Yesterday I rode my recumbent almost sixty miles. Here’s the Google Map of the route (nearly — Google doesn’t handle bike paths) and a picture:
My bike is from S&B Recumbents. It’s a short wheelbase (the pedals are in front of the front wheel) under seat steering (as it says) bike. Here’s a picture of a bike very much like mine:
In the past fifteen years, that’s the first time I’ve bicycled more than twenty miles, and only the third time I’ve bicycled more than five miles.
The ride went well. I took off at about 9AM, took a few breaks along the way, and wrapped up about 4PM. For most of the time I was riding I think I was making 10-15 MPH, which isn’t great but it isn’t bad either, given that it was my first try at this distance in well over a decade. My legs were worn out by the end, but I think I could definitely do it again tomorrow.
This is my first recumbent, and I’m starting to get used to it. The bike is comfortable to ride, but a bit squirrelly. It will never be a no-hands bike, but I’m pretty comfortable with one hand now. Likewise with high speed: on my old Univega I got up to fifty MPH on steep downhills; on this bike I think I’d be nervous above thirty. Like all recumbents it’s weak on the hills, but then so am I, so it works out. I have really low gearing on it, so I can spin along at about 3 MPH if I need to. With the new larger front wheel I feel much more confident going over bumps and through potholes. I need to get better shade for my face, and I need to figure out how to keep the sweat out of my eyes. I thought I was going to go blind on the hills.
My daughter Aja is going off to Humboldt University in the Fall. She wants to take the Subaru with her, so I’m thinking about taking her up there with the bike on the roof, and then riding back. Some people have said I’m nuts. I figure I can just set a time frame and then see how far I get. I’ve done it before, so why not?