Crista and Tessa on a tandem bike in Central Park in NYC

I like to talk about technology...but sometimes the outdoors just takes over.

Last Sunday was the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, a fabulous event here in NYC, in which about 32,000 people ride bicycles through the city.

I rode on the back of a tandem bicycle. See this great VisionAware article about tandem cycling to get inspired.

So, what technology comes into play when cycling? Let's start with the bike. I rode with a new group in town, InTandem, which provided about twenty of us with bikes, captains (the person on the front), training, entry fees, and practice rides for the past few months. My team, captained by Tessa, had a gorgeous rental bike from a local bike shop.

Here's a tip if you're going out for the day on a bike—your dog obviously will not fit in your pocket (no jokes about side cars, I've heard them all!), and really, neither will your usual cane. A few years ago I discovered the great value of the Identity cane. This is a pencil-thin white cane that folds up and will fit in a jacket pocket. It's not the thing you want to use on a regular basis, if you rely on a cane, but it's perfect for those little trips into a coffee shop or over to the drinking fountain in the park.

Your captain will very much appreciate a little help from you, besides your role as the pedaler (and by the way, your other job is to laugh every time someone else rides by and shouts to the person in the front that you're not pedaling). So, put your GPS device in your pocket and run your headphones up through your bike jersey so you can keep track of where you are. Be sure to bring a spare battery and cable, though—all the GPS systems I've tried use up the battery before you can reasonably get where you're going. I'm using the Seeing Eye GPS on my iPhone, and I love it. I usually just let it announce things I'm passing, rather than building a route, but for those times when you and your captain are both lost, it can be a big timesaver.

OK, what tandem technology are you using? Velcro strips for the pant legs, state-of-the-art helmets, lightweight but capacious fanny packs... please tell us what tricks you've found to make your rides safer and more fun!