Some people are spinners on a bike. They ride in a slightly lower gear than what they could actually push, and maintain a speed by spinning more quickly. Others are mashers, and they ride in the highest gear they can manage to push at any given speed. They maintain their speed with muscle, rather than spin.
I am a spinner. That's probably one reason I like riding a fixed gear. Carol is not a spinner.
This came into play the first time we rode a tandem together. I had borrowed the rental tandem from the shop, and the two of us rode from Parker up to the Cherry Creek Mall area, on the Cherry Creek Trail. At one point, the trail dipped down. slightly, and went under a street.
As we headed downhill, I simply spun faster to maintain our speed, rather than shifting up to maintain our cadence. I heard Carol go , "Whoa!"
She had been unable to keep her feet on the pedals at 120 rpm, and actually lost her footing. I coasted and let her get her feet back into the toeclips.
"Sorry about that," I said.
I made an effort to remember to keep the cadence under 100 rpm, from then on.