So, the great recumbent roundup (aka, the Monster Cookie) was a rousing success. Kyle tried out his new high racer and got lots of looks. It’s a very unique, light (21 lbs) and fast bike. Both Kyle and I ended up doing a full century…100.4 miles to be exact. We padded about 18 on the front and then did the remainder on the way home.
I learned a few things about the recumbent that I hadn’t known before.
- I have no confidence with it in large groups. We left later than we’ve ever left before (about 9:30 am) and the roads were packed. Going through Salem was a little disconcerting as I had people all around me and to be honest, I still haven’t completely mastered the art of starting and stopping on the bike with my clips on. Fortunately, no crashes, though I nearly fell over at a stop right when they were taking pictures for our local newspaper. Thankfully, I didn’t fall. Tipping over at a stop doesn’t really hurt anything but one’s pride, and the last thing I wanted was a picture to remember it by.
- Kyle’s high racer rocks. My bike is a good little cruiser. I can ride about 20, 21 mph, but that’s flat out. The chain rings are just too small. Kyle’s high racer though is build for speed and I swear, has at least 8 gears past my highest. Then there is Bryan, who has a T-Bone, a freaky fast bike that he was suspiciously pacing himself with. This bike has gearing that both Kyle and I didn’t seem to have. This thing flies.
- When you sunburn, you really sunburn. The weather wasn’t suppose to be that nice today, but it was gorgeous and I don’t thing any of us had sun tan lotion. Both Bryan and Kyle have darker skin than mine and tend to burn less often. I generally burn until I’ve built up my summer riding tan — and because of that, tend to wear sunscreen — especially this early in the season. However, on my diamond frame, burning is limited to the face, maybe the arms. On the recumbent, everything is fair game because you are essentially laying down as your ride. So my legs, my face, my arms — fortunately, its just a little pink (except for my legs, with are a bit brighter) — but I’ll remember that for next time and will be putting a bottle of sunscreen in the travel bag on the recumbent just in case.
Anyway, the ride was a real hit, and it was nice to get to stretch my legs a bit and finally put in an honest 100 miles. Oh, and back to Bryan. I’d mentioned that he seemed suspiciously pacing himself throughout the ride. Kyle and I found out why over the last 15 miles when he opened it up with the intended purpose of making us suffer. We did. Definitely a great way to start the cycling season.