The Cincinnati Enquirer has a story on local recumbent bicyclist Tim Guthrie, a 42-year-old who regularly commutes 40 miles round trip on his bike.
From the Enquirer:
For Guthrie, the enjoyable ride led to an enjoyable commute. Two or three times a week he bikes from his home in Batavia to his office in Mount Orab - a 41-mile round trip. Since May 2007, he's logged a little more than 3,000 miles and lost 35 pounds.
If there's a downside to comfort, it's that "you don't take breaks" or shift your position as often as when you're riding upright, Schwartz says. "Your legs sometimes will just die on you."
But recumbents weren't built for comfort alone. Gene Metcalf, a professor at Miami University, has a need for speed that drew him to the aerodynamic style.
"I like to go fast, and they're much faster than uprights," says Metcalf, 62.
I've only ridden a short while on a recumbent and my impression was that it's a bike you might grow into, not start out on. The riding posture felt awkward to me when I first got on and I was a little uneasy about how much time it took for me to get my foot from the pedal and onto the ground. It wasn't a lot, but it was a fraction of a second longer than it takes to pedal down from an upright bike.
The bike was very fast going downhill but very slow heading uphill. The muscles used for pedaling a recumbent are slightly different than those used on an upright and mine were not well developed enough to make the ride pleasant. The recumbent uses the same muscles that you work to rise from a squatting position, so if that's hard for you to do, this will be too.
Essentially, these are bikes for experienced riders or at least people committed to becoming experienced on a recumbent. Making a bicycle ride a daily or even weekly part of your schedule is often based on how comfortable the ride is. If you're frustrated, you're not going to do it. If you find your ride amusing and interesting and not too hard to do, you're more likely to continue.
- Stephen Carter-Novotni