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I guess I just like to be different.  I was the only snowboarder in our ski club in the late 1990’s.  I drive two 39 year old VW’s and I prefer a recumbent to a regular bicycle any day of the week.  When I am riding my Burley recument, people on the trails are always asking about them, are they easier, are they more comfortable, etc, so I thought I’d start a series of blogs about them, explaining what I know and why they are popular.

I guess if one needs to find a place to start, the history of recumbents would be the place.  The earliest recumbents were created in the middle of the 19th century and although you see some around, they have never gained the prominance that normal bicycles do.  Frankly, they probably never will, but they do have a following and always will.

Riders ride in a reclined position, some nearly horizontal, and because of this are very aerodynamic.  In the early 1930’s recumbent bicyclists were beating world land speed records and races to such a point that they were banned from traditional bike races and have been pretty much to this day.  Now, I have to say they must not have been riding up hill as my experience shows these bikes are not fast climbers, but I can say I zip by everyone on the downhills (I’ve gotten up above 30 mph).  If recumbents were allowed in these races I’m sure there would be more interest in them and more available in bike shops.

Recumbent bikes have a lower center of gravity and distribute the bikers weight out over the bike more.  They are usually heavier than a traditional bike, but as stated above, they can go faster because of their aerodynamic design.

In my next blog on recumbents I’ll discuss the differences between them.  Future blogs will include:

How to select a recumbent Where to buy them Secrets to riding them Where to find parts and accessories Recumbent organizations