Hot!Wanted: Your Story!

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Drifty Baker
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2007/08/16 21:59:47 (permalink)
I have been riding DF bikes for quite awhile and have been thinking about recumbents for almost as long.  The DF bikes all gave me sore wrists, necks, sometimes feet.  The price of the recumbents kept me away though.  I was finally able to save enough for one and more importantly talk my wife into letting me buy one.
 
I tried several different bents, long wheel base, short wheel base, and trikes with under seat and over seat steering.  All of them just didn’t feel right until I got on my Bacchetta Giro 26.  I wasn’t twitchy when I started like on the others I tried.  The handlebars were in the right position, the shifting was easy and worked great.   I had heard that bents were terrible at climbing hills.  I was able to climb one very easily.  I may not have been as fast as when I was on my DF but it was comfortable.  The Giro was the bike for me. 
 
I picked up my bike on Tuesday after work and took it out for the first time tonight after work.  It was so much fun I wish the sun would have stayed up longer.  I can’t wait to take it on my favorite run down the Mississippi this weekend.
 

Drifty Baker

'07 Giro 26
Go biking while it's rising!
#21
csiga papa
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2007/10/25 03:05:07 (permalink)
  • What made you decide to try a recumbent in the first place?

I have never been a sportsman. As a family man, worked a lot, then couch, potato. Decided to change. Recumbent seemed comfortable and effective to burn fat. Then fell in love with it.
  • Were you always a cyclist?
No. After a year on my homebuilt LWB I became healthier, stronger. Bought a MTB and a road bike. Club rides. And more MTB and more road bike... After 5 years of active riding (8-10.000 km/year) My venes in my right lower leg looked worse and worse. Bad circulation in the right lower leg - my inheritance. My father lost his leg because of this. I was worried, and now returned to the slow, comfortable recumbent. Bought a Giro26. High crank position helps leg venes. I know, causing numb foot, but I can handle that.

  • What would you tell other people who are new to cycling, or new to recumbents, in terms of "This is why you should be riding a recumbent"
Comfortable and fun. Bellandare is perfect for them, if the roads are not as nasty as here in Hungary. Here we need dual 26".

Impressing people:
Most of my business partners realised I dropped 12 kilos in 3 month. Now I am in pretty good shape, can ride 300 km in 12 hours. But earn less money, because I work less. They are proud of expensive homes, big cars. But in my mind health is higher rank than wealth. Time will show, who is right. For sure. They usually think about this seriously when chatting with me, for a second, then go and have a proper dinner with a customer.

#22
coyboy
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2007/12/20 06:59:13 (permalink)
I just got a Cafe last week so not and expert...yet[

quote]ORIGINAL: fastb22
  • What made you decide to try a recumbent in the first place?
I was not happy riding myDF and knew the problem...my gutt and my butt
  • Were you always a cyclist?
I rode a few bikes growing up but never owned one,  Last year (at age 44) I decided I really needed to loose some weight (about 50 lbs) but walking was making my knees hurt.   Jogging was out of the question.   I did a little research and decided a bike was the answer  I bought a cheap entry level road bike.  good bike for $700.  I later scored a nice used road bike (Trek 520) and ride it most.
  • If you were a cyclist before your recumbent, what kind of riding did you do?
road
  • How did a recumbent change your life? (weight control, health issues, quality of life, performance, etc.)
not much yet....I have only had it a week and winter weather has limited my riding time.  But in that week I found the Cafee was just as fast as my DF on a 20 mile training ride I do.  I can already see that riding the bent is so much more fun (comfortable) than the DF. 
  • What would you tell other people who are new to cycling, or new to recumbents, in terms of "This is why you should be riding a recumbent"
Just try it.  You will like it.  Actually, I'd recomend finding one to ride first which was no easy task for me.  I rode 2 hours to the nearest dealer.

What we are NOT looking for:
  • A three paragraph write up on how you kicked a roadie's ass this weekend
no problem there...I am slow on any bike...

So if you're game, send the following to mike@bacchettabikes.com-
A one or two paragraph write up AND a picture of you on your bike.

I replid here...but this is also sorta my intro...I will try to send in a pic soon.

Coy Boy
#23
EdwardFlorey
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/01/15 16:05:27 (permalink)
Hey papa! you need not worry with me becoming discouraged.  I love riding, and I am fast.  I just have to work on endurance at those speeds.  I may pull that pack one day.  But I won't be discouraged if I don't.  I love it.  And I have met some super fellows around here lately that will be great help.  Some by riding others by forum. 
 
I like riding my bacchetta so much more than I did my DF, I am looking to some century rides, other events, and just to see how far I can go.   I believe I could probably ride this same bike longer than I will be allowed to drive. 
 
Go Bacchetta, go!  Fast bike!  
#24
csiga papa
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/01/22 02:03:48 (permalink)
Hi Edward,

have many good days on your Bacchetta! I have too :-)

About speed: After a 6 month "no-DF-at-all" I sat back onto my road bike. Just for one ride. Like a nikotinist. Fallback :-) Man! That thing is damned good on the road!

Then looked down to my distended leg veins, gave a huge sigh, put the road bike back to the garage...

#25
Sofa Rider
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/02/29 17:30:56 (permalink)
I jumped on and immediately started pedaling around the parking lot without difficulty.

 
Yes!!!!! I needed that encouragement! I'll get my CGiro 26 in 5 or 6 days. And I was having second thoughts how difficult it might be to ride. A little intimidated by my own courage to go from a DF to a high racer. Never even rode one.
 
I'll definetly get some pictures and will report details, no matter how it goes.
 
Let's see 5 days, that's 120 hrs, got to sllep some of them if I can... men that's an eternity!
 
I'll have to call Mike and see if he can rush it!
 
 
 



Steff

Bacchetta Giro 26 (sold)
Stratus XP
#26
g27md
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/04/19 14:05:52 (permalink)

It's been an interesting winter for me.  Months where a series of little, nagging illnesses, family obligations, and
professional obligations have kept me from doing some of the things I like doing.  Particularly distressing was missing Sebring due to the flu.  Sebring would have been my first 24 hour race.  I miss what could have been and I've had a lot of down time to look at how I got into all this ultramarathon bicycle riding.  The accomplishments of my fellow recumbent cyclists in the Sebring race, particularly the 245 miles 65 year old Bill Hannon rode in the 12 hour race, just blow me away.  Everybody I know did great, but Mr. Hannon's got to be inspiring for everybody particularly those of us around his age.  When I look at the elite riders, people like John Schlitter, Kevin and Chris Kaiser, Doyce Johnson, I'm flat out amazed to know these people and even more amazed to be able to sometimes ride with them.

My Bacchetta bicycle and everything that came with it arrived in my life through a happy combination of happenstance and deliberation.

It was Christmas morning.  My wife dragged my "big present" out of the basement.  At first I thought it was a funny looking wheelbarrow that I was going to have to put together.  Oh, joy!  Not my idea of a good gift.  She explained it was a bicycle. But, it was the most ridiculous contraction I've ever seen, something she called a recumbent bike.  What a weird gift, I thought.  She'd wasted several hundred bucks, having been conned by the local bike shop into taking off their hands a piece of junk nobody else would dream of buying, much less for my Christmas present, unless they were weird like my wife had to be for buying it.

Two days later, trying to keep in her good graces, I took the thing for a little ride.  Yeah, it was heavy.  Yeah, it was slow.  Yeah, it was riduculous.  But, oh my God it was comfortable!

As a kid I loved to ride a bicycle.  Like everyone else back then I rode a heavy and indestructable single speed.  It was transportation, a platform for bike tricks like standing up on the seat while the bike was moving along and other stupid kid tricks, my race machine, fun, and effortless.

I gave up bicycles for cars and minibikes as a teenager.  My second car cost me about $150 and my little minibike set me back $17.50, but one got me around and the other allowed me to beat the kids whose dads had forked out for their Honda 50s, at least when my minibike wasn't broken.

For a decade or so I had a series of mostly old cars and trucks or else I walked or took the bus or hitchhiked or got a lift.  Does anybody hitchhike anymore?  I used to pick up hitchhikers and thought nothing of a longish hitchhiking trip.  I remember hitchhiking with my oldest son when he was a preschooler.  Thinking about that today it's almost like it was part of another lifetime, as if I have been reencarnated since then.  Weird, huh.

Approaching thirty, married with children, living in married student housing, with a borrowed total monthly income of $120 after tuition and books, studying organic chemistry, and without a car, my dad brought me the most wonderful surprise...a used single speed bicycle with a huge, paper-boy basket.  I used that sucker to carry home four big grocery bags, and raced around town with my friend and classmate who had a similar machine.  I rode the bike to class and to the hospital while in medical school, too. 

Everybody else had gears, but I didn't care.  Most of the places I rode a single speed bike were flat. The only gears I heard of until I was grown were on a three speed English racer which my mom bought me at the grocery store with Green Stamps, if you can believe it, when I was in third grade, but I tore that sucker up pretty quick.  My cousin who taught me to ride a bicycle when I was five and he was seven forgot to teach me how to stop a bicycle.  I liked to hop off the moving bike, letting the bicyle continue moving until it ran into something and stopped itself.  English racers didn't adapt.

I skipped the whole ten speed craze, being into cars and grown by then anyway.  My little brother had one, but the whole gear-shifting thing seemed too complicated for me.  I suppose that was really stupid as cars didn't seem too high tech and I was into doing things with cars like shifting gears without using the clutch.  Hard to figure, looking back.

Gee, it's fun to look back at some of these experiences.  Not medical school, but some of the experiences, cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicyles. Heck, I even had a couple of school buses, but that's another story.

Somewhere in medical school I forgot about bicycles. I guess there wasn't enough room in my head for everything.

By the time I remembered how fun riding a bicycle was a couple of things had happened.  Like mountain bikes had been invented and gears had become easy and I had enough money to buy a shiny, new, $350 mountain bike, and I needed the exercise.  It was great, really great.  I mean I could ride that sucker on the most beautiful bike path in the world along the Augusta Canal, round trip from my house to the end, fast as I could go, in an hour, even counting coming home up the big hill of Battle Row.  It was so much fun that when my wife suggested I buy the bicyle hanging on the wall at the bike shop in Delaware when we were at the beach on vacation because it was a beautiful color.  It didn't matter to her how much it cost because it was such a pretty color. I jumped for it knowing she'd never suggest springing for a full blown road racing bike ever again.
 
Man that Klein was pretty!

The Klein's still pretty.  It's still fast, too, really fast.  But it's in the basement.  Something else had happened while I'd been off the bike for a decade and that's where that funny looking wheelbarrow bicycle comes back into play.  What happened?  Bicyles had become uncomfortable.  Well, not uncomfortable exactly.  Bicyles had become painful instuments of torture!  The mountain bike was good for ten or fifteen miles of flat bike-trail riding and the Klein was good for thirty or forty miles riding rollers out to the bomb plant and back.  Either one hurt me bad.  I knew I wanted to ride longer distances, but I suffered even for a thirty mile ride. Soaking my pain racked body in a hot bath tub didn't fix it so I didn't ride as often as I wanted to or a long.

Damn.

So along came this slow, heavy, weird bicyle, the Sun EZ Cruiser I'd gotten for Christmas.  Right away I discovered that it might be slow, but I could ride it.  Right away I began to think about riding more and right away I found that as I got in shape I could ride more.  Nothing hurt.  Well, nothing hurt in my body, but it did hurt a little bit to get passed by all the little old ladies on Huffies and laughed at by all the real bike riders on their fancy road bikes.  I really didn't much care a whole lot, but I wanted to go fast, too, like I could on my mountain bike and could even more on my Klein, neither of which I rode anymore because all I rode was the comfortable, slow recumbent.  I knew I could ride a recumbent a long way without hurting and I'd already begun training for my first century, something I'd dreamed of but never before conceived of actually doing because regular bicycles hurt too much to ride anywhere near that long unless you're insanely into pain.

I wasn't insanely into pain.  I gave my mountain bike away.  I kept the Klein, but I've never again taken it out of the basement.  It's still real pretty though.

I was after a faster, better recumbent. I read everything I could find on recumbents, especially Recumbent Cyclist News.  This was before computers and I didn't know anyone else who had a recumbent.  The bicycle I found and bought was a whole lot better than the EZ Cruiser, a Barcroft Dakota.  I got it just in time to finish training for my first century.

The Dakota was a good bicycle.  Still is as a matter of fact.  I have it on a trainer now and ride it on the road
occasionally.  But, as I got into riding more I began to see that it would be a better bicycle, a faster bicycle, if it had the bottom bracket higher so that it would be more aerodynamic, but I couldn't figure out how to design a bicycle that would actually work like that and I couldn't get my mind around how to build a bicycle frame even if I could solve the design problems and I didn't have time or skills to build one anyway even if I could. I heard the term high racer in RCN but I wasn't sure what that meant and people seemed to be sorta bad mouthing the high racer anyway, at least people riding recumbents I knew anything about.

Somewhere along in there I began to see advertisements in RCN for Bacchetta bikes which looked really cool. It looked like maybe they'd designed what I'd thought I wanted, but I didn't see any reviews about them and I didn't know anybody who'd ever seen one and anyway I quit riding again.  Why?  I don't know, but it had something to do with a weird and sudden energy drain after a century I rode fast when I was sick and on antibiotics.  So instead of buying a Bacchetta I got fat and out of shape and then back into shape by doing Pilates for a year or so and then I started riding again and then I ran into a guy riding a steel Bacchetta Corsa, Don.

I think I told Don that I was going to get one of those bicycles, too, about two minutes after I first saw his, but I'm pretty sure he didn't believe me.  Anyway, I had to look around a good bit to find one and drive a ways to test ride one in the rain no less, but I ordered a Bacchetta just like said I would, a Titanium Aero, and then found out
Don had ordered one, too, so we drove together to pick up our new bikes and became friends, too.

When I bought the Bacchetta I was looking for a bicycle which I couldn't outgrow.  I figured it would be the right recumbent for that because I saw what the fastest riders were doing on the bike.  If it was fast enough for them it would be fast enough for me, even if I wasn't really fast.  Make sense?

What happened next?  Well, I began to do something that I'd not done much of before.  Hills had always been something that I went out of my way to avoid more often than not.  Suddenly I was interested in riding them.  I decided that I might be the slowest hill climber in the history of bicycles, but if I climbed the hills I might get better at it.  Simple concept. 

Since I was willing to ride hills I could ride with groups.  Slow groups, but groups.  I discovered that bicycle riding
could be even more social than I already knew and I discovered that some of the fast riders were willing to ride with me even though they had to turn around at the top of the hill and circle back to ride again up the rest of the hill with me so I wouldn't quit half way up. 

It wasn't long before I began to associate with crazy people, people so crazy that they talked about rides which were long.  I mean longer than centuries.  Things like 200K.  It seemed there was a whole series of ever longer rides with some weird French name that I never could remember but I didn't need to anyway because I wasn't going to do that.

I wasn't that crazy.

Hah!  Yeah, I got sucked in.  First they got me to go out for my longest ever bicycle ride one hot August day.  It was insane.  We ran out of water and had to stop at someone's house to beg water, but since I was lagging behind watching Doyce change a flat, marveling at how rapidly he could do it, I thought Phil had stopped at a friend's house for water.  I was mortified to find later than these people acting so nice and friendly and giving me ice and water were total stangers he'd met for the first time begging water.  Mortifed but no longer dying of heat and thirst.  It was insane, but it was 128 miles and it was a whole lot of fun.  So pretty soon it was me out there trying out the incredibly hard Tour de Fort twelve hour race, not trying to win or anything, just riding slow, but going 150 miles, my new longest ever ride.

It was an easy step to "just trying" a 200K.  After all, I'd already done the distance, what's the big deal.  Well, you can see where all that might be going, anybody can see that.  You'd think I could, too, but it was a little coaxing, a little cajoling, a little prodding, and pretty soon I wasn't just going along on the trips to Florida just for the company.  I was enjoying the long rides, even going on my own for a couple of 600K rides when the other guys had better things to do.

Does that mean I'm a fast guy?  Heck no.  Does it mean I "train?"  Who, me?  You've gotta be kidding.  I just ride the bike. Sometimes I'm chasing somebody, but it's just for fun.  I don't do intervals anymore than I did them when I used to run marathons thirty years ago, but now I do something I didn't do when I ran, something resembling what I used to hear called some weird Swedish word, "fartlek," which means speedplay, but probably I'm not really speeding fast enough to have what I do really count as true fartlek, because what I'm really doing is playing.  Just like when I was a kid, but I still like the word fartlek because it's sorta a kid word in English anyway.  To me riding a bicycle is pretty serious stuff, but it's also just playing, just being a kid again, goofing around.

So, even though I'm far from what anybody might think of when they think of a bicycle racer I still get to hang out with some legendary bike riders, rub elbows, sometimes ride in the same paceline, hear their stories and training tips and keep the dream of being a somewhat aged athlete alive.  After all, the guy who rode 245 miles in 12 hours at Sebring is only 5 years older than me.  Maybe by the time I'm his age I'll be a lot faster!

Funny thing is this bicycling stuff is fun.  It's not always fun, sometimes it's a pain, sometimes I think I'm crazy like
all my bicycling friends.  We're all crazy.  Maybe the crazy part for most people is when I tell them I'd rather go on a a long bike ride, like a 600K brevet, than go on a vacation.  Pretty much I don't tell people that because they look at me funny.  The truth is I like bike riding and I do it for my own satisfaction and amusement not so much for other people's reactions.  Sometimes their reactions annoy or embarass me if that makes sense.  The satisfaction for me is an internal thing.

If I didn't have a recumbent I couldn't do any of this and if I didn't have my Bacchetta I couldn't do it fast enough to make it worth doing.

I'm so glad spring has arrived.  I feel healthy.  Even though I was sick a lot during the winter I still pretty much stayed in shape by riding my Bacchetta and doing my Pilates when I wasn't coughing too much and I just have ten months to train for next year's Sebring.


Jim Wallace
Augusta, Georgia
#27
irodguy
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/05/05 16:19:14 (permalink)
I rode DFs for years since my Schwinn Varsity when I was 12.  I rode 200+ MPW until about 97 when I stopped for a while do to heavy work demand.  I gained about 75lb due to late hours and bad food.  I was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease about 5 years ago.
 
I still had my DF basically first Dura Ace STI available from the early 90s.  I tried to ride this 2.5 years ago and it about killed me.  A friend suggested I look at recumbent.  I purchased a Wizwheelz trike riding it for about 1 year and decided I wanted something faster.  I purchased a Catrike Expedition earlier this year.  I was having issues on several trails with the trike just being to big.  I was also still looking for something fast enough to keep up with my old DF buddies.  I tested a bunch of swbs and simply found that I was comfortable on the Strada.  I now have a few miles on the Strada and know I made the right decision.  It just wants to be fast even with me not really trying.  It also looks like it will help with shoulder muscles from holding the handlebars.  I can't wait until the next dinner ride here in Plano to keep up with the guys.
#28
rhody
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/05/05 16:42:01 (permalink)
I was a runner for years. I didnt really enjoy running but did so to stay in shape,heart,weight,etc. One day I stepped into a deep hole and that was the end of running forever, according to my Dr. Do not enjoy swimming and will go to a gym as only option. I had a lamendectomy a few years ago and can not hold my head up as required on a DF. One day while out walking <boring>,I saw a fella on a recumbent. Got one ,liked it. Kept progressing and moving up in quality of bike. 1 year ago I bought a Corsa,which will be a Bike Ill keep forever. I do 100s, rode across Georgia, Katy trail, Erie canal soon,and STP. The Corsa is, #1 very comfortable,as I am 72 yrs of age. Fast,I avg around 17 mph. Bacchetta bike folks are very informative and helpful. I should add, I am chemically depressed. Riding really makes medication 50% more effective.
#29
BirdieMama
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/05/05 22:31:46 (permalink)
Rhody/Pamela,
 
I salute you!  You're awesome.
 
TJ

"It's a beautiful day for a ride;
you know you wanna come along!
It's a beautiful day outside;
the air will do you good!"

The Jellydots

TEAM BACCHETTA
#30
psychling
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/08/17 17:47:09 (permalink)
Wisconsin hill country...
 
Last week I rode 160 miles of the Metamora 200 on the Ti Aero and experienced NO hamburger butt, NO neck / traps agony, NO hot foot, NO numb hands.  First time doing a longish distance on the bent. 
 
Yesterday I joined a friend in SW Wisconsin on a very spikey 100K (Dairyland Dare).  Used my DF (Litespeed Vortex Compact with Shimano DA gruppo and 11/34 in back with compact crank up front). 
 
Finished the 100K and added another 35K for riding to and from the race. 
 
I did have lots of pain.  Pain.  Pain.  Pain.
 
Hamburger butt.
Aching neck and traps.
Numb left hand.
Several experiences of hot foot.
average HR 25 bpm higher than on the bent the previous week. 
 
I had the legs and lungs for both events.  But I am now very, very interested in doing age-rated racing on the bent through UMCA. 
 
I do not see the point in adding such pain and suffering to my riding.  The pleasure and versatility of the Ti Aero in most respects is a very appreciated `rescue' from an increasingly painful experience with uprights. 
 
Uprights for city (Chicago) training under 2 hours.  Ti Aero for serious riding and racing, all terrains. 
#31
TrinBent
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/08/25 00:02:16 (permalink)
I was married for many years to an old Norco Bigfoot mountain bike - a $50 garage sale special.  I used it almost daily for year round commuting in Toronto where the big tires helped with icy street car tracks.  I brought it to Trinidad with me in 2000 and rode it occasionally until 2 years ago when I bought a Giro 26.  I spent a long time researching bents but couldn't test ride any - not availabe here and the cost of shipping and duty gave me a bit of sticker shock.  I made the switch for 2 reasons - bents made sense to a chronic back sufferer, and when I turned 60 I realized I would never do it any younger!  First time out my feet bounced off the pedals on a rough road -  scary and embarassing but rectified by a change in equipment. Second time out I skidded on wet gravel and rejoined the second skin club.  (I had never ridden with high pressure road tires before).  After those 2 lessons it has been smooth sailing.
 
Being the only bent rider in the country draws a lot of attention. Last year in my first century ride I was the major attraction for both riders and spectators.  I can pull the rum shop crowd out to the curb for a look see everytime.  I was awarded the prize for "Most Challenged Rider", a dubious honour I shared with a DF rider who lost it on a downhill corner and hit the ditch!
 
When I was pulling out of the second rest stop on this year's century, a rider asked, "What kind of bike is that."  After a short history lesson on recumbents he then asked, "why do you ride it?  Do you have any imperfections?"  Seems these folks are taking the challenged reference too literally :-).  Other riders acknowledge the appearance of comfort but eroneously assume that pushing the pedals takes no effort - duh.
 
I'm glad I started with the Euromesh seat as it is really comfortable and probably easier for re-learning balance when beginning to ride a bent. It is a wonderfully comfortable touring seat.  I recently switched to a carbon fibre seat to which I will add a headrest to save my neck on long rides.  I have also switched out the stock wheels to reduce weight.  The only problem so far is the spring on the front derailleur broke - Shimano Tiagra.
 
There is an active cycling community in Trinidad mostly organized around bike shops operated by former national riders.  We also have a number of European cyclists training here during winter.  They take advantage of our 2 seasons - hot and dry/hot and wet.  
 
After 2 years I am still the only bent rider here.  I ride a Trek Navigator 50 for communting to work as the roads are narrow with far too many cars for design capacity. Drivers are inattentive to cyclists (and to each other) and maxi taxis seem to have open season for cyclists. I find it easier to start off and to control a DF bike in heavy traffic at slow speed than the Giro.  However, I much prefer the bent and wish we had bike lanes for commuters.  On the long rides I get to enjoy fabulous tropical scenery without craning my neck.   And after a 100+ mi ride I don't feel like I have spent too many hours siting on a wedge in the hot, hot sun!
Mark Hopkins (Trinbent)
 
#32
riggster2
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2008/09/25 00:52:09 (permalink)
I have always liked speed. I am 42 and I am very fat and out of shape. I’m getting better but I started my journey to a recumbent with a visit to my Doctor. I had high blood pressure and am well on my way to diabetes. I want to live longer and more comfortably so with the urging of a friend I decided to start riding my bike. My friend said that a mountain bike is not nearly as efficient as a road bike on the road so he loaned me his. He had recently purchased a cattrike. My first ride was 20 miles long and very grueling to me. The seat was terrible and I was out of energy very early. I had a mountain bike with newer components that I had purchased in 1990. I started running a weekly organized ride and I started to update my bike with road tires, clip on shoes and various other things that I thought would help.
After a few months of going to the organized ride I started ridding more on my own. I found out how to adjust my seat and how to sit such that it was not uncomfortable. Apparently not many people seem to figure that out. Later I tried to do the 50 mile ride at Hotter than Hell. My buddy had recently obtained a corsa and took the 100 mile route. He averaged 20mph and fell behind two stradas he had been drafting with.  I made it forty miles before I dehydrated and cramped up badly. Apparently it is not normal to see spots, have lots of cramps and very low blood pressure. I had similar symptoms on the organized ride that drinking a lot afterward always fixed. Never-the-less pushing 310 lbs for forty miles is quite a feat for me. I was fortunate that they brought my bike to the ER and I was able to ride out and cross the finish line anyway.
To counter the dehydration, I bought a camel back and forced myself to drink a lot. I did the 25 mile OKC Streak and had to use a rest stop. I noticed that I had a better workout and for the first time I had noticed that the wind was giving me problems even though it was a calm day. I was not able to push the bike over 24 mph. Back on the weekly ride my buddy helped me draft and we were not passed by anyone. It made a great deal of difference. The next week I swapped out my 26 inch mountain bike rims for 650s. This modification improved the bike a lot and I could really feel the wind resistance.
During that weekly run I was behind two recumbents and a little stick of a guy on a diamond frame street bike. I watched the two recumbents outpace the two of us on diamond frames. It turns out later that one of the recumbent riders had won a street race by several minutes against an aggressive diamond frame team. I felt pretty good about not falling too far behind them after finding that out.
My buddy was always telling me about the benefits of recumbent and said that I should look into them because I was ready for an upgrade. I went to my favorite bike shop and tried a few. The strada seemed to be the fastest bike of the ones I tried and my buddy said he loved his corsa. Because of his continual testimony and the favorable stories of other recumbent riders I purchased my first recumbent bike. It is a red corsa. I have never heard anyone who owns a recumbent say anything bad about them except for its slower going up hills.
The first mile I put on it was awkward and a bit frightening. It took a few stops and starts to be able to start comfortably. I took it to the lake tonight and started getting used to it. At five miles I was just trying to keep the thing between the lines and I had one of the zoomers pass me much slower than they usually do. I notice that he kept looking back to see if I was still there. After a few more miles I was finally getting my legs to work right and I ran out of gears. The wind was slipping over me much better than what I was used to. I guess I’ll have to get a bigger front sprocket.
#33
nobby
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2009/02/07 12:52:14 (permalink)
Early 2006 I had major stomach surgery and started losing weight like mad and as I felt better I returned to cycling and camping, after a 20 year lay off, to get fit and keep off the 84lbs I've lost.
Mid 2006 I am driving over the Pennines (England), having just been measured for a bespoke upright frame by a well known English frame maker, when I spot a guy going slowly up hill on a very low trike. I stopped him and had a chat and was most impressed by the thought that he was doing a huge detour to get home because he liked being on the machine so much.
Then I came across a broken Kingcycle. Fixed it but couldn't ride it because it was so twitchy. Bought a lwb TourEasy clone from a 'bent camping friend and it was ok - easy to ride- but sluggish.
Found a Bacchetta Giro 20. The first time I got on it I pushed off expecting it to be like the Kingcycle but it was completely stable; the perfect two wheeled camping machine. Most of the weight goes in the bags beneath the seat and the handling is unaffected. It attracts positive attention from everybody and gets space on the road.
I haven't ridden it over the winter very much because of the ice. It's been an exceptionally poor winter here and I've learnt the hard way a fall puts me on my bum and hurts my coccyx, but I'm just tidying it up and packing to start camping again in three weeks. I have been riding a recumbent in the gym two or three times a week and my upright at least weekly though.
My giro is a lovely bike and a pleasure to be out on.

Hope that is of use.
post edited by nobby - 2009/02/07 12:53:59

'03 Giro 20 - pea green
'03 Brompton C3/M6 - red
'09 Trice - black
#34
nimrod
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2009/03/11 20:54:49 (permalink)
Hey mike,  I  was the guy that rode the corsa with pink rear wheel cover at sebring.  I think you helped me get my front wheel on before the race-Thanks.   This may sound crazy, but the night before I helped a mexican get his friend out of jail at the sherifs dept.  He was next door at my motel and pleaded with me to drive him to jail to bail out his friend so they could both work next day. WE sat in station till 11:30 at night and i got back at 12. I just barely got to race on time . Yich!
#35
nimrod
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2009/03/18 11:54:52 (permalink)
I've been riding and racing bikes since 1973.  I was a Pennsylvania rider that raced in road races,criteriums,track events. Retired from racing in 1984-cat. 2. Didn't win too much but could hold my own with best amateurs. Started framebuilding in 1980-road frames. Built first recumbent frame in 1985 in Gainesville,Fla. Long wheelbase design. Put full cardboard fairing on in 1986 and I found the true potential of recumbent. I was able to ride a 10 mile rolling time trial at 33to 39 mph. Downhills were scarey fast but crosswinds were bad. I dreamed of building a recumbent to hit 65 m.p.h. but Freddy Markham did it first. I then designed a short wheelbase recumbent in 1999 like the Bachetta giro but with narrow bars. I was trying to create the best all round recumbent that could climb. Guess what? I found that Bachetta has created the finest recumbents in the world that can do it all!  I came down to Gainesville Fla. in Feb. this year to ride Sebring 12 hr. event on my homebuilt bike. I ended up buying a used Corsa in a shop and it was faster than my machine so I rode at sebring with only one an a half weeks of use. I rode 124.1 miles easily and only quit due to bad right knee cramp. I had still 5 hrs. left roughly.   The Bachetta guys were very helpful and fast  and I plan to be back next year to crank out over 200 miles in 12 hrs.  I've ridden just about all the recumbents out there and for performance and comfort , Bachetta is no. 1 !  I look forward to racing more with the Bachetta gang.   Keep riding.  David S. Vetterlein
#36
Reku Papa
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Just like being pulled 2009/04/20 07:50:00 (permalink)
Sunday I had a flat 120km ride with my roadie friends. A rare occasion when these bastards are not looking for the longest climbs :) So I rode my Giro26 inside of a pack of roadies. I could not stop laughing, I felt like I was pulled on a rope. My gear was most time 53/11, our speed is around 35 Km/h. When I got worried I would fall asleep, I pulled to the frontline, just to ses something from the country :-)

Unforgettable fun it was :)

#37
timturner
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Giro 20... going on year 3 2009/05/07 02:23:30 (permalink)
I've had my Giro 20 for about 2 years now, and a year ago, facing knee issues, I was hoping to ride 10-20 miles a day and maybe average 14-18 mph.
I rode all summer and winter missing only a few days in a row, here and there. Currently, I ride about 35 miles a day and average about 20 when I ride alone. Saturday, I road 50 miles with 3400 vertical feet of altitude.. hauling my 42lb Giro, toolbox and fairing. Monday I rode the Centennial Trail (37 miles total) with an average of 21.5mph.
I've lost approx 30 lbs from my heaviest weight and weigh the same as I did in 10th grade, about 155. hoping to drop 10 more lbs off me and 20 more off the ride... :)
I'm stronger and faster than I ever thought i'd be, and I'm passing through obsession into addiction.
I just thank God everyday I get to ride.
oh, and I love my bike. thx B-team

T
#38
Reku Papa
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Reduce aero drag 2009/05/25 02:49:07 (permalink)
#39
MHettler
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RE: Wanted: Your Story! 2009/06/28 21:38:11 (permalink)
I am 57 years old, overweight, and have had back trouble since my mid 30s. I"ve always enjoyed bike-riding since I was a kid, just in a casual way. The length and frequency of my rides wouldn't impress anyone; it's more that my life has been totally sedentary and completely lacking in exercise except for what little cycling I do. My wife will browbeat me into going to walks with her, but I'll find any excuse I can to get out of them. The only form of exercise I actually enjoy is cycling.

But I've always been hindered by recurring back trouble. Every few years I'd decide I need to get back into shape and I needed to get more serious about cycling, but eventually my back would do me in. For a little while in my late 30s, I commuted to work, 7.5 miles each way, but eventually my back got the better of me. At various time since then I've tried getting the bike out on a regular basis, but sooner or later my back will start to bother me.

A recumbent was my wife's idea. She is very concerned about my weight and my lack of exercise, and she knew from experience over 30 years of marriage that cycling was the only form of exercise I'd willingly engage in, and had heard that bents are better on the back. She spoke with our local bike shop here in Bordentown, NJ, who referred her to Economy Bikes in Hamilton Square. (I since learned that this is the only place in NJ that sells recumbents.) She wanted to just buy one and surprise me, but the gentleman at the shop strongly urged that I test ride several and find the one that's right for me.

So about a month ago I paid them a visit. The gentleman at the shop utilized the politest terminology imaginable to refer to my being fat and to my oversized gut, and suggested a long wheelbase and a low bottom bracket as being best suited for my particular physique. He let me test ride a few that he had, but thought that my best options would be a RANS Stratus or a Bacchetta Bellandare, both of which were on order. A week later I went back and tried the Stratus and Bellandare, and found the Bellandare a little more comfortable, as well as being attracted by the $300 price difference. So the Bellandare it was. (And is.)

Since then, I just can't stay off it. I find myself running errands for which I would ordinarily use a car, or just taking long rides around the area where I live. The seat is unbelievably comfortable; it's like leaning back in the desk chair at my office and pedaling. But in addition to the comfort, or perhaps because of it, I find it just natural to want to go longer distances. You just keep riding and riding, not getting tired, not getting uncomfortable.

It's only been three weeks; I've gotten on fitness kicks in the past that lasted longer than that but eventually petered out. All I can really say is that I have reasons to stay at it that I didn't before. The difference for my back is just phenomenal, it's more than just not uncomfortable, it's downright therapeutic. The whole experience is relaxing; even going up hills, instead of standing up and cranking it out, I just sit back and relax, downshift a few gears and keep pedaling. So time will tell, but it's a whole new experience for me.

Mark Hettler
Florence, NJ
post edited by MHettler - 2009/06/28 21:39:40
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