09 September 2010

Attack of the TLA (three letter acronyms)

I love to be outside and, as much as I love hiking and backpacking and generally loafing in the great outdoors, cycling is my favorite activity, hands down. So this is my 'cycling blog. Specifically, my 'bent trike blog.

I hiked and backpacked and bicycled as a kid and teen - then life happened and I stopped. Some people have red sports cars or new religions as a mid-life crisis. I went outside and played.

I tried hiking: still fun. Backpacking: also fun. Horseback riding: not so fun. I rented a bike a couple times: Big Fun!

In May of 2007 I bought a Trek fx (a fitness-type bike, not a mountain bike but not a road bike - an often uneasy combination of the two: more upright than a road bike but without the burly suspension or fat tires of a mountain bike). I knew that I could not ride a road type bike with that very bent over posture and this was also an affordable bike and the same kind of bike as the one I'd rented.

I rode that thing everywhere: on the bike paths in Folsom, CA; on the American River Bike Trail; in Sacramento traffic; to the grocery store, the hardware store, the library. I rode it all the way from Folsom to Sacramento State (about 20 miles) once or twice a week. I hauled way too many library books (finishing a thesis) - learning that an overloaded rear rack does funny things to the handling. I even took it on a super easy mountain bike path!

I enjoyed the heck out of that bike.

So you can imagine my distress when I seriously strained my shoulder just 13 months after I'd started riding. I dutifully went to PT (physical therapy) for a year and faithfully did my home exercises. Eventually I was able to play trombone again, vacuum the house (darn), and other ADL (activities of daily living). However, riding my bike was too much for my shoulder. I'd ride my bike and significantly regress in my PT. Besides that, it hurt like the blazes.

I moped and whined and carried on and was generally grumpy for two years: can you imagine the pent-up bicycle longings? I'll bet you can't.

Finally, just a week ago, I was finally able to take delivery of a new HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) - a splendid German-made recumbent tricycle.

Now, "tricycle" may bring to mind a little red kid's toy, or maybe a clown, or even Artie Johnson's yellow raincoat man on Laugh-In.

But this is a different beast altogether: designed for speed, or comfort, or touring; generally very well made; tending to be expensive. A grown up toy. (I suppose I should mention that recumbents are also available in two wheels, or even four!)

To be specific, I have a full suspension Scorpion recumbent tricycle by HP Velotechnik. It is set up for touring with fenders and a rear rack. This is probably the one and only recumbent cycle I'll ever own, so I indulged myself.

Oh yeah, and it is orange.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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