Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

15 February 2012

Times Square For Two

Today I went to my physical therapist.  It was strange, in a way:  I had gone to him in the summer and early fall of 2007 for another, non-bike related, injury.  But, it seems, a whole lifetime has passed for me since then!

Anyway, he did a few tests, had me do some stretching exercises (My pelvis has become rigid during my inactivity), iced my knee and gave me a printout of the exercises I should do at home.  

I could actually feel my knee getting better--or at least giving me less pain--through the course of the session.  I've scheduled another session for last week, and he believes I may not need another after that.

His practice is literally around the corner from Grand Central Station.  So, after the session, I went for a walk through the area:  by the Chrysler Building and New York Public Library (two of my favorite buildings in this city) and into Times Square, the theatre district and Restaurant Row. Along the latter, I saw this curiosity locked to a parking meter.

It reminded me of the difference between a tandem and a two-seater.  People often use the terms interchangeably.  But this bike shows me that they're two different animals, so to speak.  To me, the bike I saw today is a two-seater.  It's not a bike built for two, which is more or less how I would define a tandem.  Also, the rear rider is a passenger, not a "stoker," or someone who pedals along with the "captain," or rider in front.

That said, I don't mean to denigrate the bike.  It's a rather nice Marin mountain bike from, I'm guessing, some time in the early '90's.  I feel confident that my guess is educated, for I had a Marin mountain bike around that time.

Anyway, the way rear setup is interesting:  A threadless stem is clamped around the seatpost, and there is a "platform"  on top of the Blackburn-style rack in the rear, as well as "guards" along its sides.  I suspect that the usual passenger is a small child.

Interesting as it is, I'm not sure I'd want to ride the rear or have anyone else ride it if I were pedaling.

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