Daisy, Daisy - Tandem Bikes and Old Song Memories

Tandem bike

Tandem bike
Tandem bike | Source

Songs and Memories

My family did a lot of singing together when my brothers and I were growing up and even after we were older. It makes me smile just thinking about those good old days!

One of the songs we often sang was just the chorus of the song “Daisy Bell” commonly known as the bicycle built for two. It was written by an English composer by the name of Harry Dacre in 1892.

Tandem bikes were also known to have first been patented in the late 1890s.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

“Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do.
I'm half crazy all for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet,
Upon the seat,
Of a bicycle built for two.”

Below you can hear the original lyrics of the old song of which we as a family regularly sang some of the chorus lyrics...

Schwinn tandem bike

Schwinn tandem bike
Schwinn tandem bike | Source

Auto shortage...

After World War II automobiles were in short supply for a while because prior to the war ending much of the manufacturing of items was directed towards the war effort. It took a while for companies to go back to peacetime manufacturing.

In actuality my dad did some of his courting of my mother on a bicycle. It was not a bicycle built for two but bicycles were a good mode of transportation for reasonably short distances in Okauchee, Wisconsin where my mother’s parents had a summer cottage on the lake.

He would borrow his mother’s car to drive into Milwaukee to see her at their primary residence. This was after he had come home from participating in WWII as a paratrooper in Europe.

Of course he eventually was able to purchase his own car, get married and the rest of this story became part of our family history.

Tandem bike riding

Tandem bike riding
Tandem bike riding | Source

See how this family bicycles together on this specially made tandem bike.

Racing on a tandem bike.

Origin of Tandem Bikes

Curious as to when tandem bikes were originated I learned quite a bit from reading a Wikipedia link which you can access here. I learned that the first patent was issued around the same decade as some of my grandparents were born...in the late 1890s.

Did you know that tandem bikes can have more than two riders and are built in a number of designs including that of tricycles? That was news to me as I always associated them with just the two riders...one in front of the other. Some are fashioned in a recumbent design so there are plenty of variables as to the design of tandem bikes.

It must be fun riding a tandem bicycle and it makes sense that with two people (or more in the case of those accompanying more passengers) all pedaling, the bicycle would travel more easily having more people powering it. People power takes on the same meaning as horse power used in this sense of energy derived from the exertion.

Of course the person steering the bicycle plays double duty and has the responsibility of paying attention to where the bicycle is headed so as to avoid mishaps along the way. This is particularly important in the case of racing such as is done in Paralympics.

See this person's homemade tandem bike.

Manufacturing Tandem Bikes

For those people interested in owning some type of tandem bike it is nice to know that many manufacturers still make a good number of them. In doing a preliminary price check online it appears that newly minted tandem bikes can vary in price from around $700 all the way up to $5,500 for some mountain tandem bikes.

A quick eBay search showed pricing as of today varying from around $250 to over $700.

Some creative people even fashion their own tandem bikes!

Seeing the sites on a tandem bike...

If I was only younger and had good knees, seeing the countryside using tandem bikes would appear to be so enjoyable. The fresh breezes and sights and sounds that could be enjoyed with another person sharing the experience would make for some fantastic memories!

See a video below of a couple doing just that in the country of Greece. How nice is that!

See the fun this couple had in touring Greece using a tandem bike!

Have you ever ridden on a tandem bike?

  • I have never ridden any type of bike.
  • I never got beyond the tricycle stage.
  • I have only ridden a bicycle
  • Yes I have ridden a tandem bike.
See results without voting

© 2016 Peggy Woods

More by this Author

Comments are welcomed. 25 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Susie,

Sure sounds like you had fun. I have never experienced riding on a tandem bike but can just imagine it as being lots of fun. Hope you get the chance once again!

colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 7 months ago from Minnesota

Peg, I road on the back of a tandem once in my life, and I loved the ride. I hardly had to do any of the work and got to enjoy to view through a beautiful countryside tour. I would jump at the chance again.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

Lovely hub! My husband and I had the occasion to try one of these on vacation and it was fun although he worked harder than I did, hehe.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi peachpurple,

I used to ride bikes with my brothers also but never a tandem bike. Would be fun to experience!

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 7 months ago from Home Sweet Home

when i was young, i used to ride bike with my younger brother, it was a fun time back then

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello BlossomSB,

How cute was that! That was a kindly minister to let you finish that song in church. Am sure it brought lots of smiles to many faces. Also the "arnsadoo" mention was funny. Kids often run together words particularly when they are simply sounding them out and have no idea what the real meaning is.

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 7 months ago from Victoria, Australia

That took me back! My Cornish Grandpa taught me that song - in fact it was my first solo in church. I was standing on the seat, probably aged about two, and broke into it at the end of a hymn. Mother was horrified, but the minister asked her to let me finish! I used to wonder what an Arnsadoo was! Love your hub.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Ann,

I agree that tandem bikers get more attention than single bikers as the former is more unusual at least in this part of the world. Sounds like you really enjoy biking. Nice that you have heard the song from your grandmother's lips. :) It is a cute one!

annart profile image

annart 7 months ago from SW England

Great hub, Peggy! I love cycling and I also have a motorbike but I've never ridden in tandem. Whenever a tandem bike is seen, it always attracts on-lookers as it's pretty unusual here now. I'd love to have a go sometime.

I used to cycle to the station to get to school (as a pupil and also later as a teacher!) but have done quite a bit since. It's great to have the fresh air and be able to go where cars can't.

I enjoyed reading this and I remember my grandmother singing the song!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Frank,

Sometimes remembering a song or poem makes our mind wander and that is how this hub came to be. Glad you enjoyed it.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

We have quite a few parks and areas marked off in the City of Houston for bikers who have miles and miles where they can ride without danger of cars hitting them. Of course when bikes are sharing the same roads with cars and trucks, both parties need to be extra cautious.

Yes bikes have certainly become more expensive over the years. I think a vacation on a tandem bike like the one shown in that last video would be so much fun! Thanks for the share.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 7 months ago from Shelton

a great intro.. Poem.. into a entertaining hub.. Peggy I love it :)

Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas

Tandem bikes looked so fun when I was a kid, but now I know most motorists hate bicycles on the road. Even aside from that, it's just not safe to ride a bike on the streets. Theses bikes sure have gotten expensive, but so are regular bikes anymore -- and everything else come to think of it!

A great article, and with spring here in Texas on it's way north, this may just inspire some people to have a tandem bike vacation. Sharing with followers.

Hope all is well with you . . .

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Paul,

That must be so much fun to get to ride tandem bikes. Nice that you have experienced it! Thanks for the share.

Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 7 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Peggy, I first rode a tandem bicycle about 10 years ago in Thailand. You can find them for rent in so many of the tourist areas. Every day I take a walk around a lake in a park where I live in Udonthani, Thailand. I always see a lot of people renting tandem an even bicycles built for three. Riding tandems are a lot of fun, and I do remember the song, "Daisy." Thanks for sharing a great hub which I am sharing with HP followers.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Alicia,

I agree with you in that so many different kinds of bikes are being built these days. Glad you enjoyed the info regarding tandem bikes. That song is a winner. I was humming it in my head today as I was doing other chores.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I remember the song, too. It was aways fun to hear. Thanks for sharing the interesting information about tandem bikes. I have only ridden a regular bicycle, but I've been surprised by the variety of bikes that I've seen lately. Manufacturers and individuals are becoming very creative.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Nell,

That would be a nice song for a child to go to bed hearing. Wonder if your son remembers that as you do? Glad you enjoyed this. :)

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

lol! I loved this! And it brought back memories. For some reason or other, when my son was born back in 79, I kept singing Daisy Daisy to him to get him to sleep! Great memories, and yours were fascinating too!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Louise,

I can well imagine the effects of riding a tandem bike although I have never personally ridden one...only a single bike. Will see if I can locate your hub.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article