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Terminology & ACRONYMS


Tandeming, like any organization have words unique to them.

Many new comers are baffled at what people are talking about when they come together in an outing.

Here are a few of the most common ones you might hear in our club.

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CATS Chicago Area Tandem Society

Tandem Bike Clubs tend to find a way of combining their team names and locations, with some animal. The CATS have embraced the Pink Panther as a mascot, and from that many CATS items are pink.

MTR 2008 Springfield, Illinois

MTR 2008 Springfield, Illinois

MTR Midwest Tandem Rally

This is the largest tandem rally in the world held over 4 days of the Labor Day weekend. This is a large gathering held mostly in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa. Michigan, Minnesota Ohio & Wisconsin with a few times held in Missouri, Nebraska and Kentucky. Tandemists look excitedly to attending this mecca of tandem bikes event, and will not realize when saying the letters MTR that other people have no idea what they are talking about.

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PSTR Prairie State Tandem Rally

Illinois is the Prairie State, so this is a rally held in Illinois. It is smaller than MTR and run by the CATS. It is meant to be a simpler event, which instead of charging admission, we ask non members to join CATS. It has been hit or miss that we throw one every year, depending on someone willing to lead the ride.


COWS Rally

The bike club of Wisconsin is called Couples on Wheels. They throw an annual spring and fall rally. The spring rally is usually near the end of May and it travels all over the State of Wisconsin. It is a state rally like PSTR only bigger. Their fall rally is similar but not as many people as their spring rally.



This is the term for the person who steers the bike. There are other terms for this also , but Captain is most common.


This is the term for the person who sits behind the captain. Like the captain, there are other terms associated with this person, but Stoker is most common.

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Single Bike

Term for people who only have one seat on their bike.



One of the few parts on a tandem that a Single bike differs from a Tandem.

An eccentric is an oval device in the bottom bracket of usually the Captains seat when adjusted can adjust the tightness of the Timing Chain.

Timing Chain

Another term unique to tandems in that it connects by means of a Timing Chain the Captains sprockets to the Stokers sprockets. Usually on the left side of the bike, leaving the Drive Chain to go on the right side of the Stoker’s sprocket to the rear cogs.

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Other Bike Club Names

COWS Wisconsin, MUTS Michigan, HOOTS Indiana, PIGS Iowa, GOATS Ohio. LOONS, Minnesota. Shown are the different Mascots brought to MTR.