I just had to share this ... it was posted this past week on the newsgroup, aus.bicycles in response to a question about riding a trike. Quoted verbatim ...
Only once did I ever see anyone on a bent pass me while he rode
on a flat bit of highway parallel to the cycle path where I was on an
The dude was young, strong, and fit, and I was 35 years older, a bit
and not too fit or strong at that time.
And bents are really useless up hills. Ya can't do a good standing
sprint when ya wanna.
I pass them real fast then. Most time on a bike or bent is spent going
Bents are only faster on the flat or down hill where the lower frontal
area gives less wind drag.
Nearly everyone I see riding a bent is doing it for fun and short
They just gotta try porridge.
I doubt too many decide to ride 200km a week just for fitness and
freedom like I do.
I have 23mm tyres and both my bikes have 531 and 753R steel frames and
yes I gotta stand a bit on pedals
over bumps and and lift the front wheel a bit over kerbs. I'm not as
good as the kids i see on bmx though.
My odometer shows 7,500 km since Jan8 this year when I bought the
cyclometer. No broken bones, and no stiff neck from leaning
foward and looking up. The position is a bit critical, and gets moreso
as you age.
If I lowered the handle bars to full time trial race position which the
good young blokes use
I'd soon get a bad neck out of it. I raced for 6 years 20 years back as
a veteran and
often did a time trial and if I lowered the bars only 5mm more than
usual i'd get a crook neck.
The setting was that critical then. I have the bars about 10mm higher
now than 20 years back.
But I have found what works. Sitting any more upright would make more
on me arse, and cause arse fatigue too easily, so you need your arms to
take some weight.
Arms should be slightly bent, and absorb the bumps which you should see
Belive it or not, the right position that looks a bit awkward to non
can be a comfortable one, like your'e a bird on wings, and at one with
But once last year I misjudged a bump between grass and bike path as a
storm that week
had washed it out deeper. So when I tried to first push down before
lifting the front the
wheel hit the 100m ridge as a shallow angle. "SPROING!" went the frame
the bump so dislodged me that I lost all conrol and fell like a sack of
potatoes on the tarmac
and to the astonishment of two runners coming the other way.
I didn't break anything although I punctured a front tyre. The grazing
to one ankle took 3 months to heal
after the infection was stopped.
I used to be able to ride 300km at one sitting. I rode 300km to Sydney
from Canberra one day aged 42, no worries.
Rested a day there and on the way back stayed at Goulburn. Later I did a
charity ride with a bunch from
Kings Cross Sydney to the top of Black Mt in Canberra, 300km from 1am to
4pm with the last 100km in a very stiff headwind.
I doubt i could have achieved this sorta travel on a bent and people
don't see you coming too well.
All up I must have ridden about 120,000 km so far over 8 years when I
have ridden bikes keenly.
I have had a few real bad necks though but not from cycling as far as i
I used to be a builder and i did all my own carpentry on the contracts i
I found putting up sheets of gyprock on ceilings and hammering or screw
with a sheet on my head would cause a stiff neck.
So I found a really good lady doctor who was also a very **good**
I'd been in agony and off work for 3 weeks and she had me right after
one vist and 20 minutes with 4 needles.
Pain free, and it worked a miracle. I've had a few very bad backs, and
have been reduced to crawling around the house
on all fours, and a good accupuncturist has had me right in no time.
Had a bad arm 3 years ago, couldn't type a website. Saw my accu guy, and
two visits later he had me perfect
and I typed me arse off for 6 months getting a website done.
Yoga also helps.
Chiropractics and physiotherapy usually didn't do much at all and often
made things worse.
Slow release Voltaren worked well at first, then next time not so well
and then it had side effects.
Ya can't depend on pills.
I ain't ready to buy a bent.
10km a day to work and 10km back home 5 days a week is only 100km, and
I ride 200km a week to keep fit.
3 rides a week. I work at home, and have to do something arduous lest I
rot to pieces
in mind and body because the older you get the better you was.
I cannot do the huge rides i used to do 20 years ago, but 100km with
in warmer months is fine.
At 61 I don't often get a sore arse, and my back is fine, weight is back
where it was at 30, and soon my pool will warm to allow me to swim
300metres a day ( 35 laps ) and this will ease the "stange contortions"
subjects oneself to on a push bike.
I have leather Brooke saddles on both bikes. Left adjusted slightly
loose they can be very uncomfortable.
So ya gotta know when to give the adjust screw a turn to tighten the
Not too much or you'll fatigue the leather. The bolt breaks after about
10,000km, and i've
broken two while out on a ride.
I replace the standard 8mm bolt with a home made 10mm one and no more
worries until finally
the leather yields at the front of the saddle and you need to spend on a
Some of the Brooke saddles have different types of rivetting leather and
there's a difference how long they'll last.
Depends how far ya ride a bit, and how often you grease up the saddle
with the Brooke mixture.
Don't leave ya bike against a wall sitting out in the sun.
I tried lotsa different saddles, gel-filled, foam rubber, and after
awhile they all felt like a concrete seat.
The leather has slight give, and your perineum is slung between the for
and aft fixing of the leather.
One has to get into the habit of moving off the seat to stand on the
pedals even on long flat stretches of road
to give your arse a rest.
It becomes second nature to be dynamic on the bike.
And don't forget to shave between your prick and your arsole every few
weeks because if your'e hairy down there
it leads to saddle sores.
Some lanoline rubbed on helps stop the chaffing.
Good cyclist get slim so they don't chafe much.
Who'd *need* a bent?
A trike would be grand with a battery and motor fitted for the hills.