Recumbents and all feet forward machines
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
Well, perhaps not quite. But there were three (3!) recumbents on the Bike North Pie in the Sky ride this morning and it was nice not to be the only rider pedalling around on a strange contraption. David bravely turned up with his Bentech despite suffering from a cold, and Alan (I think, I'm terrible with names so that might be completely wrong) was there with his Greenspeed trike. Having now seen the Bentech in the flesh I'm even more impressed by David's craftsmanship, he's really done a good job on it.
Our club had a recumbent visit rider a few Sundays ago who joined us on our weekly Waterfall ride. It was different alright.
Nothing intriguing. She was invited by to come along by a fellow club member. Unfortunately the recumbent was slow going up hills and her friend stayed with her to complete the ride.
In any case, the recumbent was able to draft off us but we weren't able to draft off her.
Ah, I see. I take it that it was a rather low to the ground recumbent then? And a bit on the heavy side too?
A big factor in choosing my recumbent was how well it would mix with upright bicycles on group rides, which would be a problem for a lot of recumbents. Mine is fairly light (by recumbent standards) and after some adjustment I can climb reasonably well on it. The height of the bike also means that upright bicycles can draft off me, I've asked the people I've ridden with and they've confirmed that while it's weaker than following another upright bike there is a noticeable benefit to sucking my wheel. When riding at a steady effort, natural pace road bikes will still tend to pull away from me on climbs and I'll out pace them on descents/flats, but I've found that by putting in a bit more effort on the climbs and holding back a bit on the descents and flats I can generally stay with a upright bike paceline OK.
Was that the girl riding a touring style recumbent ?
A helmet saved my life
Yes. She also came to one of the Sat Slowies ride.
I really like the Bike North Pie in the Sky ride. It was scheduled for last weekend and I had been looking forward to consuming a blueberry pie at the CafÃ© with sanctimonious satisfaction all week. I also knew that Hotdog was planning to be there, so there was the added attraction of an opportunity for a real recumbent show of force. Alas, a very enthusiastic cold virus had other ideas. As the week progressed, my coughing and spluttering got worse.
Awoke on saturday morning feeling pretty ordinary, but resolved to get on the bike anyway and see how I felt on the six km ride to the start. Well, I felt cold. It was freezing, at least it was for a thin-skinned Sydney dweller such as I. Somebody mentioned three degrees and I can well believe it. My fingers were so cold I could hardly change gear. Waiting at the rendez vous point was a subdued affair, as like lizards we sought out patches of warm sunlight to stand in.
Surprisingly, there was a good turnout, including, as Hotdog said, three recumbents - Bentech, Barcchetta, and Simon in his Greenspeed trike. As is normal, the group split into three. Hotdog, being young, fit, and (I assume) virus free, elected to go with the fast group who would be riding the extended route. This includes an additional, fairly vertical ten km loop down to Brooklyn Bridge and back. At the last minute I decided to join the trike in the medium group. Simon and I rode together for most of the outward leg, the bentech and trike seemingly quite compatible. We would be left behind on the climbs, only to catch up on the flat and downhill sections. Hotdog had upheld recumbent honour by sprinting off with the fast bunch, and was, I think, the second to reach the top of the climb back up from Brooklyn. I doubt anyone could accuse recumbents of being slow climbers after that performance.
I flagged a bit on the return leg, but made it home in reasonable shape. The ride was obviously good therapy, as I feel fine today.
Them's very kind words - many thanks. I appreciated getting a good look over the thoroughbred barcchetta. Picked up quite a few good design ideas that may find themselves incorporated into bentech mark two. That is if the building madness afflicts me again.
I was actually third back up the hill to Pie in the Sky, but I was pretty pleased with maintaining around 15kph all the way up and completing it in just over 15 minutes. It was even more fun on the way down though, the Bacchetta is fast downhill I was able to maintain around 60kph throughout the descent and was the first of the lead group to reach the turnaround point at the bottom.
Simon (now I remember his name... ) put in a very good performance on the trike on the rolling terrain of the leg back from Pie in the Sky, he was third back to the train station close behind Keith and I.
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
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