In all the discussion of human extinction and the economy crashing and the other things I bring up on this blog, there was a literal milestone I passed earlier today. This is my 10,000 mile Rans V-Rex. This AM, I crossed the 10,000 mile mark. I’ve owned the bike since 2009, with a long break (pun intended) for an accident I had when I was using clip pedals. The 10,000 miles is probably inclusive of about 5,000 commuting miles–I used the bike to get around when I was doing the Census, and I was commuting about 3 times a week to a job that was 22 miles round trip. Also, lots of shopping trips. So the bike replaced about 250+ gallons of gas (updated–redid the math based on car commute of similar size. Even on a subway, it’s a minimum of 1 gallon of gas per week).
My guess is that the average calorie burn on the bike was 36 per mile. A Recumbent bike allows me to go faster than I would on a conventional bike, so most scales would give me more credit per calories burned than I deserve. Still, that’s ten pounds that I either didn’t put on or lost. Also the mileage means I built muscle tissue that increased my metabolic burn rate.
Kids wave at me when I’m on this bike. I wave back. Sometimes Adults wave. Sometimes they just stare. They really stare when I’m passing them and they’re stuck in traffic, and when they wave, they frequently use only one finger per hand. This happens a lot on the Greenway path that runs adjacent to the Belt Parkway. If you’re riding a bike and going 20+ mph eastbound, you’re passing all the cars clustered at the Flatbush and Erskine exits. Resentment abounds.
Most common question I get when riding–‘How much did the bike cost?’ Most common answer: ‘Sorry, if I didn’t tell my wife, I ain’t telling you’. Best comeback to that line (from a big guy on a Harley) “Hey, I don’t wanna sleep with you, I just wanna know how much it cost.” I have a ready-made answer now–it isn’t made anymore. If you want mine, it’ll cost you.
Rans Bikes doesn’t make the V-Rex anymore–I suspect it’s because the steel frame plus the extra supports for said frame make it pretty heavy, even for a recumbent. Recumbents have certain speed and handling advantages over conventional diamond-frame bikes, but those advantages tend to be less with increasing weight. It’s a good sign the Rans people are still developing bikes–Their newer bikes utilize more aluminum and lighter materials. You can check out their other bikes on their website.
If you want to ride a fast bike, go with a recumbent. They put almost no pressure on hands, arms, back or neck. They don’t have that ugly perineum pressure that will lead to oddly personal conversations when you tell people you ride a lot. Riding a recumbent will change the way you feel when you ride. Sometimes it’s like floating on your back. other times, it’s like dancing.
Only problem so far is that I crashed my odometer–apparently it was never designed to register anything above 9,999.99. I am currently writing a very strongly worded protest to the manufacturer.