Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Recumbent Rider, Part Five, Me.

I thought it might be good to see how I would answer the questions, Here goes:

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

A: The moment I saw one I wanted one. Not because of pain, but it looked like a blast. That was about 1978 at the Bicycle Exchange in Harvard Square. There were a few that would come in from MIT students and the "Hobby Shop."
Dr. David Gordon Wilson was a customer as well as Dick Ryan. Bill Darby was building a torpedo like tandem that was used for the HPV Nationals.
It took years to actually have the money to put down and get one under me. But it was everything I expected and more.

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

A: Twenty Years! I bought a second bike right after and two to play with.

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

A:It took me about three days. It was only after riding in the woods that when I got back on the street I felt as if I was in total control.

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

A: I'm riding a Bacchetta Corsa SS that I took the front derailleur off and ride as a 9 Speed. Its Great. When I'm riding alone, everything I see up ahead I catch up to, pass and totally drop. Not intentionally, but it just always seems to happen. My average speed when riding alone is 19mph.

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

A: I love doing the "Roll a coaster high speed blast" with friends. Forty miles seems to be the perfect distance and finish with a great lunch and cold beer, Lots of cold beer.
I also ride the bike into work on days that the roads are dry. Its 15 miles and can be done in about 45 minutes with all the stops.Its about 10 minutes faster then my fastest upright.

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

A: The Heads up view. I love seeing the whole picture, from the ground to the sky. We live in a really beautiful part of the world and it wasn't until I started riding a recumbent that I could see it all. Its amazing the things you miss and I missed while on all my other bicycles.
I also love the rear view mirror. It gives me a view of everything and allows me to "Plan my future" by seeing where the car is and where it will pass me. It allows me to put the bike exactly where I need to be by seeing the cars coming.

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

A: The Recumbents riders I have met are really fun folk. They understand a good joke and love the art of the ride. For the most part they are design conscious and love new things. Leaders and trend setters and not followers and trend followers for the sake of looking cool.

Q:What are your other favorite hobbies?

A: I love cooking, Music, Riding other styles of bicycles and watching movies. I try to see at least 4 a week.

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

A: Recumbents are much faster with less work. There is a lot more coasting wich is wonderful when sitting back and looking up is what you do.
There is a lot less pain especially with your butt.

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

A: Yes, I learned at a very early age how to rest while climbing hills on a upright by lifting your weight over the top of the crankset and falling over the top. Using the weight of your body to climb and your upper body to pull the frame like a lever to turn the cranks. It can not be done on a recumbent.

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

A: Some times. But I ride all bicycles as if I'm invisible and because of it, I'm still alive. People just don't see bicycles no matter what shape. Thinking that they do could be dangerous. Although once drivers see you, it seems as if they cant take there eyes off of you. You get cut off far less with a recumbent then a upright. I notice this when I get back on a upright after riding a recumbent for a long while.

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

A: Yes. Riding in the woods is a hoot and because the equal weight on the front and the rear wheel, less wheel worry. Its of course slower then a Mountain Bike or a Cyclo Cross bike of road, but when you need a break, it can be done and its wonderful.

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

A: 164 miles, I was doing the B to B and went off course. By the time I had gotten back on, I had put on an extra 30 miles. It was about 90 degrees for most of the ride. I was fine.

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

A: Yes, its my job. There are people that will never ride a recumbent that would love it, but that's them and their problem. I ride down some of the hills around here in Dover and think to myself, "Who wouldn't love that?" Sometimes I turn around and do the downhill again, Its that much fun!

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

A: My good friend Barbara who has traveled across Spain and parts of France off road on a tandem with me on front, thinks there geeky. When were in her car on on the tandem and see a recumbent she says, "Geeky Guy! Geeky Guy" I always smile!
I like that there odd. I love passing even the fittest rider and totally smoking them. Lets put it this way: I wouldn't want to be on my upright and look over my shoulder and see a recumbent coming up. How humiliating!

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

A: Yes, more so now because of a little speakered MP3 player the boys at Bacchetta gave me. I have it on top of the bag so its right in back of my head where I can hear it clearly without having it too loud.Having the rear view mirror allows me to see whats coming up so Recumbent riding I do listen, but upright on the road, I don't.

Q:How has the Recumbent changed your life?

A: Yes it has, but not as much as the great friends I have met riding them. I love to ride alone, but as a group, its better then any other style of riding. Really.

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