My New Bike

Sorry, no updates lately. My 10-month forced sabbatical (unemployment)
is over and I no longer have time to take long bike rides.

After more than 10 years without having a bicycle (and no real reason to have one since my jobs were never in commuting distance - more about my commute below), I finally bought a bicycle. Actually, I bought a recumbent trike.

Why a recumbent three wheeler? First of all, I've always thought recumbents were neat. I even drew a design for one when I was in the 6th grade (back in the mid-70s when recumbents were first appearing on the scene). I remember the guy riding that two-wheel recumbent looked like he was just taking it easy going down the street.

And even before that, we had the bikes with banana seats and high rise handlebars that all the kids were modifying. About the time that real BMX (Bicycle Motocross) bikes were coming out, we had already been abusing ours in the dirt and playing "Evel Knievel" in the parking lot.

After the banana bike came an ancient bike (even then) that was handed down from somewhere. It looked similar to this, but had more rust. My brother would ride on the luggage rack as we went around the neighborhood.

And in high school, I had a 10-speed bike with a luggage rack and two folding metal baskets big enough to hold a grocery bag each; real grocery bags - the paper kind where you could double bag and stuff a case of canned goods and they wouldn't break, not the flimsy plastic ones that will break if you put more than three big cans of tomato soup.

And a few years later, I was able to commute to work with an 18-speed mountain bike. Unfortunately, I had to leave that bike when we moved (no more room on the U-Haul).

And now, 10 years later, and after seeing so many morons sitting behind the wheel while talking on the cellphone or fixing make-up or even reading the newspaper, I'm convinced this guy had the right idea about his bike.

Macaulay Culkin in The Pagemaster (1994)

Now, we live out of the city limits, where the trip to the nearest grocery store and back in the Ford Escape is almost a gallon of gas. Now's a good time to get back into riding a bike.

But, why three wheels? With a two wheeler, you have to pack your loads carefully or you'll feel lop-sided. With three wheels, I can just throw stuff on the back and go. Plus, I can rest without having my feet touch the ground.

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