Monday, February 1, 2010

Back to the Bikes

Its still surprises me that when ever I meet new people and find ourselves talking about recumbents, the recumbent style of riding and The sitting position always comes up as a question. "Is it comfortable?"
When ever I look at a recumbent, I see a lounge chair. I see the same sitting position as you would be in while driving a car. Coming up along side of a driver, puts you at the same eye height.
Although while climbing a hill, you cant stand on the pedals. Learning how to ride a recumbent requires a new style of hill climbing that takes about 2 weeks to figure out. The back of the seat can be pushed back into giving a new power position that is not found on any up right bicycle and missed when you go back. The reduced wind resistance because of the smaller profile of the rider into the wind, makes simple rolling easier then if you were sitting up. I like to use the "Hand outside the window of a car" to explain the difference. I think everyone now has experienced that effect. With your hand out flat, you feel far more drag then sideways.
Like they say, The proof is in the pudding. Getting on a recumbent and trying a ride will answer more questions then talk. Bicycle shops that sell Recumbents offer test rides. My job at Belmont Wheelworks offers rides as long as the streets are clean. We have a safe place to teach how to balance and after a few "roll outs" everyone figures it out. The heads up approach of riding will have you smiling in a very short time.

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