Bob’s Electric Catrike…

7 07 2011

Bob's triker grin...

Bob has been enjoying his Catrike for the last few years in stock trim, but has been thinking about a electric bike assist kit for it so he can conquer the local hills that are giving him grief. I connected Bob with my friend Ken over at Power in Motion who specializes in all things for electric bikes. Ken had a new kit called the Mega Motion kit that he recommended for Bob’s Catrike e-assist needs. Ken’s shop did the install quickly and Bob’s been very pleased with the result. He’s out and riding more than ever now that he has some help for the steep hills he faces on his rides and he’s excited to explore further afield than he has done in the past when he only had his own leg power to rely on.

Since I’m not an expert on electric bike kits I’ve uploaded a PDF brochure of the Mega Motion Kit that anyone who is interested can download and read for themselves. Ken is an electric bike guru so if you have any e-bike needs [e-Tikit, e-cargo bike, e-commuter bike, etc...] don’t hesitate to call or email him at Power in Motion.





Dan’s M5 Carbon Highracer…

5 04 2011

photo: ranDanneuring Blog

Just in case you thought I had no love for bents any longer I figured I would share this lovely rig Dan posted on his ranDanneuring Blog. Looks sweet…I’d swap in a set of OC bars and be rolling along happily on that bike…=-)





I’m sponsored by Catrike!

15 03 2011

I'm never standing up again...=-)

Hahaha…just kidding. I only wish I was a sponsored Catriker…=-) I helped my boss buy a Catrike Expedition just like this one. Sweet rig.

Do I look like a natural born triker?

The nice folks at Fairfield Bicycle let me ride this Catrike around their store a bit, but they said if I scratched the paint or burned too much rubber I’d have to buy it. So I kept it under 15kph…=-)

If you don’t know what a Catrike is watch these videos.





Ortlieb Recumbent Porn…

30 12 2010

Hard not to like that!

I don’t post much recumbent porn these days, but this image was worth its own post.  You can buy these bags here. Go Ortlieb..=-)~





Got Ortlieb Bent Pack?

30 12 2010

Ortlieb Recumbent Backpack...

Josh turned me onto this Ortlieb rack top bag that is also a backpack.   I love my Ortlieb panniers and my Velocity backpack so this seems like it could be a winner.

Backpack straps...

I currently have an Axiom rack top bag that I don’t love and it’s not waterproof so I’m open to something better.

More strap detail...

The problem with all multi-function bags is that they may not do any of their functions well.  So my question is does anyone out there actually own one of these and if so can you tell me a bit about how it’s working for you?

Available in basic black...





Easy Racers…

20 12 2010

David Cambon's lovely Easy Racer rando bike...

I mentioned a while back that I was contemplating getting a recumbent so I can enjoy the reclined bike-style again….=-)  I’ve been pondering what to get that would be interesting to ride and fit into my current bike mission profile.  One bike that keeps popping up on my radar is the Easy Racer Gold Rush Replica like the one pictured above. It’s a long wheelbase recumbent that’s got a reputation for speed and solid climbing performance.  It makes a great touring rig and long distance bike as David Cambon has proven on many occasions.  The GRR is particularly suited for fast riding with a front fairing and body sock. Living in Victoria BC the warmth and weather protection these items offer is definitely of interest for year round riding.

Peter Noris riding a body socked Easy Racer at PBP...

It would be very interesting to see how an Easy Racer LWB stacked up against the SWB bents I’m used to riding – especially in the climbing department.  They seem to offer a lot of potential benefits:

  • efficient climbing for a bent
  • high speed on downhills, flats and shallow climbs
  • weather protection from fairing and body sock
  • comfortable ride [due to long wheelbase and recumbent seat]
  • easy to carry water and other supplies
  • low BB makes starts and stops easy
  • proven design
  • great customer service
  • 406 and 700c wheel sizes in common with bikes I already own

Configured the way I would need it a GRR would cost over $4K so I won’t be snapping one up tomorrow, but I will keep my eyes peeled for a good deal like a used bike in good condition.  In the meantime I’ll work on getting a test ride in when I go to Seattle in March 2011.





2011

29 11 2010

I must have been thinking ahead to 2011!

Every year I have at least one project bike and try out some new gear that’s been on my mind.  My main focus for 2011 will be to upgrade and improve my existing rides.  Here is what I am thinking of for 2011:

  • I’m going to put some energy into learning to unicycle.  Paul lent me a couple unis to try out.  I haven’t got to the point where I’m for sure going to take this up, but I should know by the end of 2010.  If I do I’ll score a uni for myself.
  • Sharon has realized that although her cruiser/city bike is nice to look at she needs a more efficient ride if she is to cover a lot of kms riding to work and for errands.  So I’m going to build her a Surly Cross Check [in Robin's Egg Blue] using the main parts from her cruiser.  The more aggressive riding position and option to go with drops should be useful while still ending up with a nice looking ride.  Assuming she loves it I’m thinking of adding a dynohub wheel and headlight in the fall of 2011 for her birthday as her commutes to work start getting darker.
  • We’ll save Sharon’s city bike frame and any parts we don’t swap over to build up a SS Burning Man bike for 2012 when we head to the playa again.
  • My trusty Surly LHT is going to get a dynohub and dyno headlight for 24/7 light action.  I’ve really enjoyed the dyno setup on my Bike Friday NWT and it’s time to give my LHT the same treatment.  I’ll use a Shimano dynohub, but haven’t settled on a headlight yet.  My LHT will also get some smooth fast rolling Grand Bois Cypres tires.  I’ve been waiting until the existing Marathon  XRs wear out, but that is taking forever so I’ll pull them and save them for when I need a heavier tire on a tour.  If I get really into it I’d like a bigger/longer mudflap on my LHT, but that would be a luxury…the existing one is adequate.
  • My Surly Big Dummy will get a dynohub [a 26" Shimano dynohub wheel I used on my Thorn Nomad] as well as a dyno headlight. Not sure about the headlight yet.  I’m thinking I’ll probably get an uber nice one for the LHT and a nice, but reasonably priced one for the Dummy. I can always swap them if I need a killer light on the Dummy.  I’ll probably swap the Jones Loop H-bar into the Dummy to test it out.
  • My CETMA cargo bike will get a hydraulic disc brake on the front wheel to address the spongy brake action caused the long convoluted cable run. I still haven’t mounted fenders so that has to happen and I think, given the short rides I do with it, I’ll mount a less expensive SDG saddle and save the Selle Anatomica for a rig that sees bigger distances.  I’m considering pulling the Rohloff hub from the CETMA and replacing it with a cheaper Nuvinci IGH.  I feel like the Rohloff is kind of wasted in that bike and I’ve been interested in the Nuvinci so this would be a good opporttunity to try one out in an application where the smaller gear range and higher weight isn’t an issue.
  • My Bike Friday NWT will get some full coverage Planet Bike Fenders and some fresh white bar tape. If Solidlights is still doing the XB2 light upgrade I may send my Solidlights dyno light back to the UK to get the upgrade from brighter LEDs and a focused optic.
  • My Pugsley needs a saddle [I stole the Selle Anatomica for the CETMA from my Pug].  Rather than put the SA back on I’ll replace it with SDG plastic saddle unless I take it on tour where the SA would be appreciated.  I’d also like to swap in some MTB riser bars from my spare parts bin for the Titec H-bars to get a better relationship between the brake levers and the shifter/grips.  Right now I can’t have my hand on the grips fully while braking which is a problem in technical terrain.  I have a set of Surly Larry knobby 4″ tires I will be installing on the Pugsely in 2011 to improve traction in the wet.
  • My Bike Friday 8spd Tikit has a new stem riser waiting on installation.  The new one piece unit replaces the previous separate stem and steering riser combo.  I’ve got to replace the whole drivetrain on this bike since it hasn’t seen any love since new.  It also needs a new set of Greenspeed Scorcher TRs.
  • I’d like to get a tour of Vancouver Island in this spring…from Port Hardy back down to Victoria.
  • I’d like to fit in more mountain biking.  Kiteboarding dominates my summer weekends, but I can fit more mountain bike rides in during the week.

There is also some stuff that I’m less certain about that is bouncing around my brain.  These items may not happen, but who knows?

  • Getting a tandem.  I’m continuing to do research and will hopefully get some test rides in over the next few months to confirm our interest in riding on the same bike. I’ve got a few possibilities on paper right now, but nothing that is so compelling I’d rule out other options.
  • Alfine 11 – I’d like to try one out, but I haven’t got a solid idea of where I might use one.
  • Carbon belt – I’d like to try out a carbon belt drive at some point.  I’m not 100% sold on them, but without trying one it’s hard to speak about the benefits vs. a chain.
  • Trying out a BQ approved 650B rando style bike.  I’m curious if I’ll come to the same conclusions as Jan Heine and the only way to know is to try one. I’m not ready to spend top of the line custom $$ on one so I’d be looking at something that’s in production like the Boulder Cycles Randonneur.
  • I’m contemplating riding some more brevets this year…if I do it will be just the shorter ones [100K, 200K and 300K].  I’ve got to find my love of long solo training road rides.   I’ve also done all my previous brevets on a recumbent.  I don’t own a bent and I don’t see one in my immediate future so I’d probably press my Surly LHT or BBC 24 into service.
  • I’m considering building a bike storage area in my yard to free up garage space.  It would be a concrete pad with eye bolts sunken into the pad for locking points.  It would have a roof, but not be fully enclosed.  I’d lock up my more sturdy bikes there [like my Surly Big Dummy] giving me more room in the garage and also making getting rolling on these bikes faster.
  • I may get rid of one of my two fixed gear bikes to free up some space.  I love the fixed gear experience, but one bike would meet all my needs.




Velomobile Commute

24 09 2010




HP Velo Factory Tour…

23 08 2010

From BROL…





Making a Catrike…

14 07 2010

In the spirit of the Schwalbe and Rohloff videos I posted yesterday here are a couple about making a Catrike recumbent trike.





RAAM 2010 Recumbents…

16 06 2010

Photo: Velonews.com

There are several recumbent riders racing the 2010 edition of Race Across America [aka. RAAM]Most notably Barbra Buatois the french rider shown above who is currently the 1st place female in the race.

Dana Liberman, owner of Bent Up Cycles and all around nice guy, is part of a 4 man recumbent men’s team.  They are going strong and currently in 3rd place for their division.

Photo: RAAM

Tim Woudenberg is racing solo on a recumbent in the men’s 50-59 age group. He’s currently in first place in that group.

Photo: Sandy Earl

Sandy Earl was racing in the solo women’s division, but has DNF’d – although it’s not yet clear what the reason was for her departure from the race.

No matter how the race ends for these riders just showing up ready to race RAAM is an amazing accomplishment.  It’s hard to fully grasp the effort and investment of time/$$ these folks will have put into this event by the time they cross the finish line.

BTW – there is also a trike rider on a mixed bent/DF team called Team FARA.





Going bent Ver 4.0?

14 06 2010

Catrike Expedition...

I’m starting to get the hankering to ride a recumbent again.  No specific goals this time other than to try something new and see what I think.  This will be my fourth venture into the bent world.

My Recumbent resume:

  1. Vision R40 SWB was my first bent. I never felt at home with the handling and sold it after 1 season.  Then I took a couple years off bents altogether.
  2. BikeE CLWB was my second bent and a lot of fun, but I got the dreaded recumbutt after more than an hour in the saddle and the performance was not remarkable.  I took another couple years off at this point as well.
  3. I started back up with a Volae Expedition high racer, then tried a Challenge Taifun and Fujin SL SWB low racers.  There was also a RANS Rocket SWB and a Challenge Hurricane in the mix for my riding partner.  I sold all my bents in late 2008 so I’m coming up on 2 years bentless.
  4. The question is what bent to get and why?

The two front runners for my next bent are:

The Catrike Expedition shown in the photo above.

  • I’ve always been intrigued by trikes and in particular the space frame design of the Catrike seems like a beautiful form and function mix.
  • I’m pretty sure the go cart like handling and low slung riding position will be a ton of fun.
  • This is about as different as it gets when it comes to my previous recumbents.

The RANS X-Stream shown in the photo below.

  • I’ve never really “got” the LWB style recumbents until I saw the X-Stream.
  • It looks fast, comfortable and easy to start/stop.
  • I like the higher riding position for mixing it up with traffic as well as for riding with folks on DFs.
  • My previous RANS Rocket was a sweet well made bent as was the RANS Street Crank Forward I had.

RANS X-Stream

I’m not in any rush to make a decision as I’ve got a busy summer ahead of me, but I thought I would throw out my ideas so far and get some feedback to incorporate into the process.  If you’ve got some thoughts about either bent or a totally different make/model I’m open to hearing from you.





RAAM 2010 – The Ataxians

11 05 2010




Tikit Hyperfold in a Recumbent?

2 05 2010

Hard to believe you can almost have the same crazy fast fold shown above with a Bike Friday Tikit in a lowracer recumbent….seeing is believing though…wow…=-)

…found via BROL and the Recumbent Blog





Zotefoam Bent Seatpad Free

25 03 2010

Free Bent Seatpad

I have a Zotefoam seatpad [9.75" x 36"] for a hard shell bent seat.  It’s free for a local pick up or $15USD shipped anywhere in North America. It’s brand new – never been used.





Velocity Racers

16 03 2010

Velocity Racers - Hong Kong

Corbett has posted some really interesting commentary on BROL about owning a recumbent bike shop in Hong Kong. Even if you are not into recumbents it’s still worth a read.

The shop looks so elegant and classy it almost doesn’t look like a bike shop!

Velocity Racers website.

The inside...





Terracycle Cargo Monster

13 02 2010

Cargo Monster on a trike...

Terracycle is offering a cargo kit called the Cargo Monster similar to the Xtracycle Free Radical, but designed for recumbents and odd shaped upright bikes that won’t work with the Xtracycle Free Radical.

The Cargo Monster features:

  • Full Chrome Moly tubing construction
  • 100% Xtracycle compatability
  • Custom laser cut lugs
  • 203mm disk brake tab
  • Fender mounts
  • Built in Idler mounts
  • 20 and 26″ wheel capability- and you can put a 26″ wheel on a 20″ trike if you want…
  • Cable extender, cable, and extra housing for rear derailleur included
  • Model specific clamps and adapters make everything very sturdy and easy to attach
  • Motor mounts for electric mid drive
  • Fits standard 135mm rear dropout spacing

Cargo Monster Parts

Happily the Cargo Monster will accept all Xtracycle accessories which means you have access to a wide range of cargo solutions.

At $770USD for the sub-frame kit this isn’t a low cost solution as you’ll be over $1000 once you get a few necessary Xtracycle parts, but for the recumbent trike or bike owner who wants to haul huge loads this is the only game in town I know of.

Cargo Monster in action...

I haven’t tried this product myself so I can’t say too much more about it other than it looks like a really interesting design.





406 Marathons for Sale

11 02 2010

Marathon 20" x 1.5"

These are spoken for…

I’ve got 4 Schwalbe Marathons in 20″ [406] x 1.5″ with wire bead size for sale.  They are new although they have all been used for 4-5kms.  No wear at all, but some minor dust/dirt in tread.  This is a great touring/commuting/utility tire for a folding bike or recumbent.

Schwalbe sells them for $35USD each + shipping = $155USD for all 4 shipped.

I’ll ship them to you anywhere in North America for $110USD – or you can pick them up for $90USD.





Free Challenge Rear Rack

11 02 2010

Fits metal Challenge recumbent seats...

Rack has been taken…thanks!

I’m giving away this brand new never used rear rack that fits metal Challenge recumbent seats.  It may require minor drilling on some seats.

If you are local just come on over and pick it up.  If you need it shipped I’ll ship it anywhere in North America for $30USD.

The same type of rack installed on a Challenge bent...





Thanks Ian!

15 01 2010

Ian on the far right in his white Quest velomobile

Well I’m not stoked to be stranded so close to home for so many days [looks like it will be Monday before I'm rolling again...=-(], but on the plus side I got to meet Ian a local recumbent/crankforward/xtracycle enthusiast I’ve been chatting with online for a long time.  Even better he showed me his cool fleet of bikes – the prize being his lovely white Quest velomobile.  I’ve never seen a velomobile so that was very cool.  It’s a sleek machine that would be ideal for a cold/wet weather commute.

I gotta say that even though Ian has some uber cool bikes the thing I was most jealous of was the 3 car garage he has ‘em in!!!!….=-)  Heck a one car garage would rock my world, but a 3 car garage is a dream scenario.

Thanks Ian for an enjoyable diversion in Kennewick, WA…=-)





HPVelo Grasshopper For Sale [Calgary, AB]

14 09 2009
Celine's 2009 HPV Grasshopper

Celine's 2009 HPV Grasshopper

This nice looking bent is for sale in Calgary.  Please note I am not the owner [Celine is] and I am not familiar with this bent.  Please contact Celine at her number below if you are interested or leave a comment on this post and I’ll fwd it to her.

“2009 HP Veloteknic GrassHopper FX for sale
It is brand new. I have only used it few days.
Price: 3,900

Details
GrassHopper fx complete bike above seat steering, SRAM DualDrive, AVID V-brakes
transport cover with carrying strap for GrassHopper fx
airflow seat cushion air permeable fabric, sewn, for BodyLink seat
light system SON-dynohub for disc brake
rear rack 10mm tube, black powdercoating, max. load 25 kgs / 58 lbs
lowrider rack 10mm tube, black powdercoating, max. load 25 kgs / 58 lbs
mudguards SKS Bluemels 20″, black
kickstand HEBIE for mounting at the rear swing arm, black
bar end shifters in combination with SRAM DualDrive / USS, XT rear derailleur, XT cassette
drivetrain SHIMANO XT 27 speed, 60-52-40, 11-34 teeth
short cranks 152 mm, recommended for riders under 5’7″ (175 cm)
suspension fork SPINNER Grind AL aluminium stanchion tubes

Link

http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkte/ghp/index_e.html

THANKS

Celine
Contact phone number: 403-993-9982″





Congrats to RANS on a great RAAM!

27 06 2009
Photo: RAAM Website

Photo: RAAM Website

Congrats to Team RANS on performing so well during this year’s RAAM.  It’s fun to see recumbents do so well in a race like this.





Flevobike Greenmachine

27 05 2009
Internal drivetrain detail

Internal drivetrain detail

The geeky engineer in me couldn’t help, but appreciate the cunning internal Rohloff drivetrain utilized in the Flevobike Greenmachine.





Challenge Fujin SL – Sold!…=-)

9 02 2009

Price reduced to $3100USD for Fujin SL as shown in photo below less soft bags + free shipping. This offer is valid until Fri 13 Feb when I leave for a month long MTB road trip in UT & AZ. Ideally I’ll take the Fujin with me and ship from the US. If I don’t work out a sale before I go I’ll offer the bent at the original price when I get back and the riding season is closer at hand.

Fujin at the start of a mountainous 300K brevet...

Fujin at the start of a mountainous 300K brevet...

I’m offering my lovely Challenge Fujin SL for sale.  I’m just not riding it as my friends don’t ride bents and I’m feeling social these days so I need to let it go to free up some bikey capital for other projects.

You can figure out the details pretty easily by reading my old blogger Lazy Rando Blog.  In broad strokes I’ll sell it as shown above less soft bags delivered anywhere in the US or Canada for $3100USD.  This bent is dialed in and setup for fast long rides.  All the bags and accessories shown above are included except for the GPS.  This price is l~60% of what a new Fujin SL with similar spec would cost plus free shipping – you’d be at about $5000USD to replicate this bike.  The bent is in excellent condition with all components less than 25% through their service lives.

Perfectly dialed drivetrain runs sweetly...

Perfectly dialed drivetrain runs sweetly...

If I get back into bents a Fujin SL would be my first purchase.

Ultegra triple lets you crush roadies on the flats and climb mountains...

Ultegra triple lets you crush roadies on the flats and climb mountains...

I’m leaving for a month of mountain biking in Utah & AZ next weekend so first person to meet my asking price gets the bike.  I can pack it and ship from along my route in the US so an American purchaser will not have to deal with any cross border hassles.

Sunrise in the mountains on a brevet....

Sunrise in the mountains on a brevet....

The price is firm and I carefully evaluated current costs as well as the condition of this bent to make sure it was a great deal for you while giving me a reasonable return on what I invested.

Looking refreshed after ripping out a fast century in the mountains...

Looking refreshed after ripping out a fast century in the mountains...





Project Velaia

5 02 2009

A SWB recumbent touring machine....

A comfy SWB recumbent touring machine....

Daniel Lang has a great website for his wide ranging bike tour.  He started riding a recumbent [an HP Streetmachine for all you bent geeks!...=-)] in the 17,000km 2007 Beijing-Paris Car Free Rally.

A trusty and versatile MTB touring machine...

A trusty and versatile MTB touring machine...

Of course being an adventurous fellow he didn’t stop there and has been touring all over the world with his current location being Chile.  Not being a slave to a paradigm he has used a recumbent when he felt it was the best tool and also a mountain bike for other parts of his route.

His travelogue is worth a read [note not all his posts are in English, but scroll down and you'll find lots to keep you busy] with lovely photos and he also has a Flickr Photostream if you just want to geek out on images.





Randy the Recumbulator

26 12 2008




Lucinda’s Trans-AM Trike Tour

18 12 2008
Lucinda & her hot pink Catrike

Lucinda & her hot pink Catrike

If you haven’t read Lucinda’s Trans-Am tour journal on Crazyguyonabike you should.  Lucinda’ story demonstrates that you don’t have to be a young super strong cyclist to take on a long bike journey.  All you need is to make sure you have a comfortable/reliable bike [or Catrike in this case] and start out your door with a sense of adventure.

Fully loaded crossing the desert.

Fully loaded crossing the desert.





What happened to my recumbents?

15 12 2008

Challenge Fujin SL in the Canadian Rockies

Challenge Fujin SL in the Canadian Rockies

Chris wrote:

“Can you tell me the real reason you got back to DFs? My reason? almost got killed by a truck on my GRR in August, sorta crushed the left ankle. I am 58 and played competitive handball on a national level, and that may be shot for good now. But I road an old MB2 for the last 3 mos (80s Bridgestone MB modified for commuting), and realized how much more situational awareness I have on a DF. I also have a Volae Exp Pro that has even less sit awareness than the GRR. have an old Kestrel and a nice Merlin Ti and rode them until the snow flew down here (St Paul). But I have enjoyed your writing and noticed that you and Alan Barnard left the Bent culture behind for DFs again. I will likely ride the Volae more (great bike) and did order a CRush, so we’ll see.”

The real reason I moved back to DFs?…hmmm….sure….here are some random thoughts on the subject:

  • I agree with your comment on situational awareness.  I’d much rather ride a DF in traffic than a bent.  On the highway cranking out long miles on the bent with mirrors that was not a problem, but in the city [I live downtown] a DF is better for riding in traffic.
  • My DFs are more maneuverable than my bents were.  I jump curbs, deal with 180 deg turns on the bike path, go cross country, etc… better on a DF.  Again out on the highway riding 200K the bent is ideal because you are pretty much just going straight and there are few obstacles to overcome.
  • There is no bent equivalent to my Bike Friday Tikit, Surly Big Dummy or Surly Pugsley.  I’ve been riding the Tikit a ton this year as it’s so practical for getting around downtown.  The Big Dummy rolls when I’m going to haul something or take a passenger for a ride.  The Pugsley is the new kid in the mix, but it will see lots of snow biking action this winter, beach/desert riding in Baja and general mucking about come spring.  Even with the wide variety of bents I’ve owned none of them filled these niches.  I’m keen on mtn biking in 2009 and that’s also not a bent friendly part of the cycling world.
  • The riding position on my bents is indeed very comfortable, but almost too much so. I feel really passive on a bent since the position is so static.  This is one of the reasons I tour on a DF.  If I’m going to be on a bike 8-10hrs a day for days on end it better be fun!  Fun and comfort are related, but not the same thing. I’m probably 10 out 10 comfortable on a bent, but only 7 out of ten on the fun scale.  On my DF I’m 8.5 out of ten comfortable and 10 out of 10 on the fun scale.
  • When I first started out in bents I was not particularly comfortable on a DF so it seemed they were the only option if I wanted to ride longer distances on a bicycle.  Over the last few years I’ve resolved most of my DF comfort issues so that I can ride day in and day out distances of 80-150kms which as a bike tourist is all I need.
  • Although I am able to climb pretty well on my Fujin SL I’ve never climbed as proficiently on a bent as I have on a DF.  Not only am I faster uphill on a DF I enjoy the process more.  On my Fujin I don’t look forward to climbing even when it’s relatively fast.  When I’m touring on my DFs I actually enjoy climbing mtn passes.
  • The bent I like the most [the only one I kept] is my Challenge Fujin SL.  It’s a fast nimble mile eating machine – perfect for fast road rides and brevets.  There was a time when I really enjoyed going out and riding by myself.  I used to take my road bike and hit the highway on a Saturday for a 100km+ ride and just tune out my day to day worries/thoughts.  I did that on my Fujin when I got it – in particular to train for brevets.  I’ve been less and less interested in long solo rides these days.  I still do some, but it isn’t my priority – it’s more of a last resort. I’d much rather go riding with my friends and have some social time than spend 5-6hrs alone on the highway.  Since none of my friends own or have any interest in bents that means I end up riding my Tikit or Big Dummy a lot and my Fujin SL much less.
  • Even during the actual brevets I’ve ridden the Fujin SL is a solo machine. When I’m fast DFs are slow and vice versa.  This means a group ride becomes a solo effort.  As I noted above I’m not highly motivated to train alone just so I can then enter an event and ride it alone.  One of the factors that got me interested in randoneering was reading the brevet reports of the SIR website and various PBP reports.  A key element of both sources of information was a strong social component to the events that were reported.  That sounded like a lot of fun, but because of the fact I ride a bent and my local rando club is so small brevets are not particularly social for me.  I’ve actually thought about trying a brevet on a DF [gasp!....=-)] just so I would be on a machine with similar performance to the other riders and hopefully spend more time with the group.
  • So am I done with bents entirely?  No.  I think they are fascinating machines with lots of potential.  The feeling of screaming along on a lowracer is awesome and very unique in the bicycle world.  I should note that although I mentioned above I had more fun on a DF my fun factor on a bent increases dramatically if I have someone to ride with that has a similar machine and similar fitness level.  Unfortunately this rarely occurs.  If I had a friend in Calgary with a Fujin SL you’d be seeing lots more bent content on this blog.  I’m intrigued by trikes, but I hesitate to invest in one without a regular trike buddy to ride with.  Even casual social rides on a bent are fun.  We had a local bent group that met once or twice for rides and it was a blast, but it just seems like getting people together to ride is a real challenge.  You can only suggest a  group ride and be met with resounding apathy so many times before you don’t bother anymore.

I want to close this post by saying I’m not pro-DF and anti-bent. I’m a cyclist and I’m going to ride whatever makes me happy.  At the moment DFs make a lot of sense for my lifestyle and personality, but I’m open to spending more time on my Challenge Fujin SL.  I just need to find someone cool that wants to get their lowracer on!…=-)

PS – I should give a shout out to Cornell in Cochrane.  He is a cool bent rider and I’m sure I’ll get out and visit him for a ride once or twice this summer [hopefully TOT2009 - the Canadian Edition!].  The thing is he lives 50kms+ away in another city and rides a trike.  A Fujin SL and a trike are not the ideal bent mix.  Do I get a trike just so I can do a handful of rides with another bent rider???  Hopefully you can see my dilemma.

My Fujin ready to start a 200K brevet

My Fujin ready to start a 200K brevet