I would like to start by introducing myself and tell you what led me to want to start blogging about recumbent bicycle riding. I want this to be from the point of view of a true newbie. Hopefully, I can give you a first hand account of my triumps and failures and all my progress along the way.
My name is Chuck and I am an out-of-shape, middle-aged man who is about to turn 49. I have had a bicycle almost my whole life but unfortunately, ever since I got a license to drive, that bike spent most of the time in storage, except for about six months last year when I rode it the four miles to work once or twice a week.
I started eating healthier about five years ago and lost about thirty pounds but my life situation changed, the bit of exercise I was getting vanished and I gained it all back and then some.
I realized the best way to motivate myself to exercise is to start riding to work again, this is especially motivating at the end of the day when I have only one way to get home. Unfortunately, I now work almost nine miles from home (more if I want to ride safely) and that distance causes a strain on my back and a pain in my butt…literally.
It then occurred to me that a recumbent bicycle would be the perfect solution. I started looking into them and was hit by sticker shock. Most web sites I looked at did not have one under $1200.
Eventually I went to OTE Bicycles in Dunedin, Florida (at the time I lived within walking distance). They tuned up my current bike and seemed honest and reasonable. They also sell used bikes there and was hoping they would have one I could afford. He did not have any used bikes but he said he could order a Sun EZ-1 for $500.
I took him up on his offer and two days later was disappointed to learn that it was discontinued and he could no longer get it. The next version up was $650, which I might have considered but the price had gone up to $850. The owner (or co-owner, his name escapes me) felt bad and even offered the other bike at his cost, which was just a little more than I wanted to spend.
Two months later I started looking again and decided to put a “wanted” ad on Craigslist. I got an immediate response from someone who had a first edition Sun EZ-1 for $275. My wife, Rose, and I went to look at it, somewhat expecting it to be junk, but were surprised it was in relatively good condition. It even came with a saddle bag and two cup holders. I decided it was a great value and did not haggle over the price.
I took it for a short ride after we got home and in just five or ten minutes I could feel the strain in my leg muscles. I want to ride it the ten miles to work on Monday which means I need to get used to it before then. I know the first day will be rough but I think if I leave early and take my time, it could be fun.