How I spent my economic stimulus check: new wheels

I've been a bicycling fool for many years, but the recent few years have been unkind; carpal tunnel surgery, two rotator cuff repairs, and an arthritic back have forced me to hang up the old two-wheeler. Thanks to the government's largess, however, I'll soon be back on the road on my new ride, a deSantis recumbent bicycle from Actionbent.

A recumbent looks like a head-on collision between a conventional bike and a recliner. The rider sits in a relaxed position on a chair-like seat. The pedals are out in front of him, rather than beneath, and the handlebars can either be mounted below the seat or above, much like the handlebars in the old one-speed Schwinns many of us rode as children.

The recumbent has an advantage in a headwind, since the rider is in a more streamlined position. It also has some downside; less visible to traffic, more challenging to ride in a straight line, and slower to accelerate from a stop. Nonetheless, for me, it's a grand compromise that should allow me to get on the road again. Thanks, Congress!

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