Have you seen a recumbent lately? Outside of what you may see at the local gym or workout center in the way of a recumbent exercise bike. Are you seeing more of them on the street, in your neighborhood, even on the highways? Well you’re not just seeing things as there are more and more of them gliding along each year.
Even though recumbent bikes sales of all makes and styles make up at best 2 percent of all bikes sold in the U.S., just a few decades ago they were pretty much unknown outside of Europe. What is even more interesting is the number that don’t figure into those sales percentages that are homemade, or “homebuilt,” a term used to refer to all the efforts for those radical creators of recumbent bikes, trikes and human powered vehicles of all shapes and designs. Figures are not available as to just how many of those builders account for more recumbents on the road. Attending some of the bike events, or even more specifically a recumbent event, would amaze most on what’s being created in the recumbent community.
Can you imagine a human powered helicopter?
It would be similar to events such as in the ‘60s, where a General Motors plant in Anderson, Indiana, had sponsored a type of open house to see what their assembly line workers had created in their “spare” time. One man helicopters, some of the first motor propelled skate boards, in other words things far removed from just the auto industry. It might have been there where the first Torginol Floors were seen. The point here is what you can see at a recumbent event in terms of vehicles that are “human powered” will utterly fascinate the unaware. Can you imagine a human powered helicopter? Well on July 23, 2013, it happened! Human powered flight!
No, you may not be aware, but the fastest time for land speed completely under human power was just accomplished in September of this year (2016). An event that is beginning to draw International attention, after nearly four decades of breaking human powered speed records, just witnessed this spectacular accomplishment again…twice in one week. Canadian athlete Todd Reichert in the AeroVelo set the new record at 89.59 MPH. Now what’s so important about that? Well the fact that it is 100 percent human power is a starter. Why it’s important on this site is Reichert was powering his AeroVelo shell with…a recumbent bike! Was it a special design? Sure. Does that matter? Since it was completely within the rules of the competition it does not. What does matter is the HPV was completely human powered and THAT’s what matters!
The recumbent bike in it’s many forms including trikes, have set a number of records
To make the point more meaningful, no upright or diamond frame bike has ever accomplished anything like it unassisted. The keyword is unassisted, which means without a race car breaking all the wind resistance in front of the bike, or other similar events.
The recumbent bike in it’s many forms including trikes, have set a number of records when it comes to human power. So what’s the point of all this? You may not be out to set any speed records, but because of the lower center of gravity, more aerodynamic design, safer proximity to the ground, safer position on the frame, 25 percent less effort to accomplish the same results as on a diamond frame bike, a seat that defies comfort on any other bike, make this the best bike you could own. Again, why is that? Simply because once the pain is gone, you’ll ride it more. Make sense? Think about it. Why do you stop any kind of exercise? Possible reasons could be it’s boring, it takes too long, you prefer the fresh air as to indoors, it hurts, it gets painful, and the list could go on. If you could eliminate those then what?
Lastly, a HPV or Recumbent event may be taking place near you as well.
Have you been on the seat of a recumbent bike? The one at the gym is sort of an indication, but not the same as rubber on the road. So the question again is, have you been on the seat of a recumbent bike pedaling down a trail or a quiet street? There are many styles and designs to choose from, and it is almost guaranteed there’s one that will fit you perfectly!
So you haven’t been one yet? Come on, fess up! Either you’ve never heard of one, seen one, or think they’re just to strange looking for your ego! What you really mean is you’re just not cool enough to ride one. You don’t agree? So what’s stopping you from taking the challenge? There’s bound to be a bike shop near you that handles recumbent bikes. Better yet Google may give you a list of bike events near you where it’s pretty much guaranteed there will be some in attendance. Lastly, a HPV or Recumbent event may be taking place near you as well.
So there’re three different ideas to see if you’re game. The bet is once you get on a recumbent bike and master the balance issue, you’re gonna want more. Sure, you can think of a gazillion objections to do nothing, and who looses? It’s like anything else. It’s easy to change, it’s just easier NOT too!
Forget about the fact that it’s healthier for you or safer to ride. Don’t even take into consideration it’s beyond comfortable compared to that little seat on any other bike that gets painful after just a few miles. And if you’re afraid, of the cost, who may point a finger at you, or that you may enjoy it too much, well then you may miss out on the best thing in your life since sliced bread!
Were you one of the last to get a laptop, an iPad, a 3D printer, a Pet Rock? Ok, the Rock may be an exaggeration, but you get the point. No one can make you go check out a recumbent bike, much less ride one. So why are you hesitating? If you really enjoy bike riding and don’t do more of it, then why? It’s back to the most basic of questions. If you’re being honest with yourself and the answer is because it’s gets uncomfortable, then the case is made. Now that the challenge has been made, what are you going to do? Just “Get Bent!”