|Analysis by Jim Langley...
of the interesting features of tandems of this era is that they are
steered by the person in back. Today's tandem bikes are almost
always steered from the front. To steer it from the back, the one in
your photo has a linkage that lets the rear handlebars move the
front wheel. You can see the linkage bar on the side of the frame.
That's the steering linkage. The person in front just goes along
with the ride as the person in back steers. The people that rode
this tandem had to be pretty darn fit because it only has one
sprocket on the back and it's pretty small meaning a hard-to-pedal
gear, especially if they were to have to ride up any of San
Francisco's steep hills.
I'm afraid I can't see anything on the bike that tips me off to
the brand or model. I would say that the man is dressed very nicely
in cycling knickers, knee socks, leather shoes, gloves and a tidy
cap. He appears to have the latest cycling fashions and may have
been fairly well to do since the tandem and the cycling gear was
expensive even in 1900, and a way to show off your stature in
society. I suspect he was riding with another man, though, not a
woman, since the front of the bike is a man's frame. If he was with
a woman, the front of the bike would have had a sloping frame for
the woman to get on and off easily.
Jim Langley | Bicycle Aficionado
Author of "Your Home Bicycle Workshop":