Laid-back cycling


I met Chris recently in our village churchyard, resting mid-ride, consuming forbidden carbohydrates, with a complacent smile on his face. When I see a fellow roadie, I like to stop by and check him/her out, ask the usual questions (where from/to, how far, which club…….) and study the machine that stands close by.

Chris was sporting a new two-wheeled recumbent, recently imported from Taiwan, and he told me of the ups and downs of familiarizing himself with the riding style, which had taken him several weeks to master. He’s now got to that stage of being a ‘born-again’ cyclist, charismatic about his new-found cycling perspective on the world, and happy to proselytise anyone who passes by and is open to the message.

When I asked him what had prompted him to convert to a recumbent, he simply said: “Oh, yuh know, usual things, back problems, and certain difficulties in the under-carriage area”.

I say no more……..


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 3, 2016, in Cycling UK and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I took my recumbent trike out the other day – for a 20 mile run into town and around the locality. That night my legs kept trying to cramp. Different muscles. I like the comfort of the laid back seat – spreading the load over a lot more than a pair of ‘sit bones’ but I do find the extra effort required to ride uphill a bit of a disadvantage. On the flat it’s fine and downhill is great, but then downhill on most bikes is fun!

  2. As this guy was a cycling novice, I’d guess his undercarriage problems were the result of trying to endure the standard racing saddle supplied to such novices by the trade. They dare not sell a lightweight bike that doesn’t look like Chris Froom’s bike, as the novice will reject it. But if the novice had joined a club, there would be a wealth of knowledge and experience to suggest the various simple solutions, rather than take an expensive and radical recumbent path. A Brooks B17 titanium saddle would be a lot cheaper than a recumbent; and once sat upon he might still try to pass himself off as a proper bikie.

    • Good advice for the novice, but he wasn’t a bike-riding novice, just a novice on recumbents. Reading between the lines, his ‘undercarriage problems’ had nothing to do with common saddle soreness……..

  3. Riding a ‘bent is more comfortable in all regions – neck, wrists, shoulders as well as on ones ‘sitting down region ‘ . Another plus is that even if you are an introvert like me, if you cycle on your own you are never short of a conversation when ever you stop. However, I suspect I’ll never take one on a plane again as reassembling one is SO much harder than a standard bike. I love mine, riding it always makes me smile. But then I enjoy my diamond frame more than ever before for its novelty value

  4. I came across one of these bikes on the road last year. Blasted right past me as if I was standing still.

  5. All I can say is, I hope I make it to be old enough to want to ride a trike version of one of those.

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