Saturday, July 7, 2012

Of course recumbents do hills.

Standard frame (or "diamond frame") riders often ask me how recumbents are on hills.  (Answer: "You pedal up them.")  Yes, there is the disadvantage that you can't stand on the pedals, but I don't need to since I have mountain bike gearing.  And on those steepest hills, where I'd stand up and power through on a standard frame bike, on a bent I just sit and power through.  Same thing.  When I started riding a bent, I admit I'd sometimes have to walk up a hill.  I didn't yet have a fine sense of balance or strong "recumbent muscles."  But I haven't had to walk up a hill in years.  I just ride up.

I was thinking about this the other day after riding through Harriman State Park, from Garrison to Camp Nawakwa on Lake Sebago and back again to Garrison.  We had taken the train up to Garrison and started riding from there.  It's a 46-mile round trip that begins with about 15 miles of steady climbing, without much more than a few yards of level road, then gives you a steep down, a long uphill false flat, more hills than I can bother remembering, and then you hit Lake Sebago.  The camp's road is then a series of very steep un-graded hills, more up than down.  On the way back, reverse it.  Lots of down, some up, a long and steep uphill climb, and one very, very long downhill coast on a windy road with frequent blind turns where your brakes are very much your best friend.

The next day, no soreness.  Wow.  That's a recumbent for you.

What were we riding?  There was an HP Velotechnik Grasshopper fx and a Street Machine Gte, with racks, fenders, and lighting systems.  They're simply the easiest for throwing on a couple panniers for a day-ride and it's always welcome to have the folding Grasshopper when taking the train.

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

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