eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Philosophy

with 12 comments

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Musings about Self Contained Recumbent Touring

Basic Tenets:

1. We are doing this for fun. Anything that prevents us from having fun should be avoided. If it isn’t fun why are we here?

1A. We are riding for the fun and adventure not to ride.

1B. We can ride anywhere; we are here for another reason.

2. The faster you go the less you see. I have seen birds of prey circling and ants building mounds as I ride in the mountains. I tell myself they find my bike interesting.

2A. A great trip is full of little discoveries. These discoveries happen when you stop to look.

3. Everything is easy if you aren’t in a hurry. I met an 80 year old woman who had just ridden from California to Maine, her first cross country ride. She walked over every railroad track and up every hill. She told me this and I believe she was right.

4. Remember The 7 Ps – Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance or A Ride that Sucks!

5. We plan so that we can understand the consequences of changing the plan.

6. The plan was made so that the Ride would be fun. If what we are doing now is fun, we are following the plan, no matter what the plan said.

7. Enjoy what is here and now. Tomorrow may bring rain and traffic, don’t rush towards them enjoy this moment.

8. Keep your head up and your eyes open. There is very little interesting on the road and we won’t see what is interesting if we don’t look.

Written by Roland

May 22, 2006 at 4:33 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Hi,

    I have just found your blog and love it! I ride Corsa for the last few years and love it. I will be getting a trike within the next few weeks as well. Maybe a X5 greenspeed. I like the idea of having a folding bike for transportation purposes.

    I want to sent up my own personal blog for family and friends. I was wondering what software, etc you use to set your up as it looks SUPER?

    Can you tell me more about the tours you conduct? By the way I live in S. Florida. I see you are up in beautiful New England. Beautiful in the fall and summber but I will take Florida in the winter.

    Anyway, thanks for listening and I hope to hear back from you. Keep on the good work and keep those pedels spinning.

    Joe Venello

    Anonymous

    September 20, 2006 at 2:05 pm

  2. RE: Keep your head up and your eyes open

    Rules are made to be broken.
    I have some amazing souvenirs (and long-lived tires) from actually watching the road and shoulder.

    WhiteWaterTim

    November 18, 2006 at 8:47 am

  3. i want a recumbent just for touring.any ideas, thanks rick.

    rick

    September 24, 2007 at 11:23 am

  4. I am a LWB/USS fan but I think any of the well known LWBs will do just fine. Certainly Tour Easy, Rans, and Lonkbikes all have their fans and are proven names.

    Rans probably has the best buys. Tour Easys have the most Riders and a terrific support network. Longbikes are the best made LWB Recumbents but that quality comes at a prices.

    If you haven’t done much recumbent riding, I recommend a used bike or a Sun (they make a low cost copy of the Tour Easy). You will have some riding to do before you will feel comfortable climbing with a loaded bike. But you also have a lot of fun ahead of you. It is nice to feel like a kid again.

    Roland

    September 25, 2007 at 7:43 am

  5. hi, nice blog / philospohy πŸ™‚ I have a few bikes; Vision R40 SWB, a Motobecane Inter Club, an Oyama Victor 1.0 and a Guess RB1. The Vision has stayed in the attic this year so far, what with the UK weather and work etc. I did manage my mini tour of the Isle of Man this year though. Keep up the good work, happy pedling, have fun !

    Graham

    October 8, 2007 at 5:34 am

  6. Graham, thanks for the kind words.

    I am fascinated by cycling in the UK and would love to hear about your rides. I have traveled a bit in England, Scotland and Wales and really love it. I used to go to London every January after Christmas and have spent a bit of time Castle wandering in the Spring and Fall. I am a Gothic Cathedral Fan and had the most amazing experience in Amesbury at sun up. Jeanne and I love to wander and find hill forts, standing stones and interesting villages, we made friends with a group of thatchers in the Wallops but haven’t been back since 911. My hip made me cancel the last trip, it was to be my first trip to Dublin and Jeanne’s first to Wales.

    I am always amazed by the feeling of coming home I get in England. It could be because I live in Dover, the surrounding towns are Durham, Rochester, Portsmouth and Berwick. My wife is from Worcester and I was born in Boston.

    I love France, Italy and Croatia but they never feel like home. But I have bicycled there because the traffic doesn’t scare me the way it does in the UK. I also may not be hardy enough for UK bicycling. I’d love to hear what bicycling is really like when you know the roads.

    Thanks again … Roland

    Roland

    October 8, 2007 at 12:15 pm

  7. Hi,
    Fun is the key to everything. I am switching to a bent due to neck degeneration with an upcoming surgery. I am wondering about clipless pedals, getting to wear my cool bike clothes and fairings. Any thoughts? I am going to ride a couple of Actionbent bikes here in Washington. Direct import from Taiwan, they look like a great deal actionbent.com
    Paul

    Paul

    March 6, 2008 at 6:16 pm

  8. Paul, I think you are making a wise move. Not everyone rides a recumbent because of physical issues but many of us do. Most say they should have done it sooner.

    You can do anything that is fun for you. I have ridden a lot of miles with a faring and clipless pedals. I like fariings quite a bit if there are no very strong cross winds or long steep descents. But I’d wait until you feel comfortable riding in a group with your new recumbent before putting it on. Clipless pedals are great if they are comfortable and you are comfortable with them. Again, I’d wait until you feel very steady and in control on the bike before using clipless pedals. That may be a day or a week for you or it might be longer. But you will have more fun if you change things a little slower and don’t get into a situation that feels stressful.

    I would definitely not ride without toe clips or Powergrips if you aren’t using clipless pedals. It is much easier for your foot to slip off of the pedal on a recumbent. You will want your feet free for your first few short rides until you get your balance. But after that use toe clips, Power Grips, clipless pedals or some thing that will keep your feet on the pedals.

    Remember, you always want to have something to anticipate.

    Clothing is a personal choice, but I suspect you will want to get rid of the diapers Diamond frame riders wear. They are uncomfortable for many recumbent riders.

    I am not familiar with Action Bents but I have ridden short wheel base (SWB) recumbents a good bit (I have a Sat-R Day and have riden quite a few friends bikes) and don’t think they make good starter bikes for new recumbent riders.

    The recumbent seating position is a challenge for many new recumbent riders and putting your feet so far up and in front makes trhe bike harder to handle and balance. Steering becomes very quick, a good thing for an experienced rider who like that but not such a good thing for a new recumbent rider. That may be your style but you won’t know uintil you have riden for a while. The difference between different types of recumbents is much bigger than the difference between different types of diamond frames.

    Bike type is a very personal decision. If you have ridden an Actionbent and loved it. Then definitely buy it. The best bike is the one you have fun riding.

    If not, I would take a look at a Sun EZ-1. I think you may find it a better starter bike and less expensive. It is also the type of bike that you will still find useful no matter what you next recumbent might be. You can ride it to the grocery store and have room for the groceries or you can ride it in bad weather and not worry about falling.

    Good luck and many fun rides … Roland

    Roland

    March 6, 2008 at 7:08 pm

  9. I am a recent convert to recumbents, having done a fair amount of touring on a diamond frame. Your site has provided some interesting posts. I am interested in touring in other countries (was interested in Croatia until I read your posts and now am focused on Sardinia). I have a Fold Rush and am interested in your experience with bents on airplanes, carrying cases, and transporting a recumbent around Europe.

    Bill

    July 15, 2008 at 9:08 am

  10. Bill, I have mostly toured in Europe with a Sat-R Day that fits into a suitcase. With that set up you just have a heavier bag and everything is slick. The question of taking a bicycle on the plane, train or bus never comes up. You also don’t have to find a place to store you bike box. The suitcase becomes a trailer.

    The air situation becomes more ridiculous every day so it is hard to say what you will encounter.So be very sure that the box for your bike meets the Air Line Requirements. Some air lines like Delta are very restrictive.

    Buses however, are usually very bike friendly. When I travel with my bike In try to travel by bus and so far have had all good experiences. They would much prefer to take a paying passenger and his bike over freight plus they have the space to take your bike unfolded.

    Train travel with an unpacked bike is not easy with a few hard to know ahead exceptions. Taking an unpacked recumbent onto most trains in France just doesn’t work. My approach is keep the bike in the case and not to ask just bring the case on. Keep it at the end of the car where there is space (this will not work on the TGV and some express trains). Just make sure to avoid peak times. Things may have tightened up since my last trip so there may be some risk with this.

    It is usually not possible to just fly in and ride out of an air port for your tour. I have set up with a hotel to pick me up at the airport and leave my gear there. I never send anything ahead to a hotel, most are not good at handling that.

    Other folks have said they shipped their bikes to a local bike shop that set their bikes up for them.

    The problem with this approach is that you have to ride a loop or ship things ahead to an end point.

    It is almost always possible to store you gear and bike at a train station or bus station but it is very expensive. For example in Croatia, the cost was more than our room for the night.

    Sardinia is my favorite place to bicycle and I wish I was going with you. I would highly recommend going during the late Spring or Early Fall. Southern Sardinia is quite warm in the summer.

    I also love Croatia and plan to go back soon with my wife and no bicycle.

    September is my favorite time for bicycle touring in Europe. The fares are down and the weather is great. People are back to work and the traveling is easy.

    In general travel in Europe using public transportation is much easier than in the US (where it is possible in the US). You are not doing something that Europeans don’t do (although not many of them) so there is always a way. Itv make take longer than you expected and it may try your patience but there is always a way.

    One secret is to bring much less with you than you want to bring. You don’t really need a lot of clothes and they all should be multifunctional. The less you bring, the less you carry.

    Bill, you have a pleasant adventure ahead. Just don’t over plan and get into a time bind. Plan on going slow and relaxing, that way your trip will be fun no matter what happens.

    Please feel free ask any questions and I’ll try not to tell you more than I know.

    Enjoy … Roland

    Roland

    July 15, 2008 at 10:07 am

  11. I love this! The wife and I are doing the Erie Canal ride this summer…our first tour and these tenets are just what we need!

    Kenneth "DeltaTrike" Jones

    May 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    • Kenneth, Thanks for the kind words. Looks like you are already ahead of the curve … you ride a trike. We will all ride trikes some day.

      Hope you have a great ride … Roland

      Roland

      May 6, 2009 at 8:53 am


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