Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Horse of a Different Color!

At first glance, this might appear to be a metal sculpture, thrown together of parts from around the garage.  It is, in fact, a bicycle, a recumbent variety which has an unusual riding position, more like a Lazyboy than your standard bicycle.  And while it is easy to dismiss such a bike as a toy, it is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden!  Which is not to say that you can jump on it and ride across the state - it definitely takes some getting used to!  First the riding position is the big change you notice, until you get to the under seat steering - that is most likely the biggest thing to get used to.  In all bike riding, you subtly balance with minute steering changes to stay upright.  With the position and new steering, it seems a battle you are not likely to win at first!  But it does come to you eventually, and once it does, you notice that A, your butt doesn't get sore and B, neither do your hands, arms, shoulder or neck, used to support either part of your weight or keep your head upright on a normal bike.  After a longish ride (my longest is only about 15 miles), the only discomfort is  in your quads, which is normal after being off any bike for so long...

This bike was passed along to me by our RAGBRAI leader Carl, who was tasked to find a new home for it by a neighbor.  After a few sessions of practice and some minor repairs to fix a shifter, I look forward to getting out on it whenever we're back in Illinois.  Given the cost of bringing a bike up from Arizona (upwards of $200 on the airlines), I vowed to get one to stay up here when this one fell from the sky.  While shown here w/out bike helmet on one of my first rides (documented by Melinda), that had been remedied.  It is challenging enough to stay upright without worrying about cracking your skull too!  The only disadvantage that I'm finding is that climbing hills is a challenge, but it has a granny gear to grind through them.  Only keeping balanced at those slow speeds is more challenging too.  The way I weave around, I'm not sure I'm ready for the crowds of RAGBRAI riders yet, but I am looking forward to more time in the saddle, er, comfy chair!

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