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Recumbere(latin)…..to lie down

Celebrating (with glasses of water!) a two hour recumbent ride together. The things we do!20140827_140502_Android

As we glided along the empty lanes of the fens, past Grunty Fen (among others), the lack of hedgerows gave us frequent views of Ely Cathedral in the distance. When you are in the prone position of a recumbent trike, you normally get to see very little on either side of the road, but you are in a prime seat if the Red Arrows just happen to be flying overhead! Drivers seem to show you a little more respect, but then that’s because you are only one step away from doing wheelies on your mobility scooter. They probably think you are old and venerable…….well, some of that may be true.

You not only get to inspect the undercarriages of passing vehicles, but under your own carriage, you really get to feel the camber of the road, which frequently has you leaning towards the verge. And the avoidance of potholes causes interesting manoeuvres. On two wheels, you can weave in and out of them, but on three wheels, you may avoid them with the front two wheels, but that back wheel may  experience the depth and breadth in all its fullness…..

Fun to ride and sociable, if you get to ride side by side on quiet roads. Will we invest in one?…….Well, watch this space.

 

Aspirations to be a ‘bent rider?

You might ask…..what brings a cyclist and a non-cyclist together……and for them eventually to get married? Well, it’s obvious that other points of attraction expanded the equation and, anyway, I had decided that I was going to teach my new wife the ‘simple art’ of balancing on two wheels…….or so I thought. Thirty seven years later, well……… she still can’t balance on two wheels…..so where did I go wrong?

Ah yes…..I nearly forgot…….we found alternative forms of bicycling transport……..you know, tandems and adult trikes. Doing this, perhaps, let her off the hook, even made her a little blasé about the importance of learning the skill. But once you introduce the idea of “Well it doesn’t really matter…..after all, we can look for an adult trike……or even check out the market for a tandem”, then there is no way of backtracking and renewing the resolve.

When we bought our current house, 34 years ago, there was an American adult trike in the garage going with the house. I like to joke that we took out a mortgage on the first trike, and added the house to it……. But now, in 2014, and two further trikes later, Jenny’s thoughts are turning towards something with a bit more comfort and efficiency. Her current trike started its life as a bicycle, and was converted into a trike using a conversion kit. Very clever and very serviceable, but it makes for a heavy, cumbersome machine.

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I think she’s enjoying herself……

So………we went a-hunting one day recently, and ended up at D-Tek in Little Thetford, a one-man business that eschews the internet, and which deals only in alternative bicycles……. mainly recumbents (more succinctly known as “bents” amongst enthusiasts). And here she is trying out the first of two machines, and the second even more laid back than the first.20140725_153013_Android

During the test ride of the latter, I jumped into (onto?) the former, and off we went together cruising the local estates, riding beneath radar detection. A very cool experience.

The decision to buy one will, undoubtedly, be a lengthy one. You’d be surprised at how many different makes and styles are on offer from across the world. And I’m sure that all, or nearly all, will have to be checked out.