Bent to Ride

If you’re going to bike instead of drive, you may as well enjoy it.

Don’t get me wrong… I share the passion of the “simple living”, “lower carbon footprint”, “healthy lifestyle”, “auto industry bashing”  crowd.  But when the flame of ideality is spent, leaving just ashes and a warm glow, I realize that what keeps me riding is…

Comfort… and the Coolness factor.

What? Let me explain.

The favourite bike in my stable is my Rans Wave recumbent.  I picked up this beauty second-hand at a local bike shop.  It’s not only fun to ride, but it’s downright comfortable.  No sore shoulders, no sore butt… yeah I’m getting old. Almost feels like sitting in a car.

Rans Wave

Once you get your balance and develop your “bent” muscles, it’s a smooth cruise to work and a great head-turner as you zip around town.  There’s all sorts of good reasons to ride a recumbent. Besides the ergonomics, here’s a few:

  1. You can buy a cheap lock.  Nobody steals recumbents. Hard to ride. Hard to hide.
  2. Aerodynamic. About 30% less wind resistance because of the configuration.
  3. They’re fast.  Well, they feel fast, maybe because you’re closer to the ground.
  4. More power.  By pushing against the back of the seat you can apply full leg force to the pedals.  Important for successful head to head sprints against other testosterone loaded bikers that cross your path on the way to work.
  5. Improved crash position.  Apparently it’s better to crash feet first, than the usual head dive over the handlebars on a “normal” bike.  For some reason, I don’t feel compelled to test this theory… especially given where I think the handlebars might end up. Perhaps I’ll just jettison the bike just prior to impact.
  6. Cars fear you.  Yeah, they just don’t know what to think.   Plus, since it feels like you’re driving a car, you tend to ride with a more assertive and confident posture.

Although biking is an ideal mode of transportation, my recumbent maximizes the enjoyment.  If I wasn’t convinced by the advantages listed above, there is always the final clincher,  the inevitable boost to my vanity as someone yells out when I zip by:

“Hey, cool bike dude!”

8 thoughts on “Bent to Ride

  1. Great post! I’ve never ridden a recumbent, how does balancing compare with an upright? Whenever I picture myself ridding one, I imagine I’d feel vulnerable being so low and leaning back. When falling on an upright, it feels easy to jump off .. although I bet it’s hard to do an endo on a recumbent.

    Also how easy is it to jump curbs ….

    1. Thanks. It takes about 30 minutes to get used to riding a recumbent for most folks. And a couple of days before you are really proficient. In general, once you get the hang of it, it feels more solid and has more presence than a “thin” bike. As for jumping curves, you’ll have to check out some of the “off road bents”. Want one…

  2. I never thought of the speeds being higher, but it makes sense. You can always leg press more than your weight, so you can apply more power to the pedals on a recumbent.

  3. I’ve got too many bikes as it is .. not to mention one on order. But I’d love to try it out. Maybe as a rental some time in the future. I keep thinking to myself that I want to bike between Jasper and Banff some time before I die.

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