By Tandem to L.A.

Here’s a beautiful little story by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Steve Rubinstein (a fine reporter and writer who you have a sense from the outside has been a little misused over the years, or maybe that’s just me projecting) about a tandem bike trip he took with his 13-year-old son from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. There’s a nice, relaxed feel to the writing, and the trip sounds fun, too:

For seven days we were 15 inches apart. During the teenage years, that is very long and very close. Perhaps the seating plan helped. On a tandem, the teenager cannot read his father’s facial expression, and the father cannot keep an eye on the teenager at all. We invested in a pair of squirt guns to improve father-son communication, especially when the midafternoon heat kicked in.

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