I ride a Long Wheel Base recumbent Infinity brand bicycle. This bike is made mostly of aluminum square stock. I've had to make my own modifications for comfort and as replacement parts. I rebuilt the seat and the handlebars, built a hitch for a trailer, and added a headlight and battery tube.
I bought the bike about 10 years ago from a friend, who bought it from a friend who worked in a local bike shop. At the time it had pretty good components, except that the seat was very uncomfortable.
I've always been interested in do-it-yourself mechanics. My dad was always inventing useful mechanical things. I get it from him. So when things break down, or I want to add something to my cycle, I don't go for the prettys solution. I usually try to make it with hand held or small tools from parts that are readily available.
There is something I like about knowing how to fix anything on your vehicle. Recumbents have a history dating back to 1937 or so, when the first recumbent race bike upset the racing world to such a dregree that the form was outlawed.
Many people ask me if my bike is faster, safer, more visible, or more comfortable than "regular" bikes.
My responses vary.
It's not better for riding uphill.
There's no way of standing up and shifting weight from pedal to pedal.
It takes longer to hop on and ride away.
On loose gravel or mud, it's very unstable because of the small front wheel (good thing the seat is so low and I can put my feet down easily on both sides).
It is safer because you don't land on your hands or your head if you fall off.
There is no danger of flying over the handlebars if I have to stop fast or run into something.
It is so unusual that people see me, even if I am low to the ground.
It is much much much more comfortable. But if you go on a long ride on a recumbent, make sure you have a self-tested seat or seat pad.
Riding a bike that is very long with somewhat hidden under-seat steering gets lots of questions about steering.
No! I don't just lean to steer. It has thin wires that go from the handlebars to the front forks.
How did I decide to ride a recumbent bike?
I can't count the number of times a small child has watched me go by, with open-mouthed wonder. Nearly every day I get a smile when some 6-10 year-old child yells out "cool bike" or points and calls out "look at that" to his or her companions. There doesn't even seem to be a gender difference in this kind of wondrous impression. It is amazing how young people can be who still recognize something that breaks the norm in their existence.
How did Recumbent bicycles come about and why don't we see more of them?
If you are interested,
read this brief history.
I own a unicycle, which I ride for very short distances on occasion.
I am interested in recumbent human powered trikes. My wife contracted polio when she was 3 months old. It affected her right leg more than any other part of her body. She rode bicycles when in her early adulthood, but is wary of falling off a bike on that side. So we got her a trike. There are some pictures of it on my web site. Marianne's TrikeAmazing local resources:
The Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT) at First and Washington, the central hub of information and education on alternative transport; producers of Cycling Magazine and the home of Pedaler's Express. Please visit to gawk, gab, browse, shop, fix yer bike and read. They have a library on human powered topics from all over the world. And you can find out about their self-serve repair shop with very inexpensive expert advice. The Network Charter School is also strongly connected to CAT.
Green Gear Cycling, makers of Bike Friday, their new recumbent Sat-R-Day folding cycles and tandems.
Burley Company, which started making trailers, which now makes recumbents and tandem bikes.
The local bike path system, one of the best in the country.Pet peeves:
The way that street surfaces become invisible at night when it rains.
Bike riders that don't obey traffic laws.
Car drivers that don't obey traffic laws.
Speeders who could never stop in time.
Roads with no sidewalks or bike paths.
Big box stores with huge parking lots.
All the trash and leaf piles that end up in bike lanes.
Uneven pavement and manhole covers in the bike lanes.
Intersection sensors that are triggered only by the amount of metal contained in an automobile.