I’m back from Cross Country Ride and have decided to sell my Bike Friday Sat-R Day folding recumbent. This has been a great little bike but I’m back on diamond frames now and do most of my touring locally.
The bike folds into a suitcase that converts to a trailer. It has XTR cranks, XT rear derailleur, and a Shimano 3 speed internal hub.The bike is in good shape, it was over hauled and updated by Bike Friday after my last tour.
The bike is a much better recumbent than you would expect seeing the small wheels. In Corsica and Sardinia it handled steep climb and fast descents remarkably well; better than the Bike Friday Lama my companion was riding. It has always been a quick handling and fun ride.
National Geographic has published it’s list of the Top 10 Cycling Routes. This is an interesting list and one to take a look at if you are planning a tour. Many of the miles on these routes are not paved and suffer from Bike Trail Syndrome.
From the National Geographic book Journeys of a Lifetime
- La Route Verte, Canada The newly completed Route Verte (Green Route) crosses the province of Quebec from east to west, running for more than 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) along carefully selected rights-of-way and rural roads. Well signed, it’s easy to follow and includes directions to interesting sites. The terrain and vistas vary immensely, from calm stretches along the St. Lawrence River to mountain views in the Laurentides.
- Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, U.S.A./Canada The Adventure Cycling Association developed this route from Mobile, Alabama, to Owen Sound, Ontario, to honor the bravery of slaves trying to reach freedom and those who helped them. There are five segments, adding up to a total distance of 2,057 miles (3,310 kilometers). Sites along the way highlight the route’s history, from former slave markets to museums dedicated to African-American history. www.adv-cycling.org
- Ruta Austral, Chile Mostly surfaced with graded but unpaved gravel, the route runs for more than 810 miles (1,300 kilometers) from Puerto Montt in central Chile, south through Caleta Yungay to Villa O’Higgins in northern Patagonia, with numerous ferryboat transfers along the way. You pass through wild and beautiful landscapes, including Queulat and Cerro Castillo national parks. Large stretches of native forest and enormous ferns surround Puyuhuapi Hot Springs, near Queulat.www.gochile.cl
- Munda Biddi Trail, Western Australia In the Noongar Aboriginal language, Munda Biddi means “path through the forest.” This cycling trail runs through miles of “jarrah forest”—from the local name for eucalyptus trees. The 206-mile (332-kilometer) section from Mundaring to Collie opened in July 2004, and two extensions will take it to Albany. You may encounter forest natives like western brush wallaby, western gray kangaroos, and brushtail possum. www.mundabiddi.org.au
- Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam If bikes and beaches mix well for you, Vietnam combines them on this 746-mile (1,200-kilometer) route between the country’s two biggest cities, taking you along vast stretches of sandy coastline. But it’s no picnic, as road surfaces vary considerably and there are many natural obstacles like the Hai Van Pass, the historical division point between North and South Vietnam.
- Gran Fondo Campagnolo, Italy This mass-participation ride through the Dolomites around Feltre honors Tulio Campagnolo, who invented the modern gear-shifting system, the derailleur. It takes place each year in mid-June, soon after the mountain roads are cleared of snow. You climb more than 13,780 feet (4,200 meters) along the 130-mile (209-kilometer) course, which tops four summits.www.infodolomiti.it
- Luchon to Bayonne, France The Tour de France crossed high mountain passes for the first time in 1910. On Stage 10, the most difficult that year, the winner took 14 hours to cycle the 202 miles (325 kilometers) from the mountain spa town of Luchon to the finish at Bayonne, crossing four major passes, all unpaved at the time. Tracing the route is simple—follow the roads that climb the same passes: the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet, and Aubisque. www.customgetaways.com, www.clevacances-65.com
- Route du Comte Jean, Belgium/France Belgium is known for its Vlaanderen Fietsroute (Flemish Cycle Route) along country roads and paths, many closed to vehicular traffic. The Route du Comte Jean (named for a 14th-century Flemish general) takes in 137 miles (220 kilometers) of the network, from Bruges into northern France. There are no mountains, but coastal winds present a challenge. www.visitbelgium.com
- Land’s End to John O’Groats, Britain Depending on your route choices, the distance can be 900 miles (1,450 kilometers) or more. Prevailing winds are more likely to be with you going north to south. Even if you take the long way in a relaxed fashion, you should have no problem beating the first official End-to-End record: 65 days, done in 1885 on a highwheeler. www.ctc.org.uk
- Cape Argus Pick ’n Pay Cycle Tour, South Africa At 68 miles (109 kilometers), the Cape Argus ride isn’t the world’s longest open-ride race, but with some 35,000 participants, it may be the biggest. The course does a loop of the Cape Peninsula with constant ups and downs. If you’re just happy to finish, you’ll enjoy the many coastal sections and the portions through Table Mountain National Park. www.cycletour.co.za
Visit The Recumbent Blog to keep updated on Recumbent cycling, it’s an excellent blog and beautifully done.
FOBB will be the new home for my posts that are not recumbent specific. I’ll still be talking mostly about touring gear and touring but if the post isn’t just for Recumbent Riders it will be on FOBB. I will still be doing some Recumbent Posts but I expect FOBB to be busier this summer than eBent.
This first FOBB post, Hello World, explains what I will be doing with FOBB. FOBB reflects my evolution as a rider. At 65 I am riding more in areas I know and integrating cycling more into my life.
It is a bitter sweet thing to embrace change but for now, my Ryan and Slipstream are hanging in the garage. I am getting rid of my other recumbents, BikeE and Sat-R Day, the giant shipping case for the Slipstream, and the 2 recumbent bike rack. However, this year I am planning more tours and revisiting some of my first tours.
My body will tell me when it is time to go back to a recumbent or maybe get a Trike. But for now my new LHT has brought the fun back to cycling for me.
The Garmin Edge 605 is a nice compact GPS that does a great job of collecting data as you ride. It also works well as a Cycling Computer. But it just doesn’t cut it as a GPS for Bicycle Touring. I am so disappointed. The Edge 606 and 705 could have been great Touring Tools.
What is doesn’t seem to do is routing. I am hoping someone will prove me wrong on this. You can’t just open your Garmin Mapping Software, create a route and send the route to your Edge. Yes, you still have to buy the maps but no routing.
The Other major limitation is battery life, 12 hours and you can’t just stick in new batteries, they have to be recharged. OK, if you are staying in motels but a major limitation if you are camping.
Spring is here and as soon as the monsoon stops I’ll be out cycling or working on selling some of my Recumbent Touring Gear. The Crane, a rack to carry 2 recumbents, just doesn’t work with my new car, a Nissan Cube. I finally have it debugged and have added new safety clamps and straps that should have been there originally but I can’t find a hitch for the Cube bigger than 1″. Plus the Cube just isn’t big enough to handle the weight of a Ryan Vanguard and a Longbikes Slipstream on the back.
I’ll be keeping my Slipstream and Vanguard but getting rid of my other recumbents and the Coffin I used to ship my bikes in. Just need to make space.
My favorite cycling shirt the Duofold 100% Poly T-shirt seems to be gone now that Champion has rolled them into their product line. I just don’t like the Champion Tees. They don’t breathe very well, get soggy, and don’t have the nice soft feel of the Duofold Tee.
Here’s a 100% Poly Tee that comes highly recommended at $6.99. I haven’t used them myself but at $6.99 I bough 4 for the gym and summer cycling. They are on sale right now at Nashbar, 72% off Sale, Nashbar Prime Crew Neck Jersey.
The good news is that eBent/Roland is doing really well. He’s lost 50 pounds and is cycling more than ever. The bad news is that after losing 50 pounds he’s gone back to the dark side and is riding a diamond frame again and loving it.
I was burnt out on recumbent cycling and riding the diamond frame has reignited my interest. Riding is fun again. We all need change to keep the fun in cycling alive. I purchased a Surly Long Haul Trucker and am planning Spring and Summer tours now.
Hope everyone had a great Holliday and is looking forward to spring riding. Right now I am on the elliptical machine at the gym and trying to stay in shape.
I am in a bit of a quandary on what to do with eBent. I want to keep talking about touring and bicycling but don’t feel comfortable talking about recumbent cycling if I am not riding a recumbent. I do have over 10 years of recumbent touring experience that I enjoy sharing but it feels less fresh every day. I am thinking of taking eBent in a more general Touring direction. I still have 5 recumbent bicycle 2 Ryan Vanguards, a Longbikes Slipstream, a Bike Friday Sat-R Day and a BikeE Fx and expect to keep some but not all of them. So Recumbent cycling still has a special place in my heart.