Friday, July 9, 2010

The Recumbent Rider. Part One, Brad

Brad and I have been riding together for about 7 months now. Every ride has been great. Here are Brad's answers to the questions of the Recumbent Riders Survey:

Q: What first attracted you to Recumbents and when did you first see one?

A: I have been riding bikes for a long time and have seen recumbents just as long. It seems every year I see more and more. Though, I never got a really good look at one since they were moving by me so quickly. Perhaps it wasn't the speed but that my upright bike just offered me a limited field of view.

Q: How long did it take you after you first wanted one to own one?

A: Scott Chamerlain knew I wanted a recumbent before I did. Consequently, once he convinced me, which was only a test ride away, I wanted one too. It took me about 2 months to gather my funds for a new Bacchetta Corsa.

Q: How long did it take for you to feel comfortable and safe riding on the street?

A: Perhaps I have balance problems. One wouldn't think so as I manage to stay upright after copious amounts of beer and I practice that daily; however, it took me a bit to feel comfortable on my recumbent. I felt completely comfortable after 100 miles. That might be an unusually long time but I was learning to ride it in February in New England on the ice. I took it down Mass Ave in Cambridge on my first day. I must apologize to all the drives for swerving in front of them so many times. I now appear to be a completely sober rider holding my line just fine.

Q: What are you riding for a Recumbent these days?

A: I am riding my recumbent for fun, exercise, to see the outrageously beautiful scenery in New England, and to spend time with friends. Oh, sometimes I even use it to get to where I need to go.

Q: What kind of riding do you find yourself doing most? Touring, commuting, group rides?

A: Touring, group rides, and beer runs.

Q: What are your favorite things about riding a Recumbent?

A: I can ride the bike all day and my body feels fine the next. Nothing hurts. Also, the view is unbeatable. They are so fast and fun.

Q: How do you find the Recumbent riders as people? Do you notice any differences to other friends and riders of uprights?

A: Recumbent riders are great. They are more social than riders of uprights. In both upright and recumbent groups you find the fast, the racers, the ice cream run, and the social riders. In contrast though, the recumbent riders are always willing to let other "groups" go along and are way more fun after the rides.

Q: What are your other favorite hobbies?

A: Cooking

Q: Do you see any difference in the ride compared to an upright style bicycle?

A: A huge difference. On an upright you have a seat connected to a metal post pointed directly up your butt. In contrast, on a recumbent you sit on a long pole suspended between two wheels. On my recumbent my arms, shoulders, lower back and butt never get sore. Also, the view as I am riding along is far superior on my recumbent. My recumbent brings my Lazy-Boy with me on the rides and it is still a sportier machine than my racing upright.

Q: Do you find hill climbing a much bigger problem then an upright style of bicycle, if at all?

A: I find it the same.

Q: Do you feel more invisible on your Recumbent then you do on an upright bicycle?

A: No. People find recumbents more interesting and they attract their attention more. Plus, when I set my recumbent next to my upright, they are at the same height.

Q: Would you take your Recumbent everywhere you would ride an upright?

A: Yes.

Q: What's the longest ride you have ever done in a day on your Recumbent?

A: About 120 miles.

Q: Would you recommend a Recumbent bicycle to a friend?

A: Yes, Yes, and Yes. Why would I recommend any other bike?

Q: What do your friends and family think about you riding a Recumbent?

A: Well, my parents now each own one. Some of my friends think it is completely stupid, but the smarter ones are beginning to consider a recumbent for themselves.

Q: Do you listen to music while riding a Recumbent and do you feel safer with this style of bicycle doing so?

A: I don't like to listen to music while I ride. I want to be able to hear the traffic and wind.

Q: How has the Recumbent changed your life?

A: I enjoy riding more. I have met amazing people and had great times that I cannot stop telling stories about.

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