Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Aero-Bellies and the lure of the Recumbent

I might be outing a few people here, so if I disapear...

I've noticed something, and I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or not. So I'll put it here until I have more time to do a bit more research on the matter. (however the hell I would do that is beyond me at the moment.)

Riders of recumbent bikes, are more likely to have "Aero-bellies", aka beerbellies, aka the midlife paunch. Now, I've not really delved into the the reasons why this would be, but I do have a theory.

(Here's where the lynch mob forms)

Recumbents can't climb. (Or so I've been told)
And since recumbents can't climb, recumbent riders avoid hills. This leads to less attention paid to the whole concept of power to weight ratio. Air resistance plays a larger part in workload on a flat road than rider weight does. It's only when the road turns up that the weight of a rider plays a significant role.

So, do recumbent riders have aero-bellies becuase they think that they can't climb and avoid hills, therefore what they weigh is less importants.
Do riders with Aero-bellies ride recumbents, becuse it gives them a reason (er, excuse) for not being able to climb?
I leave the question to the reader as an exersize.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Point proven.

She took offense.
My bike (Lightning Cycle Dynamics P-38 recumbent) spoke to me.
She told me that she's not done with me yet.

Now, I've got a big ride planned for November.. a hill climb. Or rather a mountain climb, as it's far and above anything I've ever done. 18.95 miles at an average grade of 8%. There is still some doubt about my success of that ride, though hills no longer scare me. Rebumbents are known for three things: 1) Fast as hell, 2) Comfortable as heaven, and 3) they can't climb.
Put on the table my upcoming ride, and known item number 3. Seems that I'm adding to my own potential failure by using a bike that's "known" for not climbing well for a ride that is all about climbing. I've been playing with the idea of taking my mountain bike just for this reason. I've even looked into folding bikes. I was really not sure what I was going to ride on that monstrous challenge.

I happened on the Club Ride this past Sunday. What was scheduled as the normal 30 mile, mostly flat, out and back turned into a hill ride. The ride leader (ok, the guy in the front of the pack) took a right turn and started up a side street. We ended up climbing for about 9 miles. Mostly lower grade, say 5% or so and rollers. Now, 'bents aren't supposed to be able to climb. Somehow, I was in the lead of the group for most of the ride. Responding strongly to break aways and generally riding quite strong. My P-38 was proving a point. I think she wants to do this ride in November. I heard that quite clearly. Now, I know what you're thinking; "this guy was in the sun too long.. he's hearing his bike talk to him. One word. Heatstroke." But I'm telling you, I felt fine. Drank my water on a schedule, didn't push too hard, etc etc. She told me she wants to do this ride. How else could I respond to an uphill attack? I'm not that strong of a rider. The attacker ran out of legs and couldn't bride the gap. I contemplated jumping, but I'd never ridden this route before and didn't know what hills were left.
We should have gone.
wanted to.
I could feel it.

She's ready for the ride in November.
I'm the one that needs to work on it.
Point proven.
(and 'bents can climb- it's usually the rider that can't)

Now, if she'd only tell me her name.