#Excitement had led to our purchase of two recumbent trikes. Now waiting for them to be delivered I felt not unlike a kid waiting for Christmas Day.
Waiting with excitement.
My wife’s interest in and excitement for a #recumbent trike had rubbed off on me. Actually, I would describe it more like something contagious that I had caught. We sealed the deal with our local bike monger on a Saturday and would not be able to pick up our trikes until Wednesday. Now, I will agree that waiting four days for something is not very long, but I was ready to get started on this new adventure. I truly looked at it as an adventure. In test riding I had found the recumbent #trike to be extremely comfortable. I had spent some time researching the various greenway systems in our area and discovered a whole world I didn’t know existed. I also discovered that there were greenway systems all over the United States. The comfort of the bike coupled with all of these riding opportunities had me eager to get started. I knew I had some physical conditioning to do, but was confident that I could do it. I was ready to hit the trails!
I went to pick her up in the rain.
Wednesday came just after Tuesday like it always does. I received a call from the bike shop confirming that the trikes were ready for pickup. I was asked to give an approximate time as to when I would arrive to pick the trikes up. The owner asked me to make sure that I had some time, so the he could go over some basics about the recumbent with me.
Now, we went over quite a lot. We spent better than an hour going over braking, maintenance, steering, adjustments, changing gears, greenways, safety, etc…. This is important stuff. I actually suggested to him that he ought to offer a course. He chuckled the suggestion off, but I really felt he had done an impressive job on trike orientation. I truly enjoyed his tips and suggestions, but I was now even more eager to get to the part where I ride my trike.
With basic training now complete it was time to load the trikes. Had I mentioned it was pouring down rain. Of course it was!. I didn’t care. Let us load them! I did allow our purveyor of bikes to cover the seats with plastic and he did a great job!!. He had patience that I did not possess at this point. I was at the point where I would have thrown a trash bag over the seats and wished for the best. I then had some more training as we loaded; loading, carrying, and tie-down advice.
My salesman-instructor-trike loader gave a last look at his mental list. His conclusion: you’re ready! I was dismissed.
A warm reception.
I had phoned my wife letting her know that I was bringing home the much anticipated trikes. She was waiting in the garage when I arrived. It was a lovely scene as I approached. The garage door came up and my wife was standing there with this big smile on her face as the rain slowly fell. She had rearranged things to accommodate the trikes as we had decided they would be stored in the garage. We are a rare breed in that we actually have a car in the garage, albeit only one of our cars will fit in the so called two-car garage. I unloaded her trike and rolled it into its new home. (The “his” or “hers” didn’t really matter at this point as they were identical.) I unloaded my trike. I couldn’t do it. I could not go in yet. Oh yes, I was going for a ride.
Know enough to come in out of the rain.
I went to pick up the bikes after work. With traffic, trike orientation, loading, and unloading it was now dark. It was also still raining and it was February. No problem! My trike had been fitted with an LED headlight. I put my safety flag on my trike and headed out for a ride around the block. My wife and I had walked this route several times and the GPS had it at about .8 of a mile. Looking back on it, I don’t know how I could have enjoyed it but I did! I loved it! I had a big smile on my face the whole ride. I have come to learn that there is actually a term for that smile. They call it the “recumbent smile.” I did not coin the phrase and you can Google it. It seems to be a real phenomenon.
For the sake of honesty, I must say that this.8 mile ride was making me tired. I weighed over 300 pounds and not in good shape. (Obviously.) I was not shifting gears at all, even though there is a small amount of elevation on the route. I would learn in the future about the importance of using the gears for a better ride. My behind was a little sore, but I could tell it was not from seat discomfort. It was from using muscles that I had not been using.
I already knew enough to come in out of the rain, but I did the ride anyway. Even on my maiden voyage I had learned a few things. I learned that I should shift gears for hill climbing. I learned that the trike was great fun and that I would indeed be getting some physical conditioning. I also was able to confirm that riding a trike was completely within my realm of capabilities. It was totally doable.
You can do it!
I have had the good pleasure of introducing trike riding to a few people who previously thought that this type of exercise and the greenways were out of their element. It sometimes takes a gentle nudge in the right direction to get us out of our comfort zone. My goal is to encourage someone who has not heard of a recumbent trike or a greenway to learn more about it and give them the confidence to give it a try. My last few posts have been “about me” posts. My goal is to keep adding posts that can introduce riding and encourage those that need it as I learn more about my passion. Maybe I could encourage someone to fall in #love with a recumbent trike.