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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Where are all the tandem bikes.?

“Where are all the tandem bikes? …I’ve only seen them in some Hindi movies, but not in Kathmandu”-Pasang Sherpa

We asked around, looking for tandem bikes; we asked Nick; we asked Shanti; we asked Claire; we asked Dawa Sherpa; we asked Amrit-dai; we asked Dave, who told us we could find a tandem bike;

We searched Bodhi Books and Bikes (Bakes), Trek Bicycle Shop for Bikes, every junkyard and graveyard in the Greater Kathmandu Valley, and most of the streets; we found neither tandem nor bikes, despite our best efforts to find tandem bikes; what we did find was something more mysterious, less substantial, and moderately compelling: a Big Discovery! which was: spare. bike. parts……….. so we took a step back for a few days following this shocking revelation; after a good rest, we felt rejuvenated and ready to go; we bought bike parts according to the following comprehensive list:

i) wheel, 6 (3 needed)

ii) steering wheel

iii) handlebars, 11 (2 for our hands, 1 for the back, a few extra because we liked the aggressive shopkeepers)

iv) seats, 3

v) gears, unquantifiable

vi) frame, big, 4

vii) horn, 20+ (acquisition still in process)

viii) window frame/lightbulb

after another brief rest at the suggestion of a priest, we got to work. we built a tandem bike; Dave proceeded to tell us that there are no tandem bikes in the Greater Kathmandu Valley, which shook us to the point of losing our window frame, cracking the light bulb, and running off with a spare cab. Dear Readers, beware of Dave the instructor. Just to reiterate for emphasis, we built a tandem bike; Dave proceeded to tell us that there are no tandem bikes in the Greater Kathmandu Valley.

We rode our tandem bike; the ride was a bit uncomfortable and strenuous, but that was a given considering the newness of the tandem bike.

We left it out on the street while we had a brief check-in with The Priest; we returned to a shocking area: cars honking, people screaming, and a bunch of metallic pools of rust and tears. Dear Readers, it all melted. That was the Big Twist. Everything melted, including all of our spare parts which were stored on Karma’s roof. We were very confused at the melted state of our tandem bike. Tandem bike central.

What happened?

We studied the science of tandem bikes melting; we found that in fact tandem bikes cannot melt in any way, shape, or form unless exposed to excessive heat; but that did not explain our predicament because all of the other cars were fine. We checked the fermentation level of the melted tandem bike and were shocked to find the evidence inconclusive. So we went back to The Priest, and what we learned was even more shocking than we could comprehend; so we took another 3-4 day break. What we learned was shocking: it was as follows: there exists a Secret Society of Kathmandu Tandem Bikes, unbeknownst to everyone except the members of the Society and The Priest, who is the main opposition. The Society controls the Sun to a certain extent; to the extent to which the Sun in controllable; with this power in hand and soul, they melt all non-Secret Society tandem bikes in the Greater Kathmandu Valley. We hypothesized that this was the reason why the only tandem bikes Pasang Sherpa knows are in some Hindi movies, which may or may not have been about tandem bikes. Then we learned the most shocking thing: it was the most shocking thing we had learned this far: while contemplating a theoretical lunch with Karl Marx, we learned that Dave is the leader of the Secret Society of Greater Kathmandu Valley Tandem Bikes, because he accidentally told us so. We knew for sure he was not lying because we thoroughly checked the validity of the sources..and that’s why…there are no tandem bikes in the Greater Kathmandu Valley.

PS, Dear Readers, we are still searching…

PPS, we need a tandem bike.


PPPPS, we’re going to win it all in the NYC Marathon.

This has been a “tandem yak, by Jake and Lyza.” -Julian, 2018