Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recumbent Goal Achieved!

This morning after coffee and breakfast the conditions were ideal for a bike ride.  Clear sunny blue skies and not a breath of wind.  The temperature was a pleasant 75 degrees.  I wanted to go mountain biking to try out the new tires but the past week was very rainy.  Rather than face the possibility of encountering mud I settled for the old standby recumbent ride on the B & O Trail.

I got warmed up and was feeling pretty good cruising along at a nice clip.   At one hour elapsed ride time I noticed I had traveled 15.99 miles.  This meant that I had a whole hour to finish 14 more miles and put myself safely into record breaking range of a sub two hour 30 miler.  The ride was mostly uneventful except at some point I got stung by a bee in the side of the face.  I think he got caught under my helmet strap.  Not a big deal really, it's spring and everything is blooming so bees will do what they do and stay busy.  On this ride I encountered the most recumbent riders that I have ever seen on one ride.  I lost count around ten or so.  Mostly older folks on long wheel base bikes however I did see a lone rider who might have been younger than me.  On a high note I must comment that not just one but two serious looking roadies actually waved to me in passing.  This more than makes up for the bee sting!  I think everybody was pumped because of the great riding conditions. 

When the odometer turned over to 30.00 I stopped to take a picture.  I actually smashed my old record of 2:09 by nearly 20 minutes.  Soldiering on I rode well until around 35 miles where my output usually begins to diminish.  I still managed to keep above 15 or 16 mph for  the rest of the ride.

Here's the stats for the complete ride which itself is another record broken.  (New course record for the HP Velotechnik. Old record was 2:29 set June 2008.)

Ride time:  2:17
Distance: 37.5 miles
Average speed:  16.3 mph

It is important to keep in mind when looking at this data that my recumbent bike weighs about 34 pounds.  That's like riding one Trek Madone and carrying a second one on your back.  Now six months short of my 40th birthday I am pleased with my fitness and the fact that I am still able to raise my performance bar by such a big chunk.  


  1. Mike, I'm looking into a 3 wheeled bike so that I can go out with my wife in her wheelchair. At my age, having to worry about balancing the bike is just more than I can handle....let along going in a straight line down a sidewalk. By the way, your pictures are great, what kind of camera are you using?


  2. Norm,
    That's great your checking out the 3-wheelers. The two styles are "tadpole" two wheels in front, one trailing and "delta" trikes with two in back and one wheel up front. Generally on the delta trikes you set up higher which makes getting into and out of the seat easier. the tadpoles are more performance oriented and usually much lower to the ground. And like anything else price runs the gamut. Because of increased popularity of these bikes prices continue to fall and "trickle down technology" in the bicycle industry means you get more for your money than ever before. There is gobs of info out there on the web and you probably have a decent bike shop or two nearby.

    Thanks for the compliments on the photos. I like when people ask. Its an old Kodak DX6340 3.1 megapixel point and shoot. They came out around 2002 I think. I've been wanting to upgrade but your right it takes pretty nice shots and can't bring myself to retire it just yet. The camera is a hand-me-down from my wife (she's the real photographer). She uses a Cannon SLR and has a little Cannon point and shoot that by far outdoes the Kodak so that is probably the route I'll go.

    Good luck and I hope you do get a trike. I look at it this way: any money spent on a bike is an investment in health and wellbeing. Of course you do have to get out and pedal it. That's been my problem since getting into ham radio!


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