Just before I knocked myself out of any kind of sportive attempts for six months by damaging my ankle, I had brought a recumbent. A long standing desire of mine. One of the obstacles is that recumbent-bikes are véry expensive, and the other is that you have to learn riding them. Obstacle #1 was solved because I found a secondhand one I really liked, and because of the under-steer (not the most popular option) It was less costly as other secondhand recumbents.
Mine is a ”Flevo fifty/fifty” I guess it’s about 8 to 10 years old. It was a very modern innovative design for the time and most recumbents still look very much like this one. It’s half racer, half touring. The wheels are 20”. You are very close to the ground and your head is much lower than on a conventional bike. This means you have a less than good view of traffic around you. I brought it to visit the Tarq, and the route is almost exclusively over cycling paths, so quite safe.
As I now had official permission of my physiotherapist to try it out I have spend sunday afternoon getting it the right size for me, and trying to actually ride it. Many people who evaluated their different bikes, considered the Flevo fifty/fifty an easy bike to ride and suitable for starters.
So after an hour of falling off it, if I was so lucky to get it going in the first place, and breaking insignificant little parts of the bike, and sustaining a really nasty painful bruise on the inside of my arm, I managed to roll all the way down the parking lot! And as I couldn’t make the turn, I got off, turned the bike around, and actually cycled back.
I then decided to try and go ”round the block”. That went quite well, so I went a bit further on. On a large empty parking lot I started doing some really nice turns, and I decided that the only way to actually learn to ride the bike was to actually ride it. So took Zora back to the house and got some stuff and a bottle of water, and headed off to ride the more than 10 miles to the Tarq.
After you’re out of the city, it’s a lovely route; I always feel like I’m on a holiday. Actually there are two routes, One is most romantic and beautiful, the other is also nice but a bit more straight on and more houses and traffic. I go the second route when it’s getting dark and when I want to go faster, and the first route when I have a bit more time and want to enjoy myself. The first bit as I leave the city is a very small road surrounded by water and a couple of the cutest tiny gnome-sized-farmhouses, and a little lock.
After a couple of miles I cross the big canal, and follow it for a while on a very narrow cyclingpath. a bit scary when I met other cyclist: it all went very well, but when I saw them approaching I immediately started wobbling a bit.
After a couple of more miles I cross another small lock and pass the ”white mill” Yes, we are in the Netherlands, and there are wind-mills dotted all over the landscape!
The white mill, and my recumbent 😀
After the mill I cross another lock back to the other side of the canal again. Here you see the view from my recumbent. I was being very responsible wearing the knee- and elbow-protectors I use when rollerblading. (at wich I am really bad so I need all the protection I can get)
I arrived safely at the stables, had a nice time with The Tarq, and got safely home again too. The recumbent is, while still difficult, a dream to ride! I was very tired as I got home, but in such a nice way! Just tired. When I come home from the more than 20 miles round trip, on my ”normal” bike, my bum hurts, my back hurts, my shoulders hurt. This was great!
When it says recumbent, or reclining-bike, they really mean reclining! You are almost flat on your back! the only improvement I want is a neck rest. The recumbent feels as if the evolution of bicycles has skipped a few hundred years!