Over on MTB Tandem Coach, I posted about Lisa and I practicing how to get up water bars and rock steps. I wrote a little there about how this is done on a single bike, 1/2 bikes as tandem riders call them. Then later while out riding with Racer X cycling team member Christine I had a chance to take some video. Christine choose to show how not to do it. We only took a quick stop to record this video, Christine wanted a long ride so we had to keep going
Here is how I described it should be done on a single bike.
As you approach a water bar you start to sit more upright, then, getting the timing right, you raise your front wheel by lowering your upper body, and pulling yourself toward the bars. You do this just enough to get your front wheel up the water bar. Then, and this is the part we are trying to replicate on the tandem, you raise forward off the seat, and again getting the timing just right, you lightly pull the rear wheel up as you push forward on the bars. This basically has the effect of bringing the seat back to you. This works because basically, you are using the moving of your body to “ratchet” your bike up the water bar. The advantage of this is that you don’t lose momentum from your front or rear wheel hitting the log or your rear wheel spinning trying to climb the log. I call this “easing” the bike up because if done right, it takes little energy and is a really fluid motion.
When you watch the video you show to pay attention to how I lift the front when and then my body position after the wheel is up.
The rerun in the video is the same footage for Christine but a different run for me. In the rerun, I also altered the speeds so that we are going the same “virtual” speed. My speed is slowed to 25% of true and Christian’s is slowed to 47% of true. What you don’t see is that Christine slowed before she comes into the camera frame in anticipation; I think she wanted to make it more difficult.