Monday, July 11, 2016

The Recumbent Rider, Part Four, Danni

Danni is the "New Smile" with the Boston Recumbent Users Group. She is a Blast to ride with and makes every ride special. I dont ever remember riding up next to her or looking back in the rear view mirror when she didnt have an ear to ear grin. She truly lovers her recumbent. This is how she answered the questions:

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

A: I saw my first recumbent more years ago than I am willing to admit here. My initial impression was that the design seemed to be a much more reasonable position for riding than an upright bike. I guessed that riding a recumbent would be the land-equivalent to paddling a kayak. It turns out this was an accurate assessment. Riding a recumbent (like kayaking) is about being in the moment in your environment; seeing the sights (something not easily done on an upright), smelling the scents, hearing the sounds, feeling the wind and the motion, and moving through the world using your body’s own energy! It just doesn’t get any better than that! And unlike a kayak, it’s a lot easier to just step out your front door and take your recumbent for a ride.

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

A: A very good friend and avid cyclist recommended that I try a recumbent when I first started looking into buying a new bike. After a week of research, I test rode my first recumbent and I was hooked. (I definitely had the ‘recumbent silly smile’ going on big time!!) Scott Chamberlain ordered a small Bacchetta Corsa for me since I was too little to test ride the standard model in the store. I rode my little Corsa for the first time a week later. I happily took it home and never regretted for a moment the decision to buy a recumbent. I LOVE my bike!!!!

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

A: I felt fairly comfortable on the street right away. (Or I should say after having taken “Recumbent Riding 101” with Scott and my good friend, Brad.) However, for the first several rides, I made sure to stay off of the busier roads and when I needed to cross busy streets I did walk my bike. After about a week (around 100 miles), I rode my recumbent pretty much the same as I had ridden any other bike.

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

A: I have the cute, petite model of the Bacchetta Corsa. (Bacchetta Corsa 24)

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

A: I most frequently take 20-30 mile solo rides for pleasure in my general neighborhood -Sudbury, Hudson, Marlborough, Lincoln, Concord, etc. (There is some beautiful riding to be done out my way.) I also enjoy doing group rides with my recumbent-riding friends – both my current friends and the new friends I’ve been meeting through riding.

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


I LOVE that I can ride forever without feeling any pain or fatigue. I LOVE that when I’m riding my bike I am looking up at the world and seeing EVERYTHING as I ride by. I LOVE that my bike is FAST – I’m not an exceptionally strong rider but I’m passing other bikes on the road for the first time in life! I LOVE how my bike leans into the turns. I LOVE how my bike flies down the hills. I LOVE the fact that people are interested in my bike and often make fun comments or stop and chat. (My favorite comment so far was from some young 18ish-year-old boys that screamed out the window as they drove by, “Way to go, lying down Lance!”) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fact that whenever I am on my bike, even when I’m really working hard, I AM SMILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Have I mentioned yet just how much I love my recumbent?

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

Ahhhh, here is where I must expound upon the true perils of riding a recumbent. Hanging around people that ride recumbents is an extremely dangerous endeavor. It is my experience that recumbent riders tend to be incredibly hedonistic people. It is all too easy to fall into their decadent life style of comfort, good times, and pleasure! It is not surprising that outdoor enthusiasts who seek out the most comfortable way to enjoy the world around them would also tend to seek out the tastiest food, the best beer, the finest wines, excellent music, and extremely interesting and genuine people with whom to share them. Every group recumbent ride I have done has ended with some sort of social gathering focusing on enjoying the things that truly make life worth living; good friends, good conversation, good food and drink, etc. If you think riding a recumbent is just about getting out and getting some exercise - be warned. Riding a recumbent is a life style – and a damned good one, at that!!! But take heed - this life style, and hanging around the recumbent riders that enjoy this life style, is ADDICTIVE!!!

A: What are your other favorite hobbies?

Dancing, Kayaking, Scuba diving, snorkeling, downhill skiing, hiking, and martial arts

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

A:The difference is night and day. On an upright bike you are working harder and not seeing very much and after a while something is bound to hurt – your butt, your wrists, your neck, etc. On a recumbent you are so busy watching the beauty around you that you hardly notice that you are putting effort into pedaling. Plus the amount of effort you need to exert is so much less to go so much farther and faster. Oh, and did I mention that nothing ever hurts when you ride a recumbent. Just in case you didn’t catch it the first time, let me reiterate - nothing ever hurts when you ride a recumbent regardless of how many miles you ride!!!

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

A: Honestly, for me, in the beginning – yes. I was pretty new to riding, in general, when I bought my recumbent. I hadn’t built up the muscles necessary to power up the hills on any bike – plus I think a different set of muscles are used to pedal up hills on a recumbent. However, after about a month of riding, I built up the muscle strength and found that the hills weren’t that bad and once I switched to clipless pedals they became even easier.

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

A:There are many types of recumbents. I believe that on the style of recumbent I ride, I’m not that much lower than on a standard bicycle. No, I do not feel invisible on my Corsa - that is unless I’m on a steep downhill. It is then that the bike goes so fast that I’m sure I appear as just a colorful blur to the casual observer.

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

A:Absolutely NOT!!!! I would take my hybrid straight to the dump and leave it there. My Corsa is NEVER going there.

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

A: To date, I have yet to do a really long ride. So far my longest ride has been around 30 miles. However, I have never felt like I was ready to end my day of riding upon the conclusion of a ride on my recumbent. There is ALWAYS that pang of wanting to keep going. (Except for the 101 degree day where our bikes turned into Wayside Inn Pub parking lot almost of their own accord. A beer has never tasted so good!!)

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

A: Yes, and I do frequently!! Not only would I recommend a recumbent to a friend but I would even more highly recommend meeting Scott and talking to him about recumbents.

Scott is the sort of person who makes this world a much better place in which to live. Scott is definitely somebody you want to meet in life whether you end up riding a recumbent or not!!!!

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

A: Actually, they are not very happy about it. I used to be around a whole lot more. Now I’m always out on my bike and they miss me.

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

A: Hmmm. Is it possible to ride a bike without listening to music? I don’t know about safer but it’s definitely MUCH more fun!!! It’s a lot easier to move to the music on a recumbent – that’s for certain. Although I’m pretty sure that the people I ride with wish that weren’t the case. My guess is that it’s fairly embarrassing to ride with me as I dance down the street on my bike. So sorry . . . NOT!

Q: How has the Recumbent changed your life?

A: I enjoy riding my bike so much that I’m out riding all the time, I’m meeting amazing people that I enjoy riding and socializing with, and I’m smiling more than ever before!! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my recumbent?

Great exercise!

Wonderful people!

Extreme happiness!

What could be better?

Thanks Danni! That was Great! SRC
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