursions, called
tandem rallies. In ;;;;, they helped start
a tandem club that came to be known as
Doubles of the Garden State (DOGS).
DOGS has about ;; two-person teams
that assemble year-round, weather
permitting, for group rides. The group
includes mostly couples, including
numerous empty-nesters. “Middle age
tends to be the time most riders come
to tandem,” says George. But the group
attracts younger riders, too.
“This is something we can do together—and stay together,” says Diana
Uribe, a teacher’s aide and yoga instructor from Pompton Plains. She and her
husband, Percy, who works for a brokerage firm, have been DOGS for about six
years. Percy used to race bicycles. Now
he rides at Diana’s more laid-back pace.
Fern Goodhart, a Highland Park resi-
dent who rides with her husband, Tom, is
blunt about the togetherness of tandem
biking. “On tandem rides,” she says, “he’s
stuck with me.”
Many group rides run between ;; and
;; miles and follow low-tra;c, tree-lined
roads in the most rural and scenic parts
of Jersey—from the hilly north to the flat-
ter south. There are also o;-road rides
for “dirty DOGS” on tandem mountain
bikes, as well as rail-trail rides for “dusty
DOGS.” (For a schedule of upcoming
tandem rides, visit d-o-g-s.org.)
All of the rides are noncompetitive.
“Most of us usually try to find a way to include ice cream on the rides,” says Mark
Cucuzella of Annandale, who rides tandem with his wife, Cheryl Prudhomme.
Indeed, the DOGS website declares: “We
engage in two principal activities: riding
Most of the group lives in New Jersey,
but there are DOGS from New York and
seven other states—there’s even a couple
that lives in Switzerland. Some of the
group’s excursions take them to New
York or Pennsylvania.