Special Note: Even though you are a passenger, you should be as alert as or more than the driver. Be alert, be aware, and anticipate fast stops and sudden turns based on what you see around you. Doing so will help to prevent unnecessary accidents and/or injuries.
It is customary to get on or off the Companion Bike Seat from the left side (as a passenger). Always wait for the rider to tell you it’s okay to mount or dismount. If you start to climb on (or off) when the rider does not expect it, the sudden motion of the bicycle will be disconcerting. You could even knock the bicycle (and the rider) over. Recommended method of getting on to the Companion Bike Seat: extend your right leg over the seat, then slide gently up onto the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and you are on-board.
Minors over the age of thirteen may want to start by putting their foot onto the left foot peg first. Make sure the rider has their feet planted firmly on the ground before doing so. You must keep your body low and lean over the bicycle as much as possible while you get on, to help the rider keep the bicycle balanced. To dismount, simply reverse the above process.
Once you are on the Companion Bike Seat, plant your feet firmly on the foot pegs and keep them there. You do NOT want to bring your feet into contact with the rear wheel or drive chain. Never attempt to help the rider hold the bicycle upright when it’s stopped. Keep your feet safe by keeping them on the foot pegs at all times.
Place your hands on the rider’s hips. This is the best way to hold on to the rider, and it keeps you in touch with the rider’s movements. Keep your weight centered over the bicycle. Try not to move around any more than is necessary, particularly when the bicycle is stopped or moving slowly, as it affects the balance of the bicycle.
Bicycles turn by leaning (banking like an airplane), not by steering like a car. Don’t be alarmed when the bicycle leans over to go around a corner. To position yourself perfectly for a turn, just look over the rider’s shoulder in the direction of the turn. (If the bicycle is turning right, look over the rider’s right shoulder; if it is turning left, look over the rider’s left shoulder.) You don’t have to do anything else; looking naturally over the rider’s inside shoulder will naturally put your weight right where it belongs in a turn. Keep your body in line with the rider’s body to prevent the bicycle from leaning more than the rider intends. Never lean out of a turn; you could cause an accident that way.
When the rider puts on the brakes, it causes a forward weight transfer. If the rider is forced to break hard, this forward weight transfer is very apparent; you will be forced against the rider and you will start to slide forward on the Companion Bike Seat. In the event that this occurs, try to keep back, away from the rider. Resist sliding forward by pressing your feet against the foot pegs, using your thigh muscles to control your position on the seat. If you slide forward, you may force the rider forward, potentially reducing the rider’s control over the bicycle.
You can be an active participant in the ride by staying alert and being prepared. Help the rider look for potential danger, and be prepared to hang on and hold yourself back if you anticipate a need for sudden braking. Likewise, if the rider is forced to swerve the bicycle to avoid a hazard in the road, you need to be prepared for the sudden lean and change of direction.
As a rider, when you are carrying a passenger on your bike using your Companion Bike Seat, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your riding. A passenger’s extra weight will substantially affect your bicycle’s handling characteristics. To help compensate for this difference, remember the following tips:
- Allow more time and space than you normally would
- Be cautious when turning corners
- Brake sooner than normal when carrying a passenger
- The heavier the passenger, the longer it will take to turn, slow down, or speed up
- Always adhere to speed limits and local traffic and biking laws, with or without a passenger on your Companion Bike Seat
- The bicycle should be securely braced before the passenger mounts
Download our complete Companion Bike Seat Installation and Safety Guide here:
For installation instructions, click here.