Stoker

Stoker

STOH-ker

noun

Stoker is the name for the rear cyclist in a tandem bike.

Example usage: The Stoker in the tandem bike was having a great time.

Most used in: Bikepacking communities.

Most used by: Bikepackers who ride tandems.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 6/10

Also see: Pilot, Captain, Backrider, Tandem Rider,

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What is a Stoker in Cycling?

The term ‘Stoker’ is used in cycling to refer to the person who sits in the back of a tandem bicycle. This person is responsible for powering the bike and is usually smaller than the person in the front, who is known as the ‘Captain’. The Stoker typically has no control over the steering or braking, and instead focuses on providing the power for the tandem bike.

Tandem bikes are becoming increasingly popular in the cycling world, with an estimated 5.2 million tandem bicycle riders in the United States alone. Tandem biking is a great way for couples or friends to get out and explore the outdoors together, and the Stoker role is an important part of the team.

To be a successful Stoker, a rider must have good communication skills and be a team player. The Stoker must be willing to work with the Captain to determine a comfortable pedaling cadence and also be able to respond quickly to any changes in terrain or speed. Additionally, the Stoker should be able to trust the Captain to steer the bike and make decisions that are in the best interest of the team.

The role of the Stoker in tandem cycling is an important one, and a successful partnership between the Captain and Stoker is essential for a safe and enjoyable ride. With the right combination of skills and trust, tandem biking can be a great way to explore the outdoors with a friend.

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The Origins of the Cycling Term 'Stoker'

The term 'Stoker' originated in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century. It was first used to describe the person who sat on the back of a tandem bicycle and provided the power for the team. This person was referred to as the 'stoker' since they were responsible for stoking the fire of the bicycle's locomotion.

Tandem bicycles were first developed in the 1880s and were popularized in England through the efforts of the British Cycling Magazine. The term 'Stoker' was first used in an article in the magazine in 1895. The article described a tandem bicycle race in which the cyclists were referred to as the 'pilot' and the 'stoker'.

Since then, the term 'Stoker' has been used to refer to the person on the back of a tandem bicycle. It is used to describe the person who provides the power and the extra set of eyes that the pilot needs to navigate the terrain. The term is still used today in tandem cycling circles and is a reminder of the origins of the sport.

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