Friday, November 4, 2011

In Which We Find Out Why Jon Doesn't Ride a Recumbent Bicycle

I don't enjoy riding a recumbent bicycle, even though I fit the profile of those who do.  I am a "mature" male, with facial hair and a bad back, who enjoys riding long distances under my own power.  Yet, I stick, exclusively, to the "uprights".

It's not that I have never tried a recumbent.  When I lived in Ohio, Pete left his with me for a year, or so.  He didn't have a convenient space to store it, so I let him put it in my basement.  While I had it, I took it out for a few rides.

I noted all of the "advantages" of the recumbent style, during those rides.  It was very relaxing, and quite efficient on the flats.  If you didn't get in a hurry on the climbs, the laid-back bike was pretty enjoyable.

Yet...I didn't fall in love with it, and I decided I didn't need to own one.

Why?  Well, it is all about the position. 

Look at the powerful animals, and the stance they take when attacking another creature, or defending themselves.  The big cats, and the canines, crouch down with their chest close to the ground, legs tensed, head erect, ready to pounce or accelerate in an attack.

Large primates, man included, stand up tall and push their chest forward, and rotate their shoulders forward.  A professional boxer looks like a coiled spring, ready to fly toward you and wreak havoc.

When an animal rolls over on his back and presents his soft belly to you, he is giving up.  That is the submissive stance, pretty much universal throughout the mammalian world.  Puppies show you their bellies, when they are grovelling for forgiveness.

I don't want to feel, or be perceived as, submissive as I pedal down the raod.

So, I don't like riding a recumbent.

Yeah, it's a self-esteem thing, I suppose...


1 comment:

  1. I don't do road bikes because of the "breed me" position that makes my back hurt. Recumbents remind me of flying.
    Belly up is the position cats (and other animals) take as the ultimate defensive position. I see examples of this here everyday with cats on their back with all weapons out and usable. The defensive cat more often than not turns the tables.
    I am a defensive person and not an aggressor. I found early on that the aggressive posture often attracts trouble. A defensive posture mostly does not but when it does you are ready for it.
    That being said I prefer the upright standard bike with the crank forward position in traffic (of any kind) because of the maneuverability.


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.