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troyohchatter
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  18:06:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This might be long, and if it's too long my apologies.

When I was a young man back in the 70's and 80's I put thousands of miles on my bicycle, and the bike I had was a Huffy. Well, more than "a" huffy as I burned up so may drivetrain parts it was more like a series of many Huffys. It didn't matter, I still had leg muscles from hell so I never fell behind my friends on much better equipment even though my old Huffy tipped the scales at somewhere north of 30Lbs.

Fast forward over 20 years, past a military career, marriage, weight gain, and such. About 2007 I got the old Huffy out long enough to sort out it was, well, a 30 year old Huffy. I went in search for a bicycle. I test rode many, including a recumbent, loved it but couldn't afford it. I ended up on an upright Trek 7.2 hybrid.

Now I rode it quite a bit that year, but even with handgrips, gloves, a new seat, etc; I look back and realize why my bicycling days were numbered. It sucked, pure and simple. I'd do a 26 mile round trip with one break and was just miserable. Thing is my legs were fine.

Then we got a dog, and running/walking became my exercise of choice.

Ok, so since then it's been various injuries combined with laziness resulting in having to get back on the "fit" wagon this year. I went to go running but a knee injury that I suffered many years ago yelled at me in no uncertain terms "44 is too damn old to run with this KNEE!!!"

So out with the Trek to revisit the joy of bicycling. Miserable. FRIGGIN MISERABLE!!! I said screw it and went in search of a recumbent.

Then last week on Craiglist a guy had a Sun EZ Sport CX for "barter" and the guy wanted a Hybrid. $200 and the Trek and I ended up with a Recumbent. I had high hopes.

After two relatively short rides, I did a solid 16 miles this morning, all I can say is "wow!" I went 8 miles out and 8 miles back and I swear, it felt like it was downhill both ways. I don't have a computer for it yet so I have no idea how fast I went or my pace, but I know I enjoyed the hell out of it. No wrist, shoulder, or butt pain. It was so incredibly enjoyable. I can't remember the last time I just took in the surroundings and enjoyed the ride.

The reality is that with zero conditioning I think I could go as far on this recumbent as I ever went on the hybrid. Furthermore, on the trail today I passed more people than passed me. Finally, the only person that I saw with a smile as big as mine was riding a tadpole recumbent.

My revelation is that for people my age most of the "conditioning" for bicycling is building up a tolerance for all of the pain that one goes through. Not too many people get off of a bike and say 'wow, if only I had stronger leg muscles.' No, it's more like "if I ever get used to the seat" or "my wrists sure are weak, but with new gloves."

So yes, I am a convert, pure and simple. I am looking forward to the future!

So the long and short of it is the bike rocks, I had absolutely no idea what the bad side of one of these types of bikes would be, the Sun EZ Sport CX I have is comfy and relatively efficient for the pricepoint, and finally, it's FUN!!!

Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2442 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  19:13:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Eric, I live in West Milton. I usually ride west of Troy and W.Milton, and on the paths. I also do time trial races. If you see someone on a very low race bike, it's probably me. I try to wave at all bents.
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sean costin
human power supergeek

Lesotho
1976 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  04:47:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Well said. This should be on signs in bike shops that carry recumbents. Except for the age part. I suffered on upright bikes when I was a kid too.

"My revelation is that for people my age most of the "conditioning" for bicycling is building up a tolerance for all of the pain that one goes through. Not too many people get off of a bike and say 'wow, if only I had stronger leg muscles.' No, it's more like "if I ever get used to the seat" or "my wrists sure are weak, but with new gloves."
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troyohchatter
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  05:52:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The bike trail network goes through Troy and is completed all the way to Piqua now. I am less than 3 from the trail where it crosses Lytle road. My approx 8 mile ride took me from that point all the way to Tipp City and back. I got off the bike at Tipp City to eat a bar and chill for a minute or two. I figured 8 miles was a good guess since it's 5.5 to the golf course.

While many in our area dream of California, Florida, or Colorado, I will say that we have one of the best bike trail networks around. That stretch from Troy to Tipp City is about as wonderful as it goes, shady all the way and, for us that lack conditioning, relatively flat. The only hitch is the detour around Hobart Arena (the bridge is still under construction).

I can't ride again until Wed evening and can't wait! Love the bike!!
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Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2442 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  06:58:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a gap on the path to Piqua, but the Piqua loop is nice. Going south of Tipp just keeps getting nicer. Dayton has the largest system of connected paths in the country. I usually get on in Tipp or at the Frederick/Needmore trailhead, or the Webster st parking lot, downtown Dayton.
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Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2442 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  06:59:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Btw, I used to live on McKaig Ave, near the library.
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troyohchatter
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  07:21:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As previously stated, the gap you speak of is GONE. They finished it about a month ago. Now rather than dead end at Lytle, it goes all the way up to the Eldean bridge and beyond to Piqua. For what it's worth, it goes right up to the back of El Sombrero and there's even a bike rack. Margarita anyone?
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troyohchatter
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  07:24:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oops..forgot to mention I live on Branford and am less than 3 blocks from the trail, so transporting the recumbent is no concern as I am a short ride to the trail.
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Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2442 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  08:06:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I haven't looked myself, but one of the riders I coach says the path ends just north of I-75, requiring you to bushwack out to Dixie, and pick up the path further North. Check it out for us. Did you see the spectacular fire when El Sombrero burned down when it was in that hotel?
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troyohchatter
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2012 :  08:33:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are speaking of a different gap and I am honestly not sure, but can give it a go to see. Never saw the fire.
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tank
Starting Member

United Kingdom
36 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2012 :  01:47:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was a keen cyclist and then I slipped a disc in my lower back, which means that when I lean forward for any lenght of time my back becomes sore. Last time I rode a "normal" bike I was laid up in bed for two days with serious back pain.

I looked round for a way to keep riding and in one bike shop I was told that all I needed was a sprung saddle as that would solve my problem.

I then found out about recumbents tried them and have not looked back since. Towards the end of August I am doing a 142KM (about 88mile) ride for charity on it. I have found that I struggle uphill more than before but am getting better, but on the flat and downhill I am fine.

Troyohchatter - I dont know what phone you have but there are plenty of apps out there that will, using GPS, map out where you have been, and list things like top speed, average speed, distance, etc.

The biggest problem I have found with the 'bent is that when I am riding it a lot of people want me to stop so they can have a better look at it, especially as they see me riding with a big smile on my face.

Keep enjoying your rides.
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