First experiences with the recumbent bicycle

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Klaus on recumbent bicycle 6th of December 2002:
At home! I am a little bit wet on my back, but not as bad as expected, and it wasn't too cold at 5 degrees Celsius, but this was due to the fact, that I was prepared, nevertheless it is one of the good things. But let me start from the beginning:

At 3pm, I left the office in Offenbach with the destination Frankfurt-Bonames, I was aiming for the Fahrradscheune, a very specialized bicycle shop in Frankfurt. The autobahn was quit empty for a Friday afternoon, the first good sign. After a 20 minutes car ride I found a parking lot near the shop in front of a priest's house. Good place, the car should rest there for the next four and a half days. Now let's step into the Fahrradscheune: Today I lent a recumbent bicycle, because I have to give it a try! After so many tours on a normal bike and so many prejudices (Ein aufrechter Mensch fährt aufrechte Fahrräder) I have to test it out. Most of my long cycling trips where with a partner on the recumbent bike and they always talked with big enthusiasm about the kind of transportation, maybe it would fit my, sometimes uncommon preferences as well. After the 10 minutes ride on a Flux S600 two weeks ago, I decided to this is the right one for me. The store Fahrradscheune gives you the chance for a long test ride of 4 days billed with 65 Euro. The guy in the shop configured it and then said "good bye, have fun":

I am on the road. I started slow and carefully, because it is a different feeling. Shortly after I crossed the small river Nidda the first two challenges waited to be mastered: a railroad crossing and an uphill passage. The first made it a little bit harder by switching the warning light to red just when I passed it - but - no problem for me! The second did not seem to be a too big problem, just continue cycling and I gained altitude. In the middle of the uphill road, a small kiosk sold Glühwein and cake, so I decided to stop for a second and eat a very good piece of cherry-pie, but I decided that Glühwein may not be the right thing, because don't drink and drive applies surly when you have your first recumbent bicycle ride.
After I was physically strengthened, I continued my way uphill. After the next corner I had reached the top, so downhill was the next challenge. This one is an easy one, as the breaks are quite reliable and was not going to break the velocity record. After a while, it got darker and I turned the light on, so the cars could see me a little bit better. People were all over the place staring at me, something I know from the tours with my recumbent bicyle friends. But at the same time I understood, that other road user do not see you, because you are shielded by cars, I try to keep this in mind and drive with an extra portion caution.

At the traffic lights it was a little bit hard to start the bike and get on speed without doing too many curves on the straight road. I hope the fans of the recumbent bicycle are not too angry about this, it may causes car drivers to think that the recumbent bicycle is nothing useful - but - I am starting and learning is not so easy. I have to admit that idea to learn biking in the middle of the city Frankfurt at a Friday evening short before Chrismas may not be the best idea, but I had to get the bike home and the way home requires to cross the city.

After crossing the river main, I reached Sachsenhausen, my home district. I am living in the very south of Sachsenhausen, this leads me to another uphill passage. The roads name ie Hainer Weg, people, interested in bicycle road racing may know it from the UCI worldcup race Rund um den Henninger Turm. This road is the finishing line. So with the feeling to cycle right next to sprinters like Erik Zabel or Dschamolidin Abduschaparow I mastered it. This teached me, that at least small hills will be manageable.

From there I was just a short ride home, where I am sitting now in front of my computer writing this lines. Andreas will arrive tonight and we will give two recumbent bikes a try for the next days at the river Rhine.
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