Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Tandems are all around us! Everywhere I go there are over-subscribed bicycles traveling down the road. I cannot remember the last time I've seen a tandem bicycle prior to my recent tandem epiphany, but they are popping up all over the place now. During a ride this weekend with Mrs. Wheelie we spotted the mother of all tandems - a triple tandem. It first looked like a cluster of bicycles in a tight pace-line coming down the road toward us. On closer inspection the reality of the thing was clear. It was like a rolling centipede with several sets of arms and legs working in unified forward motion. What I wouldn't give for a photo of it to post. Not a moment after I processed the reality of this bicycle did it pass and disappear down the road with all of the momentum and efficiency of an eight-man rowing shell. My envy was whetted. On a side note, there are even more ambitious inhabitants in the land of the bicycle built for two (or more) - if three's company, four's a crowd, and more is just stupid.
The insanity. My interest in this cycling phenomenon was soon purged by the sighting of another tandem a little later in the same ride. This more typical tandem carried a man and a woman. We stopped diagonally across from it at a traffic intersection. This allowed several minutes for inspection. I realized that this pair had taken the tandem concept to the next level with completely identical uniforms. Same yellow shirt, same black shorts, same blue helmet with black visor, same gloves, same shoes, same socks. The Double-Mint twins of cycling, but more awkward. It was ghastly. I'm only happy that it wasn't the other extreme. Could this be a sign? If it is, then I'm confused. Maybe the tandem gods are as tortuous as tandems are eccentric. I'm not sure what to make of it.